We know all about those big blockbuster games from the powerhouse publishers like Ubisoft, EA and THQ, but what about the little guy?
Here is an example of a game currently in alpha by a handful of people, or in this case, a handful of just one person.
The game is still in the early stages of development, but it is a perfect example of how a fun simple idea can grow into a great game and how anyone with time, desire and programming talent can get into the game making business.
If you are a fan of physics based games, then you should keep an eye on Crashtastic developed by Mark Smith. This game allows you to build a vehicle around a cute little ragdoll robot, using a variety of in-game assets. There are many possible combinations of vehicles, with assets like wheels, shock absorbers, braces, and most importantly rockets. Once the vehicle has been designed, you simply press the “GO” button to activate the rockets.
The objective is to navigate the level by controlling the speed of the various rockets attached to the vehicle. By controlling the throttle, the exact trajectory of the vehicle can be controlled. Using this control technique, you can safely guide your courageous robot through hazardous terrain and reach the objective. Some levels even include more precise control mechanisms, such as steerable wheels. This provides a level of depth (read challenge) to the gameplay, since the control scheme depends not just on the vehicle design, but on the specific permissions in each level.
Levels vary in their design. They can consist of walls, ramps, and a wide assortment of obstacles. The objective for each level varies as well. Some objectives are to simply reach the goal, some are timed, and others rely on designing a vehicle that can reach a certain speed.
The excitement of designing your own vehicle and witnessing the results is sure to provide hours of entertainment. Vehicles can be designed to successfully complete a mission, or simply to crash in the most spectacular manner possible. The choice is yours! The complex ragdoll physics leads to many unpredictable results as your vehicle hits snags, collides with objects, or smashes at high speed into a brick wall. The sheer number of possible outcomes is staggering. With Crashtastic, the world of physics-based problem solving isn’t just fun, it is truly spectacular to behold. Any fan of puzzle games, or physics games should find a great deal of entertainment in this game.
Crashtastic will be available in the future for both the PC and Mac platforms. The game is currently in its Alpha stage of development, with no set release date, however you can pre-purchase the game now for $9.99 and that gives you access to the beta.
Smith's game development process feels similar to Minecraft as its completely grass roots. As game development becomes easier to do from anywhere, it's likely we will see even more independent games made by a small group of people.
You can follow Mark Smith on his twitter for more updates @MarkSmithGames or check out Crashtastic.com.
Would you shell out ten bucks for this game just to have it from the start?
Let us know in the comments.