Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hook Swing Worlds

We're making one last hook-racing style game, after all. It's going to be "runner" style game, just like Hook Champ was originally going to be. Specifically, it's going to be a collection of three endless runner-style games, all united by a grappling hook theme, for just 99 cents. We're taking lessons from Super QuickHook to make this game easier to pick up for new players than ever, while also providing new challenges to veteran players. The name of the game is currently Hook Swing Worlds.

Game World #1: Curse of the Death God

Play as adventuring family patriarch Theodore "Gramps" Hooker as you swing through jungles, caves, and volcanoes while clutching stolen treasure. Beware the guardian spirit of the idol!
Features: Chaser Survival, Quick Recharge Rocketboots Ability

Game World #2: Dungeon Gunner

Zelle finds herself trapped in a huge dungeon filled with precious, ancient gold coins. Also monsters, spikes. Luckily she brought her revolver, armor, and her coat with the really big ammo pockets.
Features: Looting and Shooting, HP Meter, Revolver Ability

Game World #3: CyberGnome 202X (Early content patch)

In the grim dystopian world of the future, the Gnome Police rule with an iron fist. One rebel Gnome stands alone against the totalitarian rule. Can *YOU* help Gnomey escape the grim future?
Features: Obstacle Survival, Gravity Flip Ability

Despite the game being composed of endless modes, we're going to be putting in story and even possibly unlockable endings. We'll also have the usual Rocketcat staples of unlockable hats and hooks, dialog, and the return of Early Buyer Exclusive Bonus Content (EBEBC for short). We'll release more info in the coming weeks about both Hook Swing Worlds and our upcoming Top Down Shooter/RPG, which will also be a 99 cent game.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Early Hook Champ and SQH Design

We've been getting asked if we ever plan to make an "endless gameplay only" style of hook game. Below is a long, thought out response that I previously posted to the Toucharcade Forums:

It's funny, SQH was originally just going to be Avalanche Mode and that's it, for 99 cents. Hook Champ, waaaay back in its early design, was going to basically be what's currently known as a "runner" game... you'd automatically run to the right, you'd be able to latch things with your grappling hook, and there'd by powerups to grab while running.

Hook Champ's design changed to a level-based/adventure sort of game, simply because we couldn't figure out a good way to handle the level sections. This was before Canabalt, which really set a good example of splitting your endless mode into "slices". This is a really clear and easy to rip off way of handling an endless mode, arguably leading to the current Runner genre Though there were runner games before Canabalt, they didn't use the "slice" concept, leading to pretty muddled levels.

SQH was going to be Avalanche Mode, and like 4 racing levels, then the tutorial. It was also going to be 99 cents. Fans of Hook Champ spoke up and really didn't seem to want this. They wanted way more racing levels, and then an Endless mode on top of that, making it more like a Hook Champ true sequel than our original plan of making it a "spiritual successor". With these changes, we also had to make it more expensive.

The changes to more substantial games, for a larger amount of money, actually worked out for the best. It's true that the top games are always simple 99 cent games, but what you don't see right away are the hundreds of 99 cent games that are fun to play, but commercial failures. Making a game over 99 cents is much safer... if you're not in the top of the charts, you can still make a pretty decent salary if your game is 2 or 3 dollars. The flip side, of course, is that if your game makes it to the top 10, it will stay in there much, much, much longer if it is a 99 cent game.

I do still kind of want to make a 99 cent "casual" version of Hook Champ. Run-to-the-right gameplay style. I'd just want to do it in a way that wasn't a disappointment to fans of the series. We want to explore some other genres, first, anyway.

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