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Instruments of Destruction arrives on GOG.com

June 10, 2024

Just a quick note this time: Instruments of Destruction is now available on GOG.com!

Working with GOG has been a breeze, and I'm happy to bring the game to more platforms. While the most common question people ask is "console verison?" the 2nd most common one is "GOG.com?". Glad to be able to say yes to the 2nd, and Alan is working on the console versions. Not sure on an ETA for that yet, but it'll be sometime in the 2nd half of 2024.

Speaking of which, I've been working on finishing up DodgeBomb, and a complete graphical overhaul of Speed Demons is in-progress. I've been holding off on Rhythm Storm work on purpose, as I wanted to be more "in the groove" before working on it's updates and additional content. I'm still recovering (mentally) from the crunch to get Instruments' 1.0 done, and the work on DB and SD is a lot less complex creatively. Looking forward to finishing all 3 games. Hopefully they'll all make it for 2024, but I missed the June Steam NextFest, so there's no rush to get them out before the next one in October.


Instruments of Destruction version 1.0 now available on Steam

May 10, 2024

Instruments of Destruction version 1.0 is out! On Steam at least. There's a new trailer as well:

This is my large (mostly-)solo project, and it shall remain that way. I may do another year-long project at some point, but 4 years is too long to work on a game by yourself. It's been a ton of work, and I've barely left the basement of my house in the last few months. This turned into essentially 2 games in one, which is also not ideal from a marketing/PR/sales standpoint. But it didn't feel right to split the new campaign into a new game. It's too early to tell if the 1.0 launch will be a success or not, but so far the reception has been very positive. I think it's a very good, pretty unique, and technically impressive game with huge amount of content, but I'm not sure if any of those things matters that much.

I'm not totally done working on the game, as there are bugs to fix, things to tweak, and console versions to work on. I may do a big extra campaign at some point, but that really depends on sales. We'll see. In the meantime, I've got other games to work on, and a summer to enjoy with my family.


Instruments of Destruction version 1.0 coming to Steam May 10th

April 3, 2024

Instruments of Destruction version 1.0 is nearly done, and has an official release date: May 10th, 2024. I've been swamped working on the game, so this post will be very brief, but feel free to check out the Steam page to wishlist it, or the Steam news post where I go into a lot more details. Anyway, here's the release date trailer featuring some slow-mo destruction:

Lots of stuff to do, so see you May 10th!


Speed Demons now available on the iOS AppStore

March 20, 2024

As promised, Speed Demons is now available on the iOS AppStore. It's a $4.99 premium game, and has no ads or in-app purchases. It works on iPhone, iPad, and macOS (but I have not tried it on a Mac). It may also work on an Apple Vision Pro. Here's the official AppStore launch trailer:

The full changelist for version 1.7 is available here for those interested. There's also an active forum post on TouchArcade for the game if you want to discuss the game further or have questions/etc (I'm also available via email or Twitter/etc).

I was considering a higher price (up to $9.99) for the game, but after checking out the many premium racing games on the AppStore, $4.99 or $5.99 felt like the right price for the AppStore. And since I don't plan on putting it on sale very often or for much lower (probably once or twice per year for $3.99), I went with the lower one.

The current version is actually 1.7.2. There was a crash at the startup screen that I missed (if you tapped at the wrong time), but luckily someone emailed me about the problem as soon as the game went live, and it was a relatively quick fix after I understood how to trigger the crash.

As mentioned before, there will be a PC/console port later this year. It will have enhanced visuals and car models + destruction and updated controls/UI. It will likely be $14.99, but that's not certain yet. Not going to make a decision on that 'til later.

Instruments Release Date

The release date trailer for Instruments of Destruction is coming next week. I've been working a lot on the game, and that will continue to be true until it releases. There's a lot of new stuff going into the game, including new missions, tech, and a few features along with lots of bug fixes. More details next week!


