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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSwipe Tap Smash - Arcade Beach V'Ball - Now On Android (April 2014)!
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Author Topic: Swipe Tap Smash - Arcade Beach V'Ball - Now On Android (April 2014)!  (Read 5688 times)
mhughson
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« on: September 07, 2013, 05:09:23 PM »





About the Game

Super Spike V'Ball meets Paper Toss!

Volleyball with nothing but smashes! Flick your player into the air, and when the timing is right, tap the screen to send the ball flying!

  • Colorful and Fun Gameplay Built for Touch Controls (no virtual joysticks).
  • Online Leaderboards and Achievements.
  • Multiple Game Modes.
  • Load to Gameplay in Seconds.
  • Perfect for Short Bursts of Gaming on-the-go.
  • FREE UPDATES!


Current Progress

The game is now available on Windows Phone and Android!

You can read in detail the work that went into creating the initial version of Swipe Tap Smash on my blog: matthughson.com

Version 1.1 was just released (September 2013) and added a lot of the basic stuff you would expect from a game (I was really rushed in the initial release to meet a competition deadline):

  • Sound FX and OST
  • Additional Animations
  • Detailed Interactive Tutorial
  • Pause Menu
  • Better Support for Suspending and Resuming Game (eg. getting a phone call)
  • Bug Fixes

Version 1.2 (released December 2013) adds the following:

  • Score Attack Mode
  • Free Trial

Version 1.3 (released April 2014) adds the following:

  • Release on Android (using MonoGame)
  • Achievements (Android only)
  • Online Leaderboards (Android only)


Screens








Trailers


Release Trailer


Version 1.2 Release Trailer


Platforms

Currently available for Windows Phone and Android:




Elsewhere...

« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 05:30:42 PM by mhughson » Logged

mhughson
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 05:47:43 PM »

Update: September 14, 2013

Development continues on towards version 1.1 of Swipe Tap Smash. However, I've been in a slight holding pattern as I wait for some new content to be delivered (music and art). In the meantime, I have been making minor tweaks to the gameplay, and adding features I wanted to have in version 1.1 but thought I wouldn't have time to do.

Replayable Tutorial


The controls in the game, although simple, aren't super intuitive so a tutorial has been a big help in introducing players to the game. However, once a player finished the tutorial, it was never seen again. It would be great to be able to play through it again as a refresher, or when showing the game to friends, so I added the ability to replay it. This is done with a simple check box on the main menu (bottom left of the above screen shot).

Particle Effects


One big missing piece to my code base is a decent particle system. I spent a little bit of time putting a simple particle system together this week, so now it will be a little easier to do quick one off effects, like the Smash effect shown above.

I'm still not totally sold on having particle effects in a retro game. I find it breaks the aesthetic a bit, similar to having hi-res gradients or an HD HUD on a low res game. What do you think?

Camera Zoom

I added the ability to do some basic camera zoom with blending. I could always zoom; that's how I get the low res look at 720p (the game is actually running at 160x90 but scaled way up). However, I never had anything in place to change that zoom amount dynamically.

Here is an example of where I use it to make the Smash hit feel more intense.


Now here's that same moment without the added camera zoom effect.


It's obviously not a huge change, but I find a few of these subtle things add up to something significant. It really starts to make the world feel a little more dynamic.

What's Next?

I am really hoping to have version 1.1 of the game shipped by this time next week. Everything on the code side is pretty much done, I am just waiting on a couple more music tracks and hopefully some new artwork for the game.

As always, Swipe Tap Smash is already available for purchase on Windows Phone. The updates currently in development will be applied free of charge to any purchases!

If you have any thoughts on the game, or development in general, I'd love to hear from you in the thread!

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poe
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 06:25:22 PM »

This looks really cool, reminds me of mario tennis power tour a bit!
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mhughson
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2013, 09:33:49 AM »

This looks really cool, reminds me of mario tennis power tour a bit!

Thanks! That's not a bad analogy actually; although, this game is certainly a lot simpler than Mario Tennis.
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mhughson
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2013, 10:53:12 PM »

Update September 22nd, 2013

This week has been a little slow in terms of gameplay changes, but a couple big things happening at a higher level.

Also, I am looking for a pixel artist to help with the opening to the game. Check out the details and let me know if you are interested!

Version 1.1 Certified

Version 1.1 of Swipe tap smash has been certified by Microsoft for Windows Phone 7 and 8! I have decided to not release it right away, so that I can try to put some marketing behind the release.


Release Trailer

Part of that marketing push I want to make with the release of version 1.1 is a trailer. I've never actually made a trailer before, and haven't used much video editing software since highschool, many years ago.

I'm not willing to spend and serious cash on editing software, so I've been looking for free software. I ending up settling on Lightworks, which offers a free version with no time limit. I haven't quite figured out if the limited feature set will be an issue.


Here is a quick shot of the editor; just playing around figuring out how the thing works. If you are interested in the software, I highly recommend checking out this tutorial series:

. It's 10 very short tutorials explaining all the basics of the software.

Gesture Support on Windows

Since Swipe Tap Smash is written with XNA, I have had basic PC port of the game working for some time. This has made development a little easier, since I don't have to deploy to a phone every time. However, since the Windows version of XNA does not have touch support, that version of the game was kind of hacked together; tapping the A button would automatically cause the player to jump, as opposed the the Windows Phone version where you flick the player in the direction of the ball.


