Shatter Alley (iOS)

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Post: #1
Hey everyone,

Super happy to announce that the latest game I've been working on, Shatter Alley, is set to hit the App Store this Thursday, April 10!

Check out the trailer and let me know what you think:





It's inspired in a lot of ways by games like Breakout, Lumines, and Ikaruga. Development time was just under 6 months. It's my first new finished game since 2011 (jesus), and my first independent iOS project.

Fun fact: My first prototype of this game was back in 2003, and was originally going to be submitted to the uDevGames 2003 contest. I ended up not doing so because of the rule that games couldn't be shown before the start of the contest, and I had sent the app to one person. (And it crashed on launch.)

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Post: #2
Cool man, good luck! Looks like a pretty polished game, hope it does well!

How are you planning on media blitzing?

Alex
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(Apr 7, 2014 07:25 PM)EvolPenguin Wrote:  Cool man, good luck! Looks like a pretty polished game, hope it does well!

How are you planning on media blitzing?

Thanks man, I hope so too.

So the media blitz thus far:

Prior to today:
- Press Kit (http://dojotron.com/press)
- Websites (Dojotron, Shatter Alley)
- Trailers (the one above, plus an extended gameplay trailer with press info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5ppANljTrg)

Today:

- Emailed six iPhone gaming blogs
- Social media (personal twitter & FB, Dojotron has a FB page and a tumblr)
- Forum posts here and in TouchArcade

Tomorrow:

- Write/send out a press release via prMac
- Find a few more blogs to contact
- Throw some promo codes around on the social media thingys

Wednesday:

- Pray to the heathen gods

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Looking good! Nice to know you haven't dropped off the face of the planet too. You went silent a few months ago. Smile
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Thanks Seth! I've been mostly off the grid since last summer— combination of family issues and burning out on the 2.0 of Kung Fu Killforce— and for the last few months I've been off of social media completely (save for yesterday.)

It's been good though, allowed me to focus on creative stuff. Less talky, more makey gamey Rasp

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Post: #6
Looks awesome! Cool

I think Phil Hassey's Breakfinity is coming out on the 10th too, so should be a good week for brick break'n fans Smile

I prototyped an endless brick breaker last year and and seeing these is making me regret putting it on ice: https://vine.co/v/b3FzQ63PFpT
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Thanks dude! I'll have to check out Breakfinity as well.

I dig the prototype you have, are hexes dying when they're no longer connected to the top like Puzzle Bobble? That seems like a lot of fun.

I'll have to dig up the old code from 2003 and see if it still works. It was definitely a very different game at the time— multitouch wasn't a thing, obviously— so it used a paddle, had a different title ("Imminence") and a different art style. It felt more like Ambrosia's old game Pop-Pop. (Another big inspiration)

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Yup just like Puzzle Bobble. The drops/laser thing play a big part too but I stopped before really fleshing it out. Might get back to it later this year.

Good luck on the launch!
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Post: #9
Looks great! I love brick-bashers. Good luck with the release.
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Nice! The no-paddle concept sounds intriguing, do the balls bounce on the circular tap region or is the angle dependent on the horizontal distance to the tap center or...?
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They bounce on the circle. It works pretty well.

The game is more challenging than you might imagine. (Or exactly as challenging as you might expect from Fic. Smile )
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Been playing this lately on my phone. Fun game! I have only reached about 7 million. My strategy is basically to use as few balls as possible until necessary.
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Yeah. The strategy I found that works best is to do the bare minimum to prevent any balls from hitting the top and speeding it up. Though, once I get up to a certain score, I then start spewing more balls like mad and then try not to let them hit the bottom. Seems to work, but then I've only gotten up to mid 5 million. Wink
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Post: #14
Blink Holy crap, Justin. 45 million
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Post: #15
Thanks guys! Glad you dig it Smile

So the pr blitz was fairly fruitful. The game ended up being featured on Apple's "Best New Games" the week of release, and since then has been under "What We're Playing" in the Games section. And 10 million bricks broken globally in two weeks. It's not a blockbuster by any means but it'll keep rent paid for a little while longer. Pretty rad Smile

I'd recommend prMac and emailing gaming blogs to anyone— those seemed to give the most bang for their buck, time and effort-wise (and in that order.) Having a trailer and press kit ready helped as well.

(Apr 9, 2014 07:42 PM)PowerMacX Wrote:  Nice! The no-paddle concept sounds intriguing, do the balls bounce on the circular tap region or is the angle dependent on the horizontal distance to the tap center or...?

It actually IS more dependent on the horizontal distance from tap center, but done in such a way that the ball's new direction is equal to the vector from tap center to ball center except when they're super close together, which results in a direct upward hit instead of it shooting off wherever.

The strategy I use so far is very similar to Seth's. I start with only 1 ball. I MIGHT do 2 if I feel like I can match colors with both AND keep them from hitting the ceiling. You can miss on purpose to feed the bricks down to prevent ceiling hits, and also to set up some sweet combos. From there I only add a ball if a brick gets extremely low. I'll do this until I feel myself start to lose control, then I'll just go nuts and add like 10 balls and just try to keep them up as long as possible. (Half of that 45 mil came from lasting as long as possible after going nuts.)

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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