Archives for posts with tag: iphone

In an effort to appear less secretive and more identifiable, we’ve recorded interviews with each of the members of The Rotting Cartridge, so that the public can put faces to the magic. The first interview focuses (by his request) on J, the founder of TRC and really the creative genius behind the whole thing:

Stay tuned for a final trailer and release date on our first game/port, Kale In Dinoland, coming in February.

We’re still working on Kale in Dinoland! There’s a part of me that doesn’t believe it will ever be complete but… that’s nonsense. Here’s a more recent screenshot of a later area in the game:

Kale in Dinoland Screenshot

Kale’s sprite might still change at this point. Also if you noticed this game is a port of an old GameBoy game called “Kale in Dinoland”, but now that I’m looking at it I should explain that it does not perfectly emulate that experience because that would be boring. Nevertheless, I’ve tried to limit the design. Like some platformers of the day, Kale in Dinoland has doors that lead to single screen sub-levels containing a power-up or item.

Despite efforts to limit resources and pixel precision, there is undoubtedly a difference in screen real estate with the iPhone that heavily influences level design. For instance, a non-scrolling sub-level in the original is more square. In the iPhone version, I have from the top of the d-pad to the bottom of the health bar: in other words, super widescreen. So a lot of the levels focus on diagonal climbing (since looking for an enemy is the most optimal), almost none on downward progression, and the sub-levels reflect this extreme widescreen. I’ve had to cut some of the falling levels from the game.

The second difference, which I’ve tried to correct for the most part, is speed. In the screen above Kale is riding what I call a “Dog,” which can move horizontally pretty quickly. In GameBoy games, the character’s horizontal speed was capped much lower, so the limited level space could be maximized with enemies and obstacles. But I think the speed improvement will be welcomed by those that play it.

The last comparison is the save feature. Saving in the original Kale in Dinoland? Nonexistent. No save feature today? Almost nonexistent. So yes, Kale will have a save feature. But only as much as I believe GameBoy games would have saved — There are 6 areas in Kale in Dinoland, and after you finish one, your character returns to the world map and you are allowed to save. Meaning, manual saving. I’m still not sure (maybe it’ll be automatic?), but it will definitely only be after you beat an area.

In order to progress through Dinoland, you must beat an entire Area before you can save. Don’t worry, they aren’t that long. But they aren’t that short either. This also means individual levels aren’t selectable, because fitting multiple level select screens and a save feature for 50+ levels on top of a 6-area world map is not realistic to the GameBoy’s capacity.

At any rate, don’t take the ‘original GameBoy platformer’ out of proportion – it is heavily influenced by the original game, but I cannot deny that there are differences.

We finished the main five bosses! ^__^ Now there’s just some tweaking and playtesting to do, and then I have to go back to designing levels and enemies for the Arctic, Grassland, Volcano and Mansion worlds.


The jungle levels are completed! Right now I’m just working on adding the background and other details. After this I have to finish the Grassland world levels, start the Arctic world and possibly cut the Volcano world? Then there’s a bunch of playtesting on the Grassland and Jungle worlds to nail down the difficulty.


Since the last post I’ve fixed a lot of the bugs that came with going completely underwater, and now the first 3 levels of the Resort World are complete! I’ve got 3 more levels to go, then the boss, and then on to testing to make sure the difficulty isn’t too high. Also, the graphics will need some more oomph, so once all the levels are pretty much set in stone I’ll go back and add the finishing touches.

Today I take a look at Chillingo’s latest game, Storm in a Teacup for the iPhone, which goes for 99 cents on the App Store.

Storm in a Teacup is a physics-based platformer (what a surprise from the creators of Angry Birds) with polished graphics and sound design. In terms of art direction, the game tries its hardest to feel stylistically whole, but the style feels a bit off, like the game was thrown together in Photoshop. Plus, there’s annoying stickers everywhere, presumably desperate attempts at subliminally teasing the player into collecting more trinkets. In addition, if you take a look at the player’s character you’ll see it isn’t very consistent with the rest of the game. Here’s the low-down:

What to Like:

  • Physics puzzles
  • Smooth gameplay
  • Cuteness
  • Simplicity
  • Perfect for perfectionists
  • 99 CENTS MAN!!

What to Dislike:

  • Simple physics puzzles
  • Relies on pixel-perfect jumps a little too much
  • Cuteness
  • Conflicting art style
  • No story

While it was fun while it lasted, physics platformers are getting a little stale as of late. Chillingo seems to be experimenting here, just releasing small games with undeveloped (almost alpha-level) art styles in a search for the next Angry Birds.

The Rotting Cartridge gives Storm in a Teacup a THREE…. out of five.

So we’re developing a game, tentatively called “Kale in Dinoland”. (In case you noticed, yes, it is a port of the original game ^^) The game is being developed for the iPhone, and is developed to look and play like its old GameBoy counterpart. Today I worked on redrawing a tileset for Resort (water) levels in the game, and added swimming effects (but no swimming animations yet).

Tonight I’m going to work on another world tileset (there are 6 worlds in all). Here is a comprehensive list of all the things we need to do before completion:

  • Create swimming sprites for the player
  • Add the water channel vents that push/pull the player underwater
  • Implement the two fish enemies and their motions (urchins are already done)
  • Finish the rest of the enemies
  • Finish the rest of the tilesets and their environmental variables
  • Test how the enemies and environment all function together; make adjustments (check moving platforms!!)
  • With all the tools in place, develop/refine levels (the fun part)
  • Refine world screen, saving, menus, and other UI presentation-based stuff
  • Market game
  • Play-test, play-test, play-test… go back three bulletpoints
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