To make development even faster, and in the hopes of one day releasing the game on PC, I have implemented Touch Gesture Emulation on PC. Touch Gestures are things like Tap, Flick, Pitch, etc; all the things common to smart phones. I now simulate them on PC so I can play the game proper. I only need to deploy to my phone when I want to test phone specific features or verify that the game still runs there.

If there is interest in the feature, I will clean it up a bit and release it open source.

MonoGame

I have also been looking into MonoGame.  For those not aware, MonoGame is an opensource project which aims to port Microsoft's XNA framework to additional platforms, such as iOS, Android, Linux, and many more.


I spent almost the entire weekend trying to get one port of the game working. I chose to port to MonoGame OpenGL because it is probably the simplest; not needing to deal with emulators and developer fees that come with iOS and Android.

I have to say though, after hearing some many good things about MonoGame, I was really surprised by how rough the process is. The Content pipeline in MonoGame is very basic, and extremely manual. It requires that you build all your art content though XNA and then manually copy over the files into the MonoGame project. From what I can tell MonoGame isn't really meant to be used in conjuncture with an active XNA development. It appears to be crafted as a one time porting solution. Meaning, once your game is finished, you then go through the grunt work of porting over to MonoGame. Not really what I am looking for at this point, since I plan to continue development of the game. I need to put some more thought into how to move forward with this.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 05:33:50 PM by mhughson » Logged

mhughson
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2013, 07:33:53 PM »

Update September 29th, 2013

I am very happy to announce that Swipe Tap Smash 1.1 have been released to the Windows Phone Marketplace! And to celebrate I've released a new gameplay trailer.

Check it out, and I would love to get any feedback you might have. It is my first time creating a trailer so I'm sure there is lots I could learn!

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Elrinth
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 01:20:24 AM »

Absolutely fantastic music in the release trailer :D
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mhughson
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 09:39:53 AM »

Absolutely fantastic music in the release trailer :D

Glad to hear you liked it! It was created for the game by a guy named Ruuvari. We were aiming for Megaman meets Rocky, and I think he nailed it! You can check out more of his work here if you are interested:

https://soundcloud.com/ruuvari
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mhughson
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 05:22:35 PM »

Update October 14th, 2013

Swipe Tap Smash now has an official lading page, swipetapsmash.com. It is really just meant to be a simple starting page for people interested in the game. It has a bit of info, trailer and screens, and hopefully leads them to following the game on Facebook or IndieDB.

I haven't made a website since Highschool many years ago (it was on Geocities if you want to try and date when that was...), so I would love to get any feedback people may have!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 03:57:04 PM by mhughson » Logged

mhughson
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 04:08:15 PM »

Update October 20th, 2013

Having finished and released version 1.1 of Swipe Tap Smash earlier this month, I've been taking it a bit easier the last few weeks. But in that time I did manage to get come work done.

Website Interation

I started thinking about promoting the game a bit, and it seems like having a website is kind of required. I thought IndieDB and the Facebook page would be enough, but people tend to expect an official game website as well.

So I created a really simple "landing page" which contains all the basics (trailer, screens, etc) plus links to the more active communities surrounding the game: Facebook and IndieDB.

Here is what I ended up with:


Trick Attack Mode

Something I have been planning for some time is a "Trick Attack" mode for Swipe Tap Smash. The concept is pretty simple: everything you do in the game is given a point value. A jump might be worth 5 points, and a spike worth 10 points. The goal is to get as high a score as possible, by combining many "moves" together, in order to get a high score.

It may sound like an odd mode for a sports game, but it is actually one of the best parts of Swipe Tap Smash. It is born out of my endless hours playing the game during development, where I got so good, that I started giving myself challenges to keep things interesting: hit the ball at its peak height, bounce the ball off the net once before spiking it, do 5 jumps before a spike, and so on. Awarding points and keeping track of score is just a natural evolution of that.

Here's what that looks like in its current state:


There is a still a bit of work to do on this new game mode, but most of the hard stuff is done.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 12:20:41 PM by mhughson » Logged

mhughson
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2014, 12:18:09 PM »

Update January 4th, 2014

Happy New Year everyone! Just in time for Christmas, Swipe Tap Smash version 1.2 was released for Windows Phone late last month. It includes a ton of new features; a few of the big ones I will highlight here.

The update is free to anyone who owns the game!

Trailer


Trick Attack Mode


As shown in the trailer, the biggest new addition to the game is a Trick Attack Mode. This is kind of like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, meets Volleyball. It sounds strange, but its quite fun for the more advanced players. You essentially try to do as many moves (jump, spike, off the net, etc) in a single point as possible (ignoring some volleyball rules like double hits). Each move is given a point value, and bonus points are awarded for variety.

Free Trial

Another big addition to the game is the addition of a Free Trial Mode. Simply click the "Try" button on the Windows Phone store. So far it has drastically increased downloads, but has not increased sales. Hopefully I can share a detailed breakdown of how things went once the Free Trial has been available a little longer.

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mhughson
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2014, 03:59:43 PM »

Update April 18th, 2014

After months of development, Swipe Tap Smash has finally been ported to Android! It's free to download, so go check out it now!



Big thanks goes out to the team at MonoGame and Xamarin, whose work to bring XNA and C# to Android made this port possible!

But this isn't just a port! I have also fully integrated Google Play into the game. That means you can now challenge yourself to getting in-game achievements, and challenge your friends (and the world) on the online Leaderboards! 




So give the game a try, and please let me know what you think! I'm always looking at ways to improve the game. And if you have a moment, please leave a rating on the Google Play store; it helps a lot!!
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