Update 2013-11-19: Wii U has been added to the list of platforms Explodimals will be released on if the campaign succeeds! The plan is to rebuild the game in HTML5 using Construct 2 to allow porting to as many platforms as possible, and as it now supports HTML5 games, it seemed like a great idea to release a version on Wii U that takes full advantage of the Wii Remote and Gamepad controller!
What is this, I don't even...
Hello, My name is Chris, and I've dedicated this past year to my masterpiece, my magnum opus, the paradigm changing work of art that is Explodimals (well I think it's quite good, anyway).
The video above is the trailer for the Xbox 360 version, Explodimals 3D (so called as it includes the option to play in stereoscopic 3D on compatible TVs), released on October 31st 2013 onto the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace (if you like the look of it and have an Xbox 360, you can download it to your console from here).
Great. So what?
The problem is, although XBLIG is a great platform for independent developers who want to release games on a major console, it's generally ignored by much of the wider gaming public, and with the advent of Xbox One, chances are that not that many people will get the opportunity to play Explodimals in its current form.
I'm quite proud of what I've created, so naturally I want as many people as possible to experience it, but for that to happen I'm going to need to port it to several other platforms. My goal is to release versions of Explodimals on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Windows Phone (UPDATE: and Wii U!) by this time next year, however I'm also open to suggestions for any other platforms people would like to see the game on.
Like Atari 2600?
Probably not, unless there's a lot of demand for it...
So why should I give you my money?
The thing is, in order to make this a reality I'm going to need to buy a whole load of hardware for developing and testing the new versions of Explodimals. My trusty Windows 7 laptop and first-gen Xbox 360 console that miraculously hasn't suffered the red ring of death have served me well so far, but to ensure players get the best possible experience on all platforms I'm going to need to get hold of a Mac, an iPhone, an iPad, and one each of a tablet and phone running Android and Windows 8, at the very least.
So you want me to give you money so you can go out and buy yourself a bunch of shiny new gadgets?
Kind of, but if it's any consolation I won't be using my shiny new gadgets to watch videos of kittens, line up matching candies or distribute self-destructing naughty photos of myself; I'll be beavering away, making sure Explodimals is as fun to play as possible.
About those naughty photos...
On top of that there's the cost of software, subscription fees, electricity bills, energy drinks, pizza... Even for a one man game development powerhouse, making games is an expensive business!
But what's in it for me?
Firstly, every single backer will get their name featured in the game's playable credits sequence. Obviously if you don't want your name to feature, just let me know and I won't include you.
Of course, copies of the game are available too, as well as custom t-shirts and the chance to contribute to the game by designing your own character or level.
Great, so I could create a straight copy of my favourite Mario level but cover it in genitals and swastikas?
No, nothing likely to offend or infringe another's intellectual property rights will be permitted.
The world just isn't ready for my ideas. What's an explodimal anyway?
And here's another:
It all started with a project to build a 2D physics engine in my spare time. To make testing the physics engine fun, I added controllable bouncy balls and bombs. Over time the balls evolved into weird circular animal faces, with the bombs being fired out of said animals' mouths. When I needed to come up with a name:
EXPLODe + anIMALS = EXPLODIMALS!
I know, right? Eventually I realised that my physics engine was rubbish and supplanted it with the open source Farseer Physics engine, and over time the concept developed into a full game, with the goal being to collect all the cakes hidden in each level.
Everybody loves cake.
So anyway, the game starts with you building your own explodimal out of the various mouth, eyes, hats etc. available. You then play through 100 levels, rolling your explodimal around, shooting bombs and picking up cakes. It's kind of a physicsy, puzzly 2D platformer, it has badgers and pandas, and it's really fun to play.
You would say that though.
I would, because it's true.
So now you want to port this Xbox 360 game directly to other platforms?
Not exactly. The new versions will be somewhere between an enhanced edition/directors cut and a sequel. Let's call it Explodimals 1.5.
Some changes will be necessary; obviously a game designed to be played with a gamepad won't translate directly to a touch interface without some major alterations. Likewise for players on PC who might want to use a mouse/keyboard.
Also the 3D option of the Xbox 360 version won't be available on all platforms.
So it's going to be a cut-down, poor-man's version of the original game?
Not at all. I'm planning to add a whole load of new levels along with new explodimals, and I have a couple of new gameplay ideas I'd like to experiment with. On top of this, I'll be able to take on board any feedback from players of the Xbox 360 version to iron out any niggles they may have with the game in its current state and improve the overall experience.
The biggest new feature will be a level designer that will allow players to create and share whatever crazy rolling, bouncing, exploding, cake collecting ideas spew out of their heads.
Great, so I can can make my genitals/swastika/Mario level after all!
I'd really rather you didn't. The exact nature of level-sharing hasn't been nailed down yet, so it may end up with levels only being shared between friends, but rest assured that if there is a public platform to publish levels, this one won't be allowed on there.
So what are these new levels going to be like?
In the Xbox 360 game the levels are divided between five settings: farm, forest, circus, Arctic and jungle. I really wanted to make some levels with an underwater theme but didn't have time, so that's one potential new setting for Explodimals 1.5. However it all depends on how it plays: my primary concern with all aspects of Explodimals is FUN: when I try out a new idea I ask myself whether or not it makes the game more fun; if it does, it stays, if it doesn't, it doesn't.
Sounds good. Where do I sign up?
First I'd suggest that you go to the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace and try out the game. You can download the demo to your Xbox 360 or buy the full game here. That way you can be sure whether or not it is to your taste (and if there's anything you don't like about the game, let me know what to improve for version 1.5!)
Next I'd recommend you click on the big green button at the top of this page that says 'Back This Project'.
Done! Hey, is this the only Kickstarter pitch to ever go without using the word 'awesome'?
Quite possibly, yes.
Explodimals is a 2D physicsy puzzly platform game out now on Xbox 360. The aim is to release a new version on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and Windows phone (UPDATE: and Wii U!) in November 2014. It will feature new controls, new levels, new characters and a level editor. Please give me money.