Speed Demons coming to iOS AppStore

March 7, 2024

Speed Demons was an Apple Arcade launch title back in September of 2019. It left the subscription service in February of 2024, but is returning to the AppStore as a paid game! Here's a coming soon trailer:

Version 1.7 has receieved a number of improvements, including a Restart button, drafting for the player (small speed boost when close/behind other cars), and a number of fixes to some races and 120hz mode. I'll post the full list of changes when the new version is available. [For now it will only be available on iPhone/iPad, but later this year it will be coming to consoles and PC as well with some graphical enhancements.]

This is just a quick update this time, but I'll be posting more news to this site this year with so many games releasing. Most of my time at the moment is focused on finishing Instruments of Destruction's 1.0 release. Alan Lawrance, lead developer of PolyBridge 3 and another ex-Volition developer, is now helping me get the game done. I'll have more info on a release date soon.

DodgeBomb Announced!

October 27, 2023
Back in June when I announced Rhythm Storm's beta demo, I mentioned I had created a skeleton project I could use for future games. And back in 2021, I mentioned both Fireball and Devastator as games I wanted to "redo" someday. That desire never really went away, so on my birthday (June 5th) of this year I started working on a new Fireball-like game using the skeleton project.

Since then, I've used this new project, which I originally called RKDN 1 (Arcade+Radiangames = aR-Kay-Dee-aN), as my side-project instead of Rhythm Storm. Eventually I changed the name of the game to Supernova, and more recently to DodgeBomb. Supernova is a cool name, but very bad for Google searches. DodgeBomb is not as cool, but it encapsulates the gameplay in the title and is far better for Google. You Dodge the flood of enemies, and you destroy them by detonating a Bomb.

Enough about the name, let's take a look at the trailer:

If you're familiar with Fireball or Pacifism mode from Geometry Wars 2, DodgeBomb is like those, but made into a more cohesive arcade game. Up to 100,000 enemies can be chasing you at once, and the background and particles are all reactive to the action. Like Rhythm Storm, the game is designed to run at high framerates (120hz+) and high resolution (1440p+). It's similar to Fireball in many ways, but there's only one mode and it's an infinite survival mode. It's also more friendly to new players while still having a Hardcore difficulty who want a bit more speed and intensity.

The other big feature is local co-op support for 2 players. That was something I wanted to have in my future arcade games whenever possible, and the balance of the game isn't really affected by having a 2nd player. The only real change to the balance is to make it a little easier; you can revive dead players by triggering a Nova (those are what upgrade your fireball's speed/health/power).

For a while I wasn't sure if I was going to release the game, as the visuals were good but not quite distinct enough. I went back and forth on both the color scheme and the background rendering. Eventually I figured out the background you see now, and that pushed me to polish the rest of the elements. There are still quite a few things I want to do to improve the game, but it's ready enough to show.

2024 Release Schedule and Rhythm Storm

The plan is to release the game in mid-2024, after Instruments of Destruction and Rhythm Storm. Like Rhythm Storm, the visuals are both video-unfriendly and screenshot-friendly, so it looks way better in person than any video can convey. But unlike Rhythm Storm, the demo won't be released until the Steam Next Fest right before release. That's because the gameplay is already fun and it doesn't need iteration/feedback/etc.

Rhythm Storm, on the other hand, I've been less happy with. Note that in June I said something like "the game is better, I think". Well, it was mostly better, but when I've gone back to play it, I still didn't like the gameplay all that much. So my plan was stupidly simple: I was finally going to play Vampire Survivors.

I've generally tried to avoid playing similar/competitive games in the same genre so I don't "clone" them. Earlier this year I decided to break that rule with Instruments of Destruction. I played Blast Corps, the N64 game by Rare, since many people said the trailers for Instruments reminded them of that. And Blast Corps was just a lot more fun than playing Instruments. The flow of the game is simpler, the missions less cumbersome, and though the basic gameplay was not complex, it was satisfying enough. Taken together, all these things made the game enjoyable. For the PAX demo of Instruments, my whole goal was to make the game more Blast Corps-like, and it worked very well. The game was a big hit at PAX, and the new 50-mission campaign is going to be the centerpiece of the 1.0 release.

Back to VS and RS: Playing Vampire Survivors was pretty much the same experience as playing Blast Corps, but there was more of a gap this time. Rhythm Storm's gameplay needed more work than Instruments'. With Instruments I just had to streamline everything and bring out the best of what the game could do. Rhythm Storm's gameplay had two big problems: 1) There was too much complexity with very little benefit. And 2) The horde of enemies didn't feel good to fight/avoid/etc.

