Spy Chase, my Spy Hunter inspired arcade game, is motoring along and very nearly complete.
I finally got around to adding guns and missiles to the game which for me was a vital final piece of the game’s design. I think I balanced the action pretty well so that the player, with a little skill, can be the dominant force in the game.
I like to design my games based on a countering method to the obstacles and challenges.
From the outset the player faces the challenge of simply steering to remain on the road. At the head of the screen the player sees a radar. Before long it becomes apparent that the white blip is the player and the black blip is the target spy car.
Collecting flags increases the car’s speed such that steering becomes more of an issue. To avoid that becoming a breeze for the player I penalise him for hitting the road verges by a) slowing the car down and b) adding damage (reflected with a red damage bar).
This in itself is enough of a challenge to carry the game along a bit but I wanted a lot more early on.
So I added other cars to the road. Initially I intended to have the cars run the player off the road but ultimately I settled on having them as a distraction. The player can bump them from the road and earn a points bonus after each stage. It’s still a challenge just to bump them (or shoot them) from the road.
Finally I added a chopper which at set periods drops oil bombs on the road.
If the player collides with the oil his speed is reduced, the car spins and loses the missiles powerup if the player has collected it.
All in all there’s some high-speed fun to be had en route to actually capturing the spy.
Once the game is complete I’ll add some more detail to these design notes.
The game is designed with mobile devices in mind and has been tested on iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and HTC Desire.
Any feedback from other handset owners would be gratefully recieved ;-)
You can play the latest version here: http://www.wilfscorner.co.uk/sandpit/spyhunter/