Welcome back web stalkers. As stated in last week’s riveting post, Pixel Shift took 2 months to go from initial concept to release on Windows Phone 7 and iOS. Dive in for the sordid details… Read more…
As a down and out indie game developer, you have to work with limited resources. Or no resources. After screwing the pooch (or so they say) with Monstercraft, I felt like I needed to redeem myself and come up with a game that I could be proud-er of.
[iPad enhanced version (1.0.2) is now available here]
Monstercraft initially only supported the normal and Retina Display resolutions of the iPhone. When played on the iPad, you can run the small 480×320 version or have it do an automatic 2x scale which makes things blurry and loses the nice sharp detail.
[iPad screenshot after the jump]
The port to C++ for Win32 and then iOS took about 60 hours. As with Zombie Outhouse, I used Instant C++ to port the C# to C++ which took about a minute. The rest was all manual labor. Monstercraft runs on the same bioroid enhanced version of the bork3d engine that was used for Zombie Outhouse so it uses a custom C++ XNA style layer to ease the process.
There were a few parts of the port which I felt took too long and need to be optimized for the future.
The game that eventually mutated into Monstercraft was first targeting Xbox360 when development started in 2008. We’ll go into the nitty gritty in a future post, but for now we’ll focus on the final few months of development. Sometime around spring/summer of 2010 after Windows Phone 7 was announced, I decided to switch the focus to touch based input with the plans of supporting WP7, iOS and possibly other touch devices.
I took what I learned from porting Zombie Outhouse between the various platforms and created a system that would automatically scale the game to the various resolutions. Specifically, the supported resolutions were 480×320 for original iOS, 960×640 for iOS Retina Display devices (iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G) and an in-between resolution of 720×480 for Windows Phone 7. The WP7 resolution is perfectly in between the two iOS resolutions.
Monstercraft is an ultra-casual arcade strategy game available for Windows Phone 7 and iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad). You craft monsters using a skill based slot machine mechanic. You control when the reels stop and start so it’s not a game based on luck, although luck can sure help.
Zombie Outhouse Development Part 7: Back to the XNA Arrrr!
[Bonus points to whoever gets the title reference. Okay, maybe not.]
Porting Zombie Outhouse to Windows Phone 7 was a fairly easy process since the game was developed using XNA and already running on the Xbox 360 & Zune HD. But Windows Phone 7 is a new mobile platform with its own set of challenges.