So the gameplay in Rhythm Storm will see some even bigger changes in the next demo and full game. I've made many of the biggest changes after a day or two of work, and it's more fun, but it'll take a couple weeks of work to really clean everything up. The final demo will be in the February Steam Next Fest, and the full game will likely be out in April or May, depending on how everything goes.

2024 will be a very busy year for Radiangames releases. Dates aren't set yet, but Instruments of Destruction will have its 1.0 release first, with Rhythm Storm and DodgeBomb will be coming after that, and Speed Demons later in the year. All 4 games will be on Steam, PS5, and Xbox, and Speed Demons may also get a Switch port.

In the meantime, I've got a lot of work to do.

Rhythm Storm Beta Demo!

June 6, 2023
Rhythm Storm's demo has been updated to a "beta"! What does that mean? The version number is 0.200, and the full list of changes can be found in this Steam post. Basically the game is better in a number of ways, I think.

There's also a brand new "overview" trailer for the beta demo:

As before, I've been alternating working on Rhythm Storm and Instruments of Destruction. Work on Rhythm Storm is pretty much done until this fall when I'll finish adding the rest of the content and make a final demo for the October Steam Next Fest. Instruments' new campaign will debut later this summer (still a lot to do).

I've also been dabbling in other tiny projects, with the main one being creating a skeleton project with basic vector drawing. That skeleton project I could use for future (small) games, or even use in a game jam. I've never done a game jam before, but I've been thinking about trying one this summer just to try something new. I've also written down more ideas for the next big project. Instrumets will be finished some day, I promise.

Rhythm Storm Alpha Demo!

February 21, 2023
It's been a long time for me updating this blog, but I think today's a good day to break the streak. Rhythm Storm, a rhythmic roguelike swarm survivor/bullet heaven with vector-based rendering, now has an alpha demo available.

Rhythm Storm on Steam

Rhythm Storm on Itch.io

As you can tell from the trailer, it's like my old games style-wise, but better. It's hard to convey how much better it is without seeing it in action on a 1440p 120hz (or better) monitor. It's also my first "rhythm" game, but also not really a rhythm game. I cover all these details and more in the FAQ on the Steam Forums if you want to know more.

I've been working on Rhythm Storm and Instruments of Destruction for the last 6 months or so, and that will continue to some extent until they are both finished. I haven't been posting to this site partly because I've been so busy, but mostly because I focus on Steam announcements and staying active on the Instruments' Discord.

I'll have more to say about Rhythm Storm on this site, as the game has a lot of elements of past games, and those past games will be coming back in some unexpected ways. In the meantime, check out the demo and let me know what you think on the Steam Forums, or Twitter, or by email (luke@radiangames.com).

Devastator Now Available!

March 25, 2022
Devastator is now available! If you have no idea what that means, Devastator is an intense twin-stick shooter running at ultra-high resolution and framerates, and it's out on every modern console as well as PC. Here are all the links:

Devastator on Switch
Devastator on Playstation 4 and Playstation 5
Devastator on Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X
Devastator on Steam

I also made a brand-new trailer for the game, so you can see how the first 10 waves of Sectors mode play out. I was going to do a cool voice over for this to explain all the subtle nuances, but the amount of editing/etc was quickly blowing up and I started too late to get it done in time. At the same time, this simpler version is more pure and you can see all the cool gameplay mechanics in action if you watch carefully.

I've been focused on Instruments of Destruction for the past 12 or so months, so going back to play Devastator is very cool. It's such a focused and smooth game. Everything about it is polished, and it's an entirely different experience where you become completely engrossed in the game's flow. I may do another 2D puzzle game (Slydris 3) at some point, and maybe a 2D action game with 3D graphics, but I'm proud that my last full-2D action game is this one.

