Posts Tagged Alistair Aitcheson
Greedy Bankers Vs. The World was only the beginning for Alistair Aitcheson. Now we have Slamjet Stadium to satisfy our same-screen multiplayer desires. Think football re-imagined by a bunch of aliens who were trying to piece the rules together a couple hundred years from now and you’ll have the basic gist of it.
Where exactly did you pull Slamjet Stadium‘s inspiration from? Not just the wacky-looking gameplay; I’m talking about the physical roughhousing, too. Super-intense family game nights as a young boy perhaps?
Haha, I don’t know really! I’m generally a fairly calm and friendly guy. I was never into rough-housing at all when I was a kid! I am very competitive though, as my friends know – I’ll always be looking for a way to mess up my rivals in any game.
So I wanted to experiment more with this kind of game design. The original prototype for Slamjet Stadium came out of a big batch of experimental multiplayer games I did over the summer and tested out in the pub.
Often you’ll find yourself scoring by spotting a really awesome shot or powerup, so paying attention to the board is really important. Hand-grabbing is certainly a useful tactic, but it’s only one way of doing things. That makes play really dynamic. One moment it could be best to play rough, the next moment you might need to think fast, or play accurately.
While we’re on the subject of the multiplayer, how are you going to influence players to stop being polite?
People tend to jostle as much or as little as they feel comfortable with, and surprisingly that’s usually quite a lot! There’s typically a “eureka” moment when one player realizes they can get in the way of their friend, or use their opponent’s characters instead of their own. The physicality often grows from there!
So I’ve put messages in the loading screens suggesting ways you can “cheat.” The game’s advising you to play foul, so it must be okay! That eureka moment has to inspire creative play, so it’s important that players know that the game isn’t degenerating into chaos.
Would you mind going into a few specifics? Stuff like general gameplay, number of teams, differences between teams (if any), etc.
Each player gets two characters on a team, and the rules are fairly simple. You grab a character with your finger, pull back to charge their engines, and let go to send them flying across the screen. You want to hit the ball into your opponent’s goal, and the first to score five points wins the match.
There are also various power-ups and stage hazards that appear: rage power to smash up your opponents’ characters, freeze power that traps them in ice, multiball release, powerful gusts of wind.
My favorite activates “Last Man Standing” mode, where traps come in from the side of the screen, and it’s up to you to avoid them (or throw your opponents into them); a point is awarded to the survivor!
There are nine different arenas in the game, with different effects and hazards. As for the teams, there are six to choose from and each has different physical properties: shape, weight, boost power and grip.
Are there going to be multiple game modes? Might we be able to look forward to something similar in a future update?
Right now it’s split into Multiplayer and Solo Play. In solo, you take on a gauntlet of computer-controlled opponents over three leagues of increasing difficulty. Beating each one unlocks an extra multiplayer stage, and you can compete via GameCenter over your fastest completion times.
In Multiplayer it’s very much a quickmatch format: you choose your teams and arenas, and can have a rematch or pick new teams after someone wins. I’ll probably add some extra variations and setups in updates; I guess it depends on what players want to see after the initial launch. My focus was on getting players into the action as fast as possible.
All the elbow-slamming, wrist-grabbing, butt-nudging madness of Slamjet Stadium can be unleashed upon your iPad on March 14th for $2.99.
On the weekend of 20th July, some of the best developers in the UK decided they didn’t want to spend their free time on the beach (or, more likely, dodging rain showers), they wanted to join together to demonstrate just what the best of British means!
Joining together and in the space of 48 hours, developers such as Mind Candy, Mobile Pie, Greenfly Studios, Spilt Milk Studios, Onimobi and many more created Best of British: Summer Sports. Together, it’s a celebration of quirky gaming and the UK’s fine summer of sport courtesy of the 2012 Olympics in London.
The game is a collection of their impressive efforts and owes a lot to mini-game collections such as the Warioware series of games. Each game takes only a short time to complete, before moving onto the next one, but there’s quirky humor galore. Even better, it costs absolutely nothing to download!
To learn more about the Best of British game jam , we shared some words with a few of the fine folks behind Best of British: Summer Sports.
As Dave Mitchell from Onimobi explained, his favorite aspect was “getting to know all the other developers at the event. It was great to find out about what everyone does, what they’re working and also share game ideas for the jam. Being part of Best of British is about coming together and sharing skills, contacts, ideas and cross promotion. These game jams really capture that essence of collaborative and camaraderie!”.
Time was a big problem, of course, with Dave having never used the Unity engine before to create games, but that just rallied the team together to ensure he had a great crash course in it, courtesy of Laurie Brown of Indie Skies.
Alistair Aitcheson of Greedy Bankers fame explained that part of the fun came from overcoming the technical issues that couldn’t have been anticipated beforehand.
“Keeping everyone up-to-date with the latest version of the framework was hard work, and required a lot of running back and forth between teams. But that was part of the fun – it was like being in Scrapheap Challenge, building cool stuff and fixing it on the fly!”, explained Alistair.
Mind Candy‘s Daniel Atherton went with a lighter note of expressing his delight at the “fantastic” Micro Machines tournament that was arranged thanks to the appearance of UK developers Kwalee, including the original developer of the Micro Machines series of games.
Was any sleep gained? Well, no, hardly any, even despite the comfortable bean bags at MindCandy HQ. Still, no one seems to be too concerned at such sleep deprivation as there are already plenty of hopes for another Jam in the near future.
Given how much fun Best of British: Summer Sports is, we can’t wait to see what the collective can come up with next. The British iOS development industry is looking pretty strong indeed.