All has been quiet on the Phanatix front for some time, and I’m overdue for a progress update. We’ve been working our butts off on new features for Swift to make it the best scrolling shooter game possible for mobile devices. Being a mere two-person team, progress has been slow, but I’m happy with the new features and changes we’ve made based on feedback from our testers (a.k.a. friends and family).
First on the list of new features is the ability to fire bullets continuously while holding your finger down on the screen. This probably should have been in the game from the start, but some people use the press and hold gesture for movement (not shooting), and it became an annoyance when you wanted to strategize how to make the most of your bonuses for extra high scores. So I took some time to work in a balance between both play styles to suit the needs of people who prefer one or the other.
Next, we thoroughly went through all the art to see what needed to be improved upon, either for aesthetic reasons or to make game easier to understand. Some testers were having problems understanding what to tap on, so we had to redo a few things to clarify what you want to tap. We also gave the user interface a makeover, with nice new numbers that are all shiny and animated. Swift also has all of its sound effects and music in it, which really adds to the overall experience.
A number of other less glamorous features have been added, such as the ability to scale to just about any screen resolution and aspect ratio imaginable and a better introductory tutorial system that won’t bore you to death. They’re important things that you probably won’t even notice when you play the game, but I’m sure you’ll be glad I took the time to do them right.
What’s next on our list of things to accomplish? We’re winding our way down on the list of features that still need to be added, and next up for me will be balancing the difficulty modes. No matter what kind of gamer you are, there will be a comfortable level for you to play. After that, I’ll be adding in the ability to save high scores and preference settings so that the game will remember exactly where you left off the last time you played it. And of course fixing bugs, bugs, and more bugs; you can’t have software development without its share of glitches, freezes, crashes, and other unpleasantries, all of which need to be gone before we share our game with the world.
So that’s where we’re at in our development schedule. I’m continuously working nonstop night and day to make Swift the perfect mobile game.