Just Stumbled Across a Great New Title!

  Retro Space Ball

I got this photo from the game's page, so I do not claim this image.

I found a brand new game today! Retro space ball. I'll be sure to link the game. I got a chance to speak with the developer and he gave me a great insider's perspective so here you go:

"I grew up playing video games with a strong interest in breaking/hacking games and exploiting glitches. Before college I had already started producing audio and animating 2D art digitally, and had a very good handle on fine art. I studied 3D art at The American Academy of Art in Chicago, commuting by train, but graduated shortly after the 2008 recession and could not get hired in the field. I taught myself to program, along with many other aspects of game development. I spent over ten years prototyping and learning, all while living in a somewhat rustic and dilapidated cottage in the woods with very limited internet access. Since I could only use 200 MB a day before being throttled to below dial-up speeds, I would travel to reliable internet and download tutorials in bulk. I really had no clue when I pushed myself outside of my art comfort zone. I was just grasping at straws and spinning my wheels, jumping from one clue to the next to try to figure out what then seemed like some mystical form of sorcery. I went from XNA to GameMaker to Unity, with much experimentation using other engines and languages in between. When I finally was introduced to Unity in 2013 I was able to make a simple prototype the first time I sat down with the software. It was a perfect fit!

Though the initial idea came to me and found its way into my notebook in 2013, in November of 2017 I began the development of Retro Space Ball as a fully solo endeavor. The project was actually born from the ashes of another space shooter solo project of mine called Destruction of the Heavens that I shelved for various reasons, mainly because it was painfully over-scoped, but also because the language it was written in (unityscript) had been deprecated. I took many of the lessons I learned during the 4 years spent on DotH and put them to good use in RSB.

The plan was to try to make a game that could be completed within few months, knowing that things would come up and it would actually take much longer. When I started RSB I was recently unemployed, recently single, and recently relocated. I spent 2 months working 20 hour days, developing RSB's open alpha release along side a team project that didn't pan out. Things were going very quickly and smoothly with RSB, but I ran out of money, and had to go back to the common workforce. Since then I have been working 40 hours a week at a production picture framing studio where the work load is never thin and always overwhelming. It pays the rent, but often I get home too tired to code or make art. Development slowed down quite a bit compared to those first months, but with much effort I was able to start getting 20+ hours of dev time in after work per week. Even though some weeks I'm doing 60 or more hours of work, I still have every intention to create all of my own assets, and no real desire to expand the one man team. I may reach out for help with marketing and PR in the future. There are no words to accurately describe the effort I’ve put forth, but I take it in stride since this is my true passion, and as a medium, the best possible culmination of artistic endeavors. To keep my sanity I like to go hiking and immerse myself in nature, or hit the nearest barcade to play Killer Queen with the local league. I also produce non game music from time to time, and explore developing in VR. Recently, I even found myself prototyping a sci-fi turn based strategy card game, but RSB is at the forefront of all of my thoughts and I happily allow it to consume most of my free time.

All the effort is starting to pay off! There is a growing fan base following RSB’s development, and many people come back often or keep in touch personally to see if I've made any updates. During the initial beta launch there were 370 players in a 30 day period, which is huge for me! I try my best to please players and update as often as I can. I released the open beta in May of 2019 and updated it 5 times by July. The next update will include new art, new mechanics, and even a new game mode. I'm not sure of the final release date yet, since I'm gauging the scope based on the user base, while keeping a close eye on the analytics. Since I'm using the "inverted pyramid” method of development, the base product is already there, now I'm just magnifying aspects of it and polishing it to give it the effort I feel it deserves based on player reactions. This is creating an upward spiral where the better the players reaction the more I'm motivated to add to it, which in turn causes a more positive reaction. Hopefully sometime in 2020 the game will be finished.

You can play the open beta right now for free on http://Itch.io , http://Gamejolt.com , and http://Newgrounds.com . Currently there is a Windows version, a WebGL version, and an Android version. The game will not always be free, but right now I’m enjoying the amount of testing and feedback RSB is getting. I plan to release to more platforms, like Linux and Mac, and also to a variety of hosting opportunities, including Steam, in the near future. In my dreams I’m releasing an RSB arcade cab. One can still dream, right?"

Give it up to this wonderful developer for his dedication!

Also, make sure to follow the dev on Twitter: @RikOclon
and support the game as best you can!

*Edit- here's a new image, make sure to keep playing and downloading the game!


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