Archive for the ‘Tripolar’ Category

A Buffet of Thoughts

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

I know I’m probably unknown to most of you so I wanted to do an intro post but with the two week rotation of iDevBlogADay I feel like it would be a bit unfulfilling. So what I’ve decided to do is well… both. The first half of this entry is going to be about me and Angry Fish Studios. The second half is going to be about using Illustrator’s Recolor Artwork feature. Let’s dive right in.

Angry Fish & Me

Who am I?

Well, my name is Alex and along with my long time friend Joe I started Angry Fish Studios. Our goal is quite simply to make games we want to play. We both work other full-time jobs so development can take a backseat sometimes. It’s pretty easy for it to grind to a halt when life gets busy especially if you’re like me and like to have a nice big chunk of time to really get into stuff. We try to maximize our time when we do devote time to it there are a few ways you can help doing that. Make lists of concrete tasks, by keeping a list of very specific tasks it makes it easier to focus on what you need to do and knock stuff out. When we were nearing the first release of Tripolar we had a one column list on a whiteboard. By the time we crossed out 90% of that column we had a second, and by the time we crossed out 90% of that one we had a third. It really gave a sense of progress and helped us keep focused with what needed to be done for release. It’s easy to say “I need to do the settings screen” but what does that really entail? It’s much more useful to write down specific tasks like “Add settings button to the main menu”, “Make spring/summer/fall/winter theme icons” and etc. It certainly gives you a much better approximation of how long it’s actually going to take to finish.

What do I do?

I do all the art and graphics for Angry Fish Studios, including this website. I also work primarily on the game design and do some programming. On my new solo project I’ll be doing everything! I’m a true jack of all trades in that I’m also a master of none, I do my best but I’m constantly learning and by no means should you take anything I say as gospel. Be sure to check out our 100% factual bios on the About page.


We released our first game Tripolar back in October of ’10, so somewhat recently. You probably haven’t heard of it and well the truth is we didn’t do too much of a push on it. You shoot gems at the board hitting a 3×3 area which clears any gems of the same color as the shooter and swaps the other gems. It’s a somewhat simple mechanic thats easy to learn but hard to master. By the time we released it we already had some pretty major plans for an update for it including: new mechanics, a new play mode, game center, achievements, a whole ton of puzzle levels, an iPad version and a free version. Part of the reason we didn’t push on it is we realized pretty quickly that we wanted to get a free version out there. There wasn’t a great way to divide the current release into a free version while really showing it off so we decided to wait for the update. That being said I’m still really happy with the first release of Tripolar. I’ve always admired things that look really polished and professional and I feel we accomplished that. For the first game I’ve ever really made it’s something I can say I’m proud of.

So lets talk about this update. I can’t give any definite timelines because, as I said, work on it is sporadic but Joe and I are working on it as often as we can. I’m really excited about it because while I think Tripolar’s first release was a solid foundation this update will really expand upon that. There’s going to be several new gem types and shooters which is going to be a blast for puzzle mode. I think puzzle mode is really one of its strengths and something we didn’t devote enough to the first time around so this time there’s going to be a plethora of new levels. Below are a few screenshots showing some of the new features from the update. For now you’ll just have to guess how they work though :)

Mitch Digger

First thing’s first, don’t get too attached to the name because it’s just a codename until I think of a real name. (Fun fact: Mitch Digger comes from the game Dokapon Kingdom, an obscure but great wii/ps2 game, check it out if you’ve never heard of it.)

Mitch digger is a side scrolling platformer,

Picture Dig-Dug.

Got it?

Ok now forget about Dig-Dug because other than the view it’s nothing like that. There’s a couple ideas I want to explore through this game, mainly the idea that not every platformer needs to be about combat. The main goal is to explore levels by drilling through the earth and finding valuables. Sure there will be enemies but Mitch isn’t a fighter, they can be dealt with in other ways like making a little ditch for them to fall into. There will be lots of things to buy and upgrade with all the money you get from the ore you find, in fact you’ll have to. As you dig further down the earth gets tougher, you use more oxygen, and it gets darker.

The other interesting aspect of the game is that inspired by our beloved @MysteryCoconut I’m planning on making the game using only UIKit and CoreAnimation. I might break down halfway through and use openGL but so far it’s looking possible. There really will only be a few animated sprites on the screen at any given time and by using good MVC practices it should be pretty doable. Below is the first “screenshot” from the game with some placeholder graphics. I’m guessing a lot of my blogging will be related to the development of this game.

Ok so now that we’re best friends lets get to the meat of this post.


Plans for the New Year!

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

It’s been a while since this blog has been updated! It seems I start most blog entries with that… but this time there’s an excuse. I’ve been trying to save any ideas for blog updates for when my turn on iDevBlogADay comes around. If you have any interest in iPhone development be sure to check it out!

Joe and I are both very busy right now but we’re working on a major update for Tripolar. Nothing is final but the update will contain: New blocks, new shooters, a new game mode, achievements, online leaderboards and best of all a whole slew of new puzzle levels!

In the meantime here’s a sneak peak:


Winter Theme Change

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Even though the first screen shots were posted but a few days ago I’ve already gone and changed some stuff.  The winter theme got a higher contrast background (and it goes better with the music). Out with the old, in with the new!


Monday, June 28th, 2010

The game is certainly getting close to release, in the mean time here’s some screenshots of the main menu and the timed mode with the different themes!

It’s Been A While Already

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

It feels like just yesterday this site was created, and already it almost feels neglected. Well the good news is I can assure you that the reason for the lack of updates is because we’ve been spending all our free time working on Tripolar. It’s getting close now, unfortunately I know there’s nothing to show for it on the games page yet.  All in good time!

One of my next goals is creating the tutorial or “how to play” video in the game. Once that’s done I swear it will be up here. I really just don’t want to post still images without some sort of video to go along with it so there won’t be any confusing as to how to game plays.