Friday, 10 October 2014

My new project, Horizon Shift

Some pointless back story
I still vividly remember the first time I came in contact with video games, it was around 1987 or 1988 in the tiny, Smokey, sticky floored arcade room of Butlins in Bognor Regis.

I was given £1 to leave my parents alone, which somehow lasted me about an hour.

The cacophony of 8 bit noise and the intense flashing lights were irresistible to a 7 year old boy.

I wandered around that small room for about 20 minutes before I settle on my first game, 1942 (I had chosen pole position but the steering wheel was buggered).
I didn’t last particularly long, but it was awesome! It wouldn't have mattered what game I was playing, I would have loved it. The clicking sound of the joystick and the feel of mashing buttons with my middle finger had me hooked, admittedly it probably helped that 1942 is amazing.

About a year later I was passed down an Amstrad CPC 464 from my older sister, such a good day!

After spending about a six months of playing any game I could get my hands on I decided I wanted to make my own games.

I think I was 9 when I started coding,  just making little adventure games and countless attempts at football management sims, but what I really wanted to do was replicate that feeling I had when I first played 1942 in that Smokey  room in Bogner.

Well that feeling never really went away and that brings me onto my new project, Horizon Shift.

I’ve made a couple of arcade shooters in the past but I really want this game to feel authentic, like it’s a re-master of an old 80’s arcade game but still have original gameplay and feel new.

Photo: Well this is just friggin' awesome!!!!These are the part for my Horizon Shift arcade cabinet.I'm making a full blown arcade game!
So I figured the best way to keep an authentic feel was to make my own bartop arcade cabinet and using that as my lead platform.
Of course there will be concession for gamepad and keyboard players but the game will really be developed with arcade control in mind.

I’m hoping when the game is complete that I will be able to consider ‘Mini Arcade Cabinet’ as an available format, admittedly it will be about £800 more than the PC version but still there as an option.

About the actual game
As mentioned above Horizon Shift will be a new take on the classic arcade shooter, it’s not a bullet hell or twin stick shooter but more an uppey downey shooty thing.

Basically your ship will patrol a line in the middle of the screen whilst enemies attack from the top and bottom of the screen. You have to switch between shooting up and shooting down to protect your line.

The enemies are divided into 3 groups, the Runners (Red), the destroyers (Blue) and the Shooters (Green).

The runners are the most useful enemies; if they reach your line they will run up and down it and destroy you if you are hit. However the more runners that are on your line the higher your score multiplier. Higher score = extra lives.

Destroyers should be your priority, they will smash up your line on contact, giving you less room to move and more chance to fall into oblivion. There are also rare SOLID Destroyers which will destroy your line with one hit.

The shooter is just that, enemies that shoot…the end.

I’m looking to have about 50 waves in total, plus boss battles and bonus levels.

Similar to my earlier game, Pester, there will be a selection unlockable game modes, such as arcade, survival, time attack, etc…

As for the music I’m very happy to have Jason Heine on board, his thumping upbeat chiptune style really feel right for the game. The OST will be available separately.

I’ve got a good feeling about this game, so far nothing I’ve made before has come together quite as well as Horizon Shift is. So far everything is clicking nicely into place, now I’ve just got to make sure I don’t f**k it up!
I will hopefully be returning shortly to add a gameplay vid more news :)
Thanks for reading!

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