Being a giant, beloved video game site has its downsides. For example, we sometimes neglect to give independent developers our coverage love (or loverage, if you will) as we get caught up in AAA, AAAA or the rare quintuple-A titles. To remedy that, we're giving indies the chance to create their own loverage and sell you, the fans, on their studios and products. This week we talk with Shelbey Hunt about a retro iOS release called Trash Drop.
What's your game called, and what's it about?
My game is called Trash Drop, it is an 8-bit arcade game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The basic premise is that when an apartment full of lazy college students didn't want to take out their trash, they piled it up on their balcony. Then one day, the balcony was full. They sent one down while the others would throw the bags down. Now you are trapped, trying to dodge the falling trash bags. You thought you were going to take out the trash but little did you know, the trash was going to take you out.
How did you get started in development?
I have always loved video games since I was little. My family has had a console in our house since the NES. I quickly became a gamer, even having contests with my cousins on who could get farther in Super Mario Bros. 3. Making games has always been a passion of mine. I use to program small text based programs in Basic in middle school and in high school I would do the same on my calculator I got for trigonometry. When Apple announced the iPhone developer program I started to learn right then and there. Ever since then I have been working on improving my skills.
What are you proudest of about your game?
I am really proud of the 8-bit graphics and sounds. Initially, I planned out all the elements on graph paper, using each box as a pixel. I also started dowloading different character sheets of some of my favorite games from back then, studying how they achieved different effects. Doing this I was able to make sure that Trash Drop would look and feel like an old retro game. I also enlisted the help of some of my more musically inclined friends who helped me by writing the various songs in the game. Using some filters and other effects we were able to make their music into 8-bit goodness.
Do you feel like you're making a game you always wanted to play?
It definitely has been something that I have wanted to do since me and my room mates started removing our trash our own special way. It just seemed to be such a good survival challenge. I feel like for the iPhone, the game is a good fit. It is arcade style so you are just trying to get a new highscore each time and it gives the user that "just one more time" feeling.
How long did it take you to create?
It has taken several months with various renditions before it came to the state it is in today. I also started out making a totally different game but it slowly evolved into this. Gameplay was very important to me, I wanted to make sure that the exact speed and rate that the trash bags fell would be just right. That it wouldn't be too hard but wouldn't be too easy either. It needed to have that right difficulty curve that made you feel you could always do a little better than last time.
What one thing would you tell someone to convince them to get your game?
This game is a labor of love from someone who loves video games. It features addicting gameplay and graphics/music that will take you back to the days of the NES. It also features an "epic story" so there is a reason to the madness. It also features some new innovations to gaming like Achievements as well Accelerometer controls. There will be future updates and support for this game, I never plan on doing any in app purchases or things like that, every update will be free. It's also 99 cents so it won't hurt your wallet either.
I hope to take the lessons I learned and move on. I will be adding content updates as well and squashing any bugs that will show their ugly heads. I plan on continuing in my quest to make quality games. I have a passion for story and will always make sure there is a story behind why you are doing what you are doing on the screen.
If you'd like to have your own shot at converting our readers into fans, email justin aat joystiq dawt com, subject line "The Joystiq Indie Pitch." Still haven't had enough? Check out the Pitch archives.