I always want to write something about the process of making Space Qube but can't find time to do it. I uploaded few interesting videos today for an interview so I decided to write something today otherwise I probably will never do it :)
Stage 1, Prototype
At the very beginning, I was working on the prototype using my spare time when I was working for AMD. I created the voxel editor first then I though it would be cool if I use it to make a shooting game. I choose space as background because the performance of rendering a lot of voxels on iPhone 4 was not acceptable. So I came up the idea to use space as the background then I can avoid rendering a lot of voxels :)
The original idea is making a super simple endless game in short time because I didn't think I will be an indie at that moment, I just wanted to make a iOS game after work. The original gameplay is that the player just shoot and try not to collide the enemies. The enemies will try to hit the player and the speed of game becomes faster and faster until the player die.
The editor and gameplay prototype
Stage 2, Mock-up
After having the prototype, I thought I will need an artist to help me out. So I asked my old friend, Bic, to help me out. He also had a full-time job so he can only use his spare time to help me. At that time, I thought the casual art style should fit to our gameplay. So I captured few textures from Angry Birds Space to mock the game. The background layer system was pretty much done at this stage.
Mock-up game using the textures from Angry Birds Space
Stage 3, Pre-Alpha
Then Bic made the textures according to my idea to replace the mock-up textures. The god-ray post-processing effect has been added to the game at this stage because iPad2 is powerful enough to render this effect. I was thinking 8-bits casual art style is a perfect match to Space Qube but I think I was wrong when looking back now :)
The original art direction tried to emphasize the 8-bits pixel art
Stage 4, Alpha
At this stage, I was still working for AMD but Louis just quitted his full-time job to go indie. Louis knew I was working on Space Qube for a while but he can't help me out since he was busy. Now he had time to help me out. So we started working together on Space Qube and I also decided to quit my full-time job to focus on making Space Qube. After Louis joined, he made a big change on the art direction. The result is the current Space Qube and I think he made a good decision on the art direction and lift Space Qube to a higher level. At that time, we already had the idea of adding bosses at the end of each level but I didn't implement it yet.
Big art direction change after Louis joined
That's pretty much the evolving process of Space Qube and the game actually changed a lot since the first prototype as we keep polishing it. I actually didn't know we can walk so far when making the prototype but we did it. Although Space Qube is not perfect but I think we have done all our best to polish it as much as possible. It is really interesting when looking back the whole evolving process. We also learned many things during this period and it should help us to make a better game in the future. I also didn't know I will become an indie so quickly when making the prototype but I was very happy about being an indie so far and hopefully I will be happy about being an indie forever :)
Hello everybody, today I am going o share you some improvements of the gameplay since we made a lot of changes after the open beta. We collected some numbers fromm the players so we adjusted and changed many many thing according to the feedback from the players.
1. Qube system. We created a new Qube system and you can think it's a in-game currency. So the players can use Qubes to create their own space ship, they can also use Qubes to upgrade their weapons or buy other itms. The most interesting part is that now the players can create space ships with different attributes. Before open beta, the player created space ships only have appearance difference but now all player created space ships are not only different in appearance but also in attributes. So the less Qubes the players use to create the space ship, the faster but weaker the space ship will be and vise versa. So every player can create a unique space ship which is the best fit to the player.
2. The game is totally free now. Since we decided to use Qube system in game, we also decided to change the game to a total free to play game. So you can play all levels for free! You can earn Qubes by playing game then use the Qubes to create more space ships or upgrade your space ships. Of course if you don't have time to earn Qubes in the game, you can buy some Qubes in our store
3. Weapon upgrade system. The most exciting changes we made is the whole new weapon upgrade system. In Space Qube, there are three different weapon power-ups you are able to use: bullet+, laser and missile. Now all of those weapons can be upgraded. For example, the first level missile can fire only 2 missiles at one time but the level 4 missile can allow you to fire 8 missiles at one time! It's very interesting to see your space ship to fire so many missiles and destroy the enemies like crazy
Here is a video which basically shows off all the changes we made so check it out. We are welcome to any feedback, even we can't add it to the first build but we can always add it to the updates.
We just printed out few more Space Qube bosses and they look awesome! We sent out the order directly from Space Qube and the models shipped directly to my home, it's so convenient and fun. We probably will print out more models after submitting the game, it's just around the corner.
If you are also interested in creating your own voxel toys, don't forget to give Space Qube a try when it's released and it's totally free.
Good news! We just sent the final build to QA team and after this build pass the QA process, it will be submitted to Apple! We have scheduled it around mid June. We will launch the game in Canada, Taiwan and Finland first to test and tune the gameplay then launch it globally. So you may need to wait a little longer if you are not in these 3 countries, but we will do our best to launch it globally as soon as we can.
We did a lot of changes on gameplay since open beta, we will share those changes later.