Instruments of Destruction Came Out Too

Somehow I missed posting here when Instruments of Destruction was released on March 2nd, but most of you already know it's out. It's up to version 0.112 (released yesterday). Here's the store link in case you need it: Steam store page. Unlike Devastator, which feels very much done and will probably not receive any updates, Instruments of Destruction will continue to be worked on for a long time. I'll work on other games eventually, but there is so much potential in this game that I expect to keep going on it for well over a year, and possibly multiple years. I doubt I'll ever work on a game as big again, and I'll probably follow it with something more Devastator-sized (3-4 months of development) before doing another large-ish game.

One Last Speed Demons Update

Speed Demons has a crash bug for some races in 1.6.1, so I'll be working on 1.6.2 later today. Will hopefully submit it today as well. It's a bit of a pain to submit on 3 platforms (iOS/tvOS/macOS), but fixing the crash bug itself should be relatively easy since it's consistent.


Instruments of Destruction Release Date Trailer

February 11, 2022
I've been getting away from using this website for news, as I've been more active on the Steam forums, and there's now a Discord for Instruments of Destruction (links below). But I still have a few things to announce:

Instruments of Destruction Coming March 2nd, 2022

The trailer has been in the works for a while. Lots of work to upgrade the visuals of the game, along with tons of little tweaks and more content. The game will enter Steam Early Access on Wednesday, March 2nd. I plan to continue working on the game for a long time to come (years?), so it'll keep getting better.

Everyone asks if it's coming to X, where X is a different store/platform than Steam/PC. My answer is generally: Not until the 1.0 release, which means 2023 or later. It may come to other stores (GOG.com, for instance) prior to 1.0, but I have enough to do right now. Console releases will almost certainly use a publisher. No idea which one yet. Anyway, hope on over to the Discord or Steam Community page to keep up with the game on a more regular basis.

Speed Demons 1.6.1 is Out!

Sorry it took so long, but the (possibly) final version of Speed Demons is out on Apple Arcade. It's a slightly smaller update this time, with 4 new vehicles and 25+ new races. BUT it does have 2 new gameplay songs, plus 120hz support for Pro-level iPads/iPhones that support that. The game looks so smooth at 120hz. It has a new icon too, as seen above.

It'll come to other platforms eventually, but I don't know when. Could be a year, could be three. I'll likely want to copy some of Instruments' graphical upgrades and make it look amazing for an upgraded edition, but not sure when I'll find time for that.

Devastator Coming Soon

Feel like I'm always saying that, but it's true. A slight delay pushed it into Instruments' release window, so it got pushed back a bit, then I'll be on vacation for that week, so add on another week. It's looking like late March or early April for Devastator's release right now. More details when I know them.


Quick Notes: Demo End and New Discord

October 12, 2021
As promised, the demo will only be available for a limited-time. On October 25th, it will be removed from Steam. The demo was a good success in helping refine the game, but now I need to focus on the Early Access release.

Thanks to Kevlar, a fan of the game, Instruments of Destruction now has it's own Discord server. Go check it out to share your creations and discuss the game!

Finally, there's more to say about what's next for the game, but if you want the full details of what I'll be working on, head on over to the Steam Community page.


Instruments of Destruction Limited-Time Demo

September 30, 2021
Instruments of Destruction is finally here, or rather, a sample of the game is. Go to the Steam page and download the demo now, because it's not going to be around for very long. I'm not sure whether I'll keep it up after the Steam Next Fest ends, and even if I do, it'll be taken down well before the Early Access release early next year.

To celebrate the demo launch, I made a trailer about vehicle building. Don't worry, there's some destruction in it too, and it's not an in-depth trailer. More of a "look how easy this is, and how bad my vehicle works"-type thing. It wasn't intentional that it took so many revisions to get the vehicle right, but it makes for a decent bloopers reel, so I just went with it. Anyway, here's the trailer:

The voice you hear is the same one you'll find in the demo, and he's also the singer of the theme song that will debut in the release date trailer. It's my first solo game with voice since Powerpuff Girls. The writing for the voice lines needs improvement (I wrote the lines quickly and barely revised them), and the final game might use a different actor, but I'm really happy with how the trailer voice turned out given how rushed this trailer was.

It's always nerve-wracking waiting to see the response to something you've been working on for a while. I've already seen a good amount of excitement from the first trailer and YouTube creators, but letting everyone try it for free is a whole different scale. Will try to keep calm and carry on.


