GAME is not OUT On the App STORE!
App Store Page
Please try it out if you can! It's a really cool concept and I think you will enjoy it!
Hello Shmups Forums,
I am on the verge of releasing a game called Steelbound Sky. It's a game which is inspired by traditional shoot'em ups but is combined with a contemporary control scheme.
Rather than taking control of a ship, you are in control of the wind. Wind streams are used to manipulate projectiles or enemies themselves. It's a game which takes advantage of touch controls rather than trying to retrofit analogue buttons or joysticks on a screen.
If you wanted to check out some more Trailers or screenshots, you can google Steelbound Sky on Google and you can find the official site, links to trailers, the Facebook group and various other social media sites.
It will soon be out now on the iOS store! I will update this post with the link in the next few weeks.
Since this game is truly built for a tablet experience I recommend that it is played on an iPad. However,
it is fully compatible with most iPhones/iPod touches.
A PC version is working pretty well at the moment, and is being considered for release in the future.
This game started off as a group post University Project. However What you see in terms of programming, enemy wave design and UI are all my work . Staring near beginning of last year it was pretty much a 1 man team. Enemy pattern designs, general ideas, environment design/placement, testing and assembling the game together are mostly my solo work. I had to outsource a lot of 3D content and music from places like the Unity store. I was able to do various 2D texture editing task such creating particle effect textures which is generally simpler. So I hope you understand why the art style may not seem that creative; I have a purely game programming background, had to split my time resources into every section of the pipeline and have minimum art skills. But it was interesting to have my hands directly engaged in every aspect of game development.
I hope you give it a try soon and enjoy it. Please ask any questions or give any feedback/criticism.
ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT INFO
This game was made using UDK. The reason is that the initial group of people were largely involved in UDK projects
prior and it was known UDK was compatible with mobile devices.
No major libraries were required to add to UDK. The engine is very powerful and generally can do everything required.
In hindsight Unity probably fits the scope of the game better. But that's because back in the day it wasn't
known Unity would become the king of versatile and friendly game development. Porting to Unreal 4 would have been nice but it was too late in development.
Since this Game is based on shoot'em ups with dozens of bullets and enemies always being spawned it was
important to recycle objects using pool systems. Having it being aimed for mobile was also a reason to do so.
I believe its a standard technique used in many shmups. Projectiles are generally recycled back into a pool when out of bounds or hitting an enemy. This is the same with most of the particle effects, though thankfully UDK had some framework for the particles already.
The waves of enemies, their spawn points and patterns are controlled by a developed tool which edits XML data.
The Tool, built with the .NET framework, just known as the "Wave Generator" can control where an enemy would spawn, and is able to specify patterns for enemies to follow. Designers can virtually draw any curves, and specify
when an attack would occur.
The XML data can be read via an Unrealscript built object using DLLBinds which UDK supports. Unfortunately
mobile does support that, so the large strings of XML had to be stored in the script directly. I'm not sure how shoot'em ups are actually designed but I'm sure it uses some similar technique. Regardless, enemy patterns were able to be changed on the fly very quickly, with a simple edit of some XML data.
Additional programming for default AI behavior still had to be implemented. Unlike other shoot'em ups, enemy
positions can be changed and moved with the main wind mechanic. So enemy movement had to understand when
to use and not to use patterns/default movement.
The Wind streams were modeled using the idea of "linked lists" . Since the lines of winds could be changed,
or disappear over time, it was more sensible to have small spheres linked together rather than 1 object try
and manage a wind stream.
Most of the 3D models had to be purchased from the Unity Store. As you can see it is possible to port a lot of these assets to UDK it just might take some time. All the unity materials had to be scrapped obviously and just remade with the mobile material tools.
Things I've Learned
-Game development (at least indie) is more about persistence than it is about knowledge or skill.
-GIMP is pretty good.
-IrFran is your friend.
-No one knows too much anything about mobile development on the UDK forums.