Bringing a twist to the old but gold retro-arcade style
I work with Game Cooks – mobile gaming studio based in Beirut, Lebanon. In short, working at Game Cooks translates into being a member of the craziest and most amazing family, held together by a shared passion for gaming.
A little background history on the studio: Game Cooks was founded by two brothers – Lebnan and Arz Nader. Their decision to set-up Game Cooks originated from their desire to build localized games for the region – not found at the time and because they thought it would be good fun to create games in Arabic. Fast-forward four years, today Game Cooks releases international titles on the iTunes App Store and Google Play store.
Our decision to use Unity3D to build our games was not a hard one to make as it provided the flexibility we needed and offered an easy and simple way for us to produce games on multiple platforms. Being big fans of the arcade genre, you will notice that the arcade feel is present across our entire portfolio and gets stronger and more pronounced with each new game we build.
To this day, none of our games have done justice to the arcade genre quite like Polyblast and we could not be prouder of the results! This latest game is a true testament to our collaborative work as a team and is proof that our continuous efforts and progress are really starting to payoff.
Just to give you a brief background on this latest title: PolyBlast is a challenging retro-arcade game released for the first time on October 15th, 2015. It involves shooting moving obstacles and eliminating geometrical shapes before they reach the bottom of your screen. This is not so easy to achieve as you have a set number of bullets from each shooting point.
I would like to emphasize how much we really enjoyed developing this game! Polyblast did not start off with that strong retro-arcade feel you see now in the latest version. This came after several months of work, testing and feedback we received. While we stayed true to the game mechanics, we made many big changes to the overall game design until we achieved an overall look and feel that we can really be proud of and brag about.
Let me dig-in and talk about the game mechanics - one of the main challenges we faced in this game was to create a system that allows any target to follow a shape. Another challenge was providing a nice interface in the inspector for our game designers who have no experience in development to be able to create, test and run the levels. After several tries and error with the team we finally came up with a system that both developers and game designer can work on together.
Then came the fun part: creating the particle effects and the sounds! With a wide range of particle effects on the unity assets store, we had no shortage of resources to use. But we also wanted to add our own retro touch to the game so a lot of time was spent tweaking the particle systems to get the exact effect we wanted for the game.
As for the mobile optimization – in Polyblast, we have more than 145 level prefabs that we needed to load quickly without any performance impact. To make this possible we created a pooling system where all of the levels preloaded at the start and only the ones needed we set as active. This really did the trick.
We just released the latest and biggest update for Polyblast including the valentine themed levels – We are currently working on more updates to be launched! We are really looking forward to get people’s feedback on it!
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