PlayStation Mobile Developer Interview: Castle Invasion
Not every game is made by a group of game industry veterans. For example take Castle Invasion, a game recently released on PlayStation Mobile, which was made by one guy in his spare time when not studying hard at university. I thought it would be interesting to see what his experience was like with PSM. So I got the chance to as David Ward a few questions about Castle Invasion.
Q: What is Castle Invasion?
It’s a defence game where you fight back enemies to stop them from reaching your castle. You control an archer on the left side of the screen who shoots at the invaders coming from the right. In its design the game doesn’t take itself too seriously with most of the graphics drawn to look comical.
The game started off last year as a university project and later was used as a demo on PSM to help me learn the platform. From then on it became a hobby to add new features and after a while started looking like it was ready to share.
Q: How does the game progress?
Throughout the game more enemies are introduced and more weapons unlocked. The levels become progressively harder, with some pretty mean levels towards the end that throw everything available at you without making it unfair.
Q: What kinds of waves can we expect to see?
There are 6 enemy types in the game, each being introduced as you advance. Each round places attackers in various formations to try and put the pressure on. Higher levels require more strategy with greater enemy numbers, enemy types and more available weapons.
Q: Did you how do you handle the player input?
Touch, buttons and the analogue stick can move the player. The variety is mainly to allow phone users to find something they are comfortable with. I was playing with the idea of input being decided by the difficulty level and having accelerometer as the hardest. However, in the end it’s better to let the player choose.
Q: Do you weapons constantly upgrade or do you have to switch weapons to take down certain enemies?
There are 3 types of weapons: arrows, spears and crossbow bolts. Arrows are available from the start and are a common way to take down invaders. Spears are unlocked first and can do 3 times the damage, but are slow and not great against smaller foes. Next, crossbow bolts are unlocked and exchange quality for quantity, letting the player spray enemies with low power projectiles. Weapons can’t be upgraded, although there are special levels that try to differ how they are used.
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Q: What made you decide to release the game at its current price point?
£0.40/$0.49 is the lowest on PSM. I wanted as many people to play the game as possible and having that price is enough to catch their attention. As a student and not a studio, I was excited just to be releasing on the platform and wasn’t really looking to make money.
Q: Do you have any plans to patch or update the game?
There was a feature that I was keen to develop, but didn’t have the time. This is to drag and drop enemies on a grid in a “create your own level” mode. I would like to add more enemies, weapons and levels in the future if there is enough interest for it.
Q: What made you want to release a game on PSM?
After recently buying a Vita and having had PlayStations for years, I was really excited to get some of my code running on a PS device. As the platform is fairly new, publishing a game on it gives it a reasonable chance to be noticed especially given the coverage by websites such as this.
Q: How was it working with the tools?
Although being a computer science student I haven’t been taught many game development techniques. Luckily there are lots of demos to show off all the features of PSM with C# being easy to use. There are still some annoying bugs in the testing and publishing processes, but neither would put me off the platform for developing a second game.
Q: Anything you want our readers to know?
Thanks if you’ve bought the game and I hope you have fun playing. I’d like to hear what people have thought about it and what improvements/new content they would like. I’ll keep an eye on the comments.
Thanks again to David for answering our questions. You can check out Castle Invasion on PlayStation Mobile from either Vita or select PlayStation Certified Devices.