I’ve been toying with the idea of a new version of Star Fusion for quite some time. It was the first iPhone game I created (over a year ago) and, despite its simplicity, I still really like it (A slightly biased opinion I know). I always felt that its core mechanics were solid but that it didn’t quite hit the rights notes with its overall polish and depth.
For those of you not familiar with the original Star Fusion, here’s what its all about…
Star Fusion is a simple arcade game in which you control the Sun by dragging it along the y-axis. Stars move towards you from the right of the screen at varying speeds. In addition to the Sun you also control a thermometer which has a numeric heat value attached to it. Each of the stars also have a numeric value attached to them. Your aim is to collect the stars by matching the value of the thermometer with the numeric value of the star at the moment it touches the Sun.
There are a number of other details that help keep things interesting. For instance, you can double tap the Sun to cause any stars in your direct horizontal path to accelerate towards you. There are also time and score multiplier power-ups to be collected. Games last 2 minutes and are dynamically controlled so that no two games are the same.
(You can try the original Star Fusion at no cost. Details at the end of this post)
If you’ve read my blog or seen my tweets, you’ll know that I’m currently in full flow on my 3rd game which is proving to be an extremely lengthy, uncomfortable project (There’s a chance it may not see the light of day in its current form – more on that shortly). With all this work, and limited time, I had metaphorically pushed Star Fusion under the bed until next year.
So, you know how it is, I was developing away on my new game, making good progress but decided I needed a short break for coffee (Grinding your own beans with a vintage hand coffee grinder and taking the time to get the Espresso just right means that this “short break” is actually fairly lengthy ;-)). For some reason during said coffee break, Star Fusion popped back into my head and I wondered how easy it would be to port it to the iPad. A couple of hours later I had a basic shell working but held off implementing any of the game logic. This was great fun, I was having a blast working on Star Fusion again but I wanted to do it justice. I didn’t just want to port Star Fusion over to the iPad as it is, I wanted to make it better.
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to release Star Fusion HD with a completely reworked engine and a number of new additions and improvements that suit the iPad platform. I’ve already put a decent number of hours into it and expect it to take no more than a few months to complete (during my spare time).
So what’s going to be new in Star Fusion HD? Here’s my hit list…
1) A graphical overhaul with some nifty particle effects
2) The game will change from a time based system to a dynamic, endless, wave system (I may add additional modes in the future)
3) New power-ups (and a new way to collect them)
4) Lots of star types with vastly different appearances (unlocked as you progress through waves and viewable in the planetarium)
5) Open Feint integration for leaderboards and achievements
6) A chain system for reaching higher scores
The game is still very much a work in progress but I’d like you to see it anyway. Check out the screenshots below.
Oh and just for you, my dear readership, I’ve made the original Star Fusion for the iPhone free for a few days. Its not a marketing stunt but I would like you to download it and see what you think. Please leave your comments here, they will help influence the features of Star Fusion HD.