DevLog: Captain Backwater
April 3, 2011
NEW: Follow the mighty pirate @CptBackwater on twitter!
Emmanuel had the idea for the game quite some years ago. During this time I started my new job at gameforge and I stopped development.
Later, during my spare time I started to work on a version for Nintendo DS. When it was nearly finished, I contacted several DS Publishers. Although they loved the game, most publisher told me, that the market for DS is flooded and they don’t want to publish games for DS without big licences. Indeed JoWood was the only publisher that was interested, but they went bankrupt.
Because I really loved the concept and Emmanuel’s graphics, we decided to reanimate our old idea and bring it to Mac OS, Linux and Windows (this way we can offer it for download, without the need for a publisher). We started to work on it at the begin of 2011.
The gear behind
For the Mac OS, Linux and Windows versions I decided to use BlitzMax and my own (free) Horizon-Framework. BlitzMax is an easy-to-use yet very powerful programming language. We are also using TimelineFX – a great particle editor/engine to do all those fancy effects.
Emmanuel and I are also talking about an iPhone/iPad/Android version from time to time, but we haven’t decided yet. Probably if people like the PC-Version we’ll make a decision.
For the graphics, Emmanuel uses pencils, Lightwave3D and Photoshop. As you can see from the screenshots, he does a great job on the graphics.
I will do the whole soundtrack for Backwater in my home studio with lots of external synths and effect units as well as VST-Instruments and Audio-Units. Everything is controlled by Renoise – a great music tracker/sequencer.
Is it just another puzzle / match-3-game?
When you have a look at the screenshots, you might think it’s just another match-3 game or something like that. But that’s not true. The gameplay is very different. The basic rules are simple, but it will get very challenging during the later levels. We have also a lot of different special items implemented already, like the teleporter, the skull, the holy gray, the dancing monkey and much, much more.
When is it done?
We do the project in our spare time, so we won’t announce a release date. We want to do our perfect puzzle game, so if we need more time, we’ll take it. I work a lot on small details, which slows down development a little bit, but the results are great so far. Also, we have a very agile development process: If we have a new idea, we’ll try it and if we like it we’ll keep it in. If we are bored of Backwater, we’ll do other stuff. We don’t want to force ourselves to get work done. I think this will ensure, that the final game will be of great quality.
I will probably release a free work-in-progress download if enough people are interested in it. And if you like it you can probably give us feedback, suggestions or ideas for new features we haven’t thought of yet.
Keep me up to date
Here are some more resources for you, if you want to keep informed about development on Backwater:
(last update: April, 3rd, 2011)
Basic gameplay, ingame gui, level-editor, level format (save/load routines), secret coins, game event system, dialogs, tutorial system, particle system, teleporters, undo/restart buttons, talking Backwater avatar, bones, holy grail, dancing monkey/bananas, arrows, skull (bomb), blur of color, score system / balancing, dynamite, player profiles, auto save, hammer, ice block, paint brush, rotation arrow, stop sign, ingame message system, all level- and bonus-level-design, …
Features left to do:
polish level complete stats, final testing