Space Cropper is a flash game I made a couple of years ago. It is a Qix/Volfied genre of game where you have to reclaim a certain percentage of the surface of the map to complete it. I made it in the spirit of the old “arcade” game with the graphics (mostly taken from Daniel Cook @ lostgarden.com), the music and the game play which is quite dynamic. You will find lots of different monsters and bosses with unique abilities that will give you a really hard time to complete each of the 20 levels.
Aliens have taken our Earth. Take it back and kill them in the process.
Play Space Cropper on Newgrounds ! (couple good reviews over there :))
A teaser of the game I made back then
The development of the game
The development of this game actually goes back to 2010 and probably even before. I was looking for a simple game to develop and put it online to see how it goes. I found Qix and I thought: “this would be easy to do !”.
Of course it wasn’t. And for several reasons.
The first reason
And the one that would actually make this whole trip a very long one is that I like and I need to do things by myself. I’m one of those people that will just take 10 times the time to do something that has already been done thousand of times, simply to understand it. And probably for other reasons.
It’s funny because as frustrating it can be for me, it also fills me with joy and a little bit of pride when I dare to accept it.
It’s frustrating because I know that there are lots of people that will get the job done much more quickly by not worrying too much about understanding and/or controlling everything about what they do.
And it fills me with joy because it opens my vision/perspective I have about things.
The second reason
I lose interest pretty quickly. Once I understand something, I just lose interest and need to do something else. Of course, the development of this game didn’t last years. I started with the collision system, then stopped when I got that right. Then a couple of months later, I would come back to it and add new things, sometimes rewriting a whole part of the game because of what I learned during that time. And so on…
Now that I look at it, I see there are lots of things that I could have done much better, but still, I find it a nice piece of work.
The third reason
I like to have fun and not necessarily have a final product that will be played by people.
So I developed many different monsters to try different mechanics. I actually had fun doing so. A couple of them didn’t make it in this release, for example this boss that fires lightnings (see that post to understand how it is done) and tries to capture and kill you by slowly moving towards you.
It’s a really nice one I think, actually my favorite but I chose, maybe for the worst, not to add it to this version as I thought, at that time that I would make a sequel to that game. The background is also different, probably better 🙂 but after some time I got tired of trying different things and not being happy with.
Also the music took me a lot of time to make. I don’t know how many different versions I have of the soundtrack but I surely have enough material to make 10 different soundtracks.
And when everything is done, you need to make levels… that also took me a while, just to start making them. I just had more fun trying different things than actually making them final. Also I have a hard time deciding if something is good enough or not for a final version. I’m still not happy with all the levels in the game (especially the tutorials). One of the reasons is that I didn’t want to show everything in just a couple of levels and make the discovery last longer. Maybe that was a bad idea. I don’t know.
The fourth and last reason
Releasing the game and present it to people is something very exciting and scary. What if nobody pays attention to it ? what if people don’t like it ?… when you make a game, one of it’s main purpose is to entertain people and make them live something. If it doesn’t reach that goal, then I would be very disappointed and sad.
So yeah, that last reason made me keep this game in my boxes for another period of time… I don’t even know if it’s a game that people would want to play now.
In the mean time
I left it on FGL.com for a couple of months, if not more than a year I think. I got a pretty good score (8/10, editor’s rating). Even some of my friends tried it. Some liked it to the point of finishing it in less than 3 hours without pause, some liked it but it just wasn’t their cup of tea. I then got some offers for sponsoring but found that the time and efforts were too much for the money that I could make that way. So I finally decided to release it on Kongregate as is.
That’s it, I could write tons of things about the development of that game, what I learned and how, but here are the final words for this post: I had a really great time making it and playing it, hope you like it !