Overwhelming Power

September 17, 2021
The past couple months, development on Instruments of Destruction has been ramping back up to full speed, and I was able to complete a Pre-Alpha Build for YouTubers and sent Steam codes to about 80 content creators. Despite the previous post about needing help with this task, I ended up doing it all myself (aside from testing, which I got help with). It took a while to collect all the email addresses and compose the emails (personalized a bit for each person), but it was worth it. At least 5 of them have produced a video or two about the game. The number of views per video so far ranges from 8k to 80k, which is fantastic. I'll share how that's impacted wishlists below.

The reception has been quite positive, and I'll highlight some videos below, but the biggest problem is that the lack of build restrictions or progression makes it too easy to create completely overpowered vehicles. Vehicles with rocket-powered spining arms can completely annihilate multiple buildings in a matter of seconds. That makes for a cool highlight, but also invalidates the physics and destruction system to a large extent. I anticipated this would be an issue given how the Pre-Alpha Build was structured, so now I feel more confident in imposing stricter restrictions at the start of the game. The vehicle-building system and the number of parts is also a bit overwhelming at first, so limiting your options early on is definitely a good thing.

So now I'm working on the demo, which will debut in two weeks for Steam's October Next Fest (the demo will likely launch a couple days before October 1st if you want to check it out). I've been furiously working on the progression systems and making the start of the game a smoother experience. I'll continue refining things once the demo is available. Aside from the release date trailer, the demo will be the last major promotional thing for the game until it comes out in early 2022 (hopefully January, but no promises yet). Let's move on to some videos:

I'll highlight the video above from ScrapMan (his 2nd), as he created two of the coolest vehicles I've seen so far, and he was able to complete Delphinus with 0% Ruins Destruction, something I haven't even done yet. I'll put the rest of the videos that I know about in the list below:

  • Raptor #1 - The first playthrough video of the alpha on YouTube!
  • Dan Field - I don't speak French, but Dan's enthusiasm is quite obvious.
  • Kosmonaut #1 - Kosmo's final vehicle was loaded with crazy weapons.
  • Raptor #2 - Raptor played through all the islands on stream (over 2 hours).
  • Z1 Gaming - Z1 loves treads and spamming the fire button on weapons.
  • ScrapMan #1 - ScrapMan's 1st video has over 80k views so far.
  • Kosmonaut #2 - Kosmo creates a ferris wheel of doom.
  • kAN Gaming - kAN uses the longest chain I've seen yet.

  • Instruments of Destruction has around 9,500 wishlists on Steam as of today. The first month or so, the game soared past 7k wishlists, but the pace dropped off a lot until recently (about 1,200 new wishlists in the last few weeks). It's possible it'll pass 10k before the October demo hits, but it depends on whether any new YouTube videos are posted.

    So far I've watched all the videos (to look for bugs/ideas), but if the demo causes a spike in videos on the game, I'll start doing more skimming instead. I normally don't like watching people play my games, but it's almost always useful, and Instruments is probably the most I've enjoyed watching one of my games simply because I love seeing the vehicles they come up with.

    One more thing about this blog: I anticipate this will be the last dedicated post to it for a while. During the demo, I'll be posting to the Steam forums (or news section for the game), and I'd direct you there if you want further updates on the game.


    Job Opening At Radiangames

    July 26, 2021
    UPDATE (September 2021): The job opening is no longer available. See post above.

    Development of Instruments of Destruction is going well, and it's time to expand the team at Radiangames. The team is just me (Luke Schneider, full-time developer) and Auvic (musician, working part-time on Instruments) at the moment, but now I'm looking for someone to help promote/improve the game in various ways. Creating the game takes a lot of time, and I've decided to not use a publisher for the Early Access release, so I need a little help.

    Writing a precise job description is difficult, but I'm generally looking for someone with some video editing skills, some gameplay skills (able to play the game well and capture footage), and who feels comfortable with a bit of community interaction (decent writing ability, able to stay calm/professional). Experience isn't strictly necessary and some on-the-job learning is fine, but I'd prefer someone local (east central Illinois) unless they're an exceptional candidate.

