Saturday, March 04, 2017


In a previous blog post titled Gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away I wrote about knowing when to stop working on a project.

It's okay to step back and focus on something else and not feel the pressure of having to see a project through to completion. There's no shame in shelving a project until the conditions are right.

Last year I shelved a 2D endless runner I was working on. It didn't quite have the appeal I was hoping for, and despite being 90% done I couldn't see a way that I could really improve it.

Well, thanks to some down time from Billy Carts during the holiday vacation, I had the chance to go back to the project and try out some ideas that had been percolating in the back of my mind.  I had recently relaunched Snappy Word so that it worked with iMessage. Being able to play inside the iMessage app added a lot to the simple word game. I thought about doing the same with the endless runner so decided to use the time to try it out.

Ultra Dash running in iMessage
Being able to challenge a friend with iMessage added that something that was missing. However, I decided to do some more reworking of the core game with the intent of making it a lot simpler.

I pared down the user interface by combining the character selection screen with the main menu. I  removed all English language text replacing everything with universal icons. I removed the earn coins functionality and the random prize boxes, as well as the share functionality. Because it's an iMessage app this is how I want people to share.

Main Screen/Player Select

I also stripped out some unnecessary collectables and objectives paring the game down into a straightforward score chaser.

I ended up keeping the original programmer-art graphics because, well, they've grown on me.  Billy Carts has amazing 3D art and because this is probably my last 2D game I might as well make it as personal as possible :-)

The game will be launching soon on iOS and now it's time for me to get back to Billy Carts - so expect some more 3D game goodness blog posts soon!


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