Mazed - From a Failed Client Project to App Store
This week we finally submitted Mazed into the App Store. The development for Mazed began in early 2015 as a client gig but unfortunately the client lost interest in the app and a promising prototype had to be locked up in a drawer. Looking back at our unfinished projects, Mazed was definitely bugging us the most as we had already collaborated with Elliott on the designs and the gameplay itself was already finished. We decided to start approaching the client again and managed to get a hold of him to get a single “go for it” response when we asked if it would be ok to publish it ourself. Legally speaking there was never a problem, but we felt better knowing for sure he was not interested in the project anymore. Also every major decision about the game was made by us so we felt safe to go ahead and finish the game.
The original game idea was to use the phone’s gyroscope to guide a number of balls through a series of labyrinths. Users would be able to race against time to compete with their friends. We would have a set list of mazes to be selected. After getting the green light from the client, we decided to add gold, silver and bronze medals for each level to motivate players to improve their times. This became one of the most fun aspects of the game while testing and we are very happy with the addition.
As with most of our games, we used SpriteKit to develop the game and it was fairly easy to create the physics nodes using the maps as images. We simply loaded the maps as images and then created the physics object tracing the lines with [SKPhysicsBody bodyWithTexture:texture]. This approach required the map to be drawn in a single line, so there couldn’t be any floating bits of the map in the middle of the map. The map also couldn’t be closed so we drew invisible holes into the maps for SpriteKit to be able to read the map properly. The result ended up a lot faster than we expected and we didn’t run into any performance issues calculating the physics.
It is very frustrating to see unfinished projects, especially ones being so close to be finished. We are very happy that we got to finish Mazed as our own title. Most importantly it’s another project skeleton in our drawer that we were able to finish, leaving us more room for new ideas! The app will be released in the coming weeks.