    Someone with additional talents (such as artistic or level design skills) is also welcome to apply. Part of the job will be some dull but important tasks (such as creating a spreadsheet of YouTuber/streamers), but there will be a lot of fun stuff and opportunity to contribute to the game in meaningful ways. The position would be as a contractor, likely last a year or more, and I'd prefer someone who can do full-time work.

    If you're interested, please email luke@radiangames.com with a resume. No need for a separate cover letter, just include the "here's why I'm a good candidate" part in the email.

    Devastator Update

    It's been a bit since I mentioned Devastator, but work on the port is progressing, and I played through the latest build this morning to check for bugs and any other issues. The game is still super-satisfying to play, but I don't have an update on the release date at this time. When I know more about that, I'll be sure to post an update here.

    A Slight Glitch

    It's been a while since my last news entry for a few reasons. At the beginning of June, things were going quite smoothly, and I was even working on Instruments outside of work hours just for fun. However, a hard-drive malfunction wiped out all the video I'd been recording. The game and most everyday stuff was fine after a half-day, but I'm still finding stuff to reinstall on occasion (like an HTML editor and FileZilla to do this news post). This summer I've also had a couple long family vacations that interrupted my flow, and I started working on some really boring stuff, like options screens. Things are back on track now, though a little behind schedule from where I wanted to be at the end of July.


    Recording It All

    May 17, 2021
    These past few weeks of development for Instruments of Destruction have been going really well, but you would never be able to tell from the outside. Aside from posting unused trailer footage GIFs on Saturdays, and the streams on Tuesdays, there's not much to follow along with. There are also these blog posts, but I don't think they get read by very many people, nor are they terribly interesting. The streams on Tuesday are a peek into development, but I feel like even I would be bored watching them. Watching someone program and problem solve is not particularly enjoyable, and I feel like I'm a slightly worse programmer on stream than off.

    I'll keep up the streams for a few more weeks and see if the view counts increase a bit. I'm going to try just doing fun stuff during the stream, such as experimenting with more parts and vehicle builds, and creating some new structures to destroy. No more programming except for minor tweaks as necessary. But that's not the only tweak I'll be making. I'm going to start recording my entire work day (just the on-screen stuff), and see if I can create a weekly highlights video consistently. There have been many times recently where I was working on something and thought that seeing just the highlights of progress would be something people would enjoy watching on YouTube.

    Examples from the past weeks include fixing the destruction system bugs, adding the stress system, adding new parts that aid in flying vehicles, and other tweaks that would be nice to see in a quick snippet (rather than a 2-hour stream). There's also just the cool moments where the destruction happens in a way I haven't seen before, or bugs that cause things to freak out. I'll keep the videos pretty short (under 5 minutes) so they won't take too long to edit, watch, etc. I will post them to YouTube, Twitter, and Steam. I'm going to try these videos for at least 3 weeks, the same amount of time that I'll definitely keep streaming. Will return with a verdict on the effectiveness and amount of work for each of them in June.

    Speed Demons 1.5.2 Update

    Speed Demons got a minor update to fix a save issue in 1.5.1, and reduce the difficulty of one of the new races. Apologies to anyone who lost progress because of this issue (it affected a few new Weekly Festival races and all new vehicles, all other stuff was fine).


    A Big Impact

    May 6, 2021
    It's been about 10 days since Instruments of Destruction was announced, and the announcement went about as well as I could have expected. I'll get into the details of that in the next paragraph, but it basically means I feel more confident about working on this game for years to come, so my stress level has decreased and my enjoyment of work has increased at the same time.

    The game got coverage on Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, PC Gamer, and many more websites. The teaser trailer got over 9k views on Twitter, which is not quite as good as Speed Demons' 12k views, but it has more retweets, likes, and responses than anything I've posted before. A GIF I posted on Reddit got 6.4k upvotes on /r/GamePhysics and 1.5k upvotes on r/Unity3d. The YouTube video has now crossed the 23k views mark, which is not a ton, but more than any trailer I've released before. And most importantly, the game now has around 7k wishlists on Steam, and has stabilized around the 150 wishlists/day mark.

