Some brief insight in to my new HTML5 game Spy Chase

Development on my “Spy Hunter” game is progressing at a rapid rate. I actually call the game Spy Chase and the player adopts the role of law enforcement on the hunt for foreign spies. It’s a high speed chase through several different environments and even includes a night section where the car’s headlights come on ! I’m pretty thrilled by it.

Spy Chase
Spy Chase back-end

It’s important for me to keep up the pace in the game since the real thrill is in closing in on the enemy. As the radar blips move closer together the enemy slowly comes in to view. When the blips collide you have captured the spy !
The more spies you capture the greater your score. That’s pretty much the size of it.

What I’m really interested in is the mechanics of the chase.

Since it’s vital for me to maintain a sense of speed with the chase I’ve been careful not to litter the road with too many obstacles. Here’s how it currently works.

Player collects flags to increase the speed of the car. The more flags the faster the road speed.
Player can also ride over a speed strip and achieve a short speed boost.

To counter the boosts I placed a couple of obstacles – an oil slick and a balloon. (I was short of inspiration that day !)

The oil slick spins the car without any control allowed from the player and resets the road speed to the default.
The balloon merely bumps the car and slows it temporarily.

Of course hitting the roadside verge also temporarily slows the car down.

This game is currently aimed purely at mobile devices so the touch screen is the only input. I’ve positioned the car about 1/3 up from the base of the screen so that the player can slide his finger left and right beneath the car without obscuring it. I think the effect is pretty tidy.

Link to follow.

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  • Cody  On December 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    When I first glanced at the thumbnail of the screenshot, I thought a smaller vehicle was running over a giant bunny. Don’t worry though, the actual screenshot looks really good. ;-) Bunny Masher 3000!

    I hope you’re able to put some weather effect on the screen, like rain and such. That would be pretty sweet! Some racing games had a rain stage, snow stage, a night stage, etc. Food for thought.

    Kind of an unrelated question. I noticed that you develop for the iPhone. Any thoughts on the Android phones? I’m leaning a bit towards that one at the moment for my next phone purchase, but I’m ultimately undecided.

  • markw1970  On December 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Haha. It’s funny how you never see these things when you’re drawing them ! Bunny Masher 3000 could work ;)

    I always loved the transition from road to ice and snow in Spy Hunter. It’s pretty much a defining moment for me in gaming. The action and music had propelled me to that point so it was awesome to see the environment change aswell.

    It sounds a bit pretentious but I remember George Lucas being asked many years ago how he manages to keep the pace up in his Star Wars (the original 3) movies and he simply replied “I change the environments”. It’s amazing how a completely fresh view can provide such a lot to a gamer.
    I’m still trying to work out the look and feel of the game.

    I targetted iPhone specifically because a) we have an iPod Touch in the house and b) I read the Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS and JavaScript book. It really opened my eyes to mobile development.
    But I love Android. I have an HTC Desire HD on order just now and can’t wait to get things running on there.

    Thanks to some good fortune with an online games competition I also managed to splash out on an iPad. So I’m pretty excited about seeing how far I can push each device with native web technologies in terms of games :-)

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