    I've also been contacted by a lot of publishers and various other people wanting to discuss the game. I think the most likely outcome at the moment is that I'll continue on my present path of releasing the game on Steam Early Access in the fall, and will expand the release platforms for 1.0 to include other stores and consoles (consoles will be with the help of a third party). Plans could still change, but that's how I'm proceeding at the moment.

    Now that the hype has died down, I've been able to focus a bit more on development again, and things are going well. I've revised some of the UI a decent amount, and also improved the destruction system after finding some flaws while trying to build giant towers on live stream. I didn't solve the problem while streaming, but I've since fixed the main issue with destruction (some links disappearing in a pretty apparent pattern when a new structure was created). I've also added the mythical "stress" system, which is not as mysterious and difficult as it sounds.

    In 2011, Eric Arnold gave a GDC talk about the destruction and stress system in RFG, and I just used his basic plan as a template for my stress system. It only took a couple hours to make it work well, so between the fix with missing links, adding some extra damage from impacts, and the stress system, the destruction in Instruments is now even better than it was before. It's especially apparent with tall structures, which now behave a lot more naturally. I've still got more tweaking left to do, but at this point I'm no longer worried about the destruction not being as cool as the trailer showed.

    Getting back to the Tuesday streams, I originally planned to upload the videos to YouTube, but I'd rather spend that time tweaking the game to make things better. By the time I would get around to uploading them, they would already feel out of date, and I would need to do more editing of them while adding a bit more narrative (an intro and a little bit of talking over them). I like sharing the development of the game and I'll keep streaming even though I still feel awkward doing it, but actual development has to be the priority. If I post videos to YouTube, I will probably make them highlights of the gameplay that show off the physics/destruction system in more detail. I think that's more likely to be interesting to people and require a lot less time.

    Speed Demons Update Is Live!

    Just a quick note that Speed Demons has been updated to 1.5.1 on Apple Arcade. This is a larger update with 6 new cars, 50+ new events in Chapter 10, 3 new environments, and a bunch of new Weekly Festival races. New M1 Macs are now supported too. Each Weekly Festival now includes 4 races instead of 3, and there are 30 total. I don't expect to add more new environments or full chapters in the future, but I want to expand the Epilogue chapter, and add a new "CUSTOM" mode where you can set up everything yourself. There will be at least one more big update in the fall, but beyond that I don't have plans to keep working on the game.


    Announcing Instruments of Destruction

    April 26, 2021
    Today I announced the destruction-physics project that I've been working on for the past year: Instruments of Destruction. It's an isometric vehicle-building sandbox with physics-based destruction. That's a dense few words packed with meaning, but essentially you create crazy construction vehicles and use them to complete various objectives, most of which boil down to "destroy that building" while not crashing into the sea. Before I throw more words at you, let's take a look at the trailer:

    As you may have noticed, there's no release date listed in the trailer. I expect to launch the game in Early Access on Steam by the end of 2021, but I can't be certain I'll make that date yet. As for when it could come out of EA and be a 1.0 release, a year after launching is probably the earliest that would happen, but sometime in 2023 is most likely. Speaking of Steam, here's the game's page, so go wishlist it, and come on back when you're done.

    The trailer went through a lot of iteration. But aside from cutting off the slowest section of the song, music was the first thing made for the trailer and the thing it was built around. Auvic, the same musician who created the awesome Speed Demons soundtrack, wrote the trailer song last fall, and he'll be doing the full soundtrack for Instruments of Destruction. I can't wait to show off the theme song he (and Pipo Fernandez) recorded for the game, but that'll have to wait until the release date announce trailer when that comes around.

    I'm not going to talk too much more about the game today, but I'm going to be streaming development of the game for 2 hours every Tuesday (1PM-3PM US Central Standard Time) on Twitch, and posting highlights of those streams to YouTube. That means starting tomorrow! I also have a lot of GIFs from unused footage for the trailer, and will be posting a new one every week for #ScreenshotSaturday. Though I'm super-excited to discuss the game more, this is just supposed to be a teaser, and I'll be sharing more info over the coming months.


    Clear Skies Ahead

    April 5, 2021
    I've had Speed Demons newest update finished for almost 2 weeks, except for one thing: Support for Apple silicon Macs (aka M1 Macs). I had tried for a couple days and failed to get it working, but finally succeeded last Friday after figuring out the best path forward, and submitted version 1.5.1 for review. It might not pass review, but at least I've gotten past a big hurdle that I worried could delay the update for months. Though I was planning for a smaller update at first, 1.5.1 now includes the last major chapter (10), along with a bigger update to Weekly Festivals. Even if it passes review on the first try, it'll probably be out in May (or later). I'll post more about it when it goes live.

    [I'm not done working on Speed Demons, as there will be at least one more big update in the fall of this year, and someday there will be ports of the game to other platforms to work on.]

    My work on Devastator is also mostly complete. The ball is now in 2Awesome Studios' court, and they've been working on getting it ported and finished up. I might have to do a little work to fix weird bugs or something like that, and I'll do some promo work near launch, but I don't anticipate spending a lot more time on the game itself. I guess I might spend some time putting the soundtrack on Spotify/etc, but that can happen anytime.

    The Destruction Project

    All the text above is leading to one thing: My schedule is now pretty clear, and I'm back working on the physics-based destruction project. I have to admit I've been nervous about working on it again. I remember getting super-hyped about it in the fall, but then felt overwhelmed with expectations I was building up in my head, and the promotional work that would be necessary.

    Luckily once I started working on it again, I was able to see with fresh eyes that I wasn't wrong to be excited by it. It's the most exciting solo project I've worked on, but real reason why I like it: It's the most fun I've had working on AND playing a game that I've made on my own. I'm trying to focus on that aspect above all else, and not worry if it'll be more or less successful than Speed Demons.

    If I'm working on and playing this game, I'm going to be happy, so that has to be my main focus. Right now I'm working towards a teaser trailer, but I'm not worrying about a timeline for it. I'll enjoy working on it, and not rush, and keep improving things until it's good enough to show. And once that's out, my main way of promoting the game is going to be streaming me working on the game (and making YT highlight videos of the streams).

    Even once it launches, I'll be working on it for a long time. It's impossible to say how long, though I wouldn't be surprised if I stop working on it in 2022, nor would I be surprised if I'm still doing major updates for it in 2024. I'm actually missing working on it right now, so I guess it's time to post this and get back to work.


    Limited-Time Devastator Demo

    February 5, 2021
    Devastator's demo is now available for a limited time as part of the February Steam Games Festival! I've partnered with 2Awesome Studio, the publishers of Inferno 2 on consoles, and their 2Awesome Partner initiative to bring the game to PC and consoles in 2021. We don't have a firm release date for the full game, but it's nearly complete. In the meantime (for the next few days), you can check out a small portion of the game with the Steam demo, and there's a new trailer on YouTube:

    The demo itself (and the trailer above) focuses on Quadrants mode. It's a score rush mode where the layout of the world is contantly changing. Everytime you pick up a large energy powerup, the opposite quadrant of the level morphs into another random layout. If you want to learn more about the game, an informational playthrough of the game is streaming on Steam for the next few days (should show on the top of the Devastator store page).

    The music of the game went reasonably well, though I had to throw out a track and revise a few others multiple times to get quality level to a point where I was happy. I think the quality level is above what I produced for Scorcher and better than the original soundtrack, but still not quite professional-quality. I think I could spend months refining my songs and maybe get there, but the cost-benefit ratio is just not high enough. It's a similar story to when I do art, though I think my standards for art are a bit lower. It feels more ok to make pretty good art since my style of art feels more distinct and more personal than my music, and it's also more directly integrated into the game. I'm still happy with the new music for Devastator, but it might be the last game soundtrack I write on my own.

    Besides, I'm definitely ok paying Auvic (or other musicians whose music I admire) to write amazing professional music even if it's not always exactly the style/direction I would choose. The quality gap is so large, and the time savings significant enough, that the money spent is well worth it, plus paying someone for a thing they made for you (and that you like) feels good.

    Other Games

    Speed Demons will probably get a small update in a month or two. It'll be focused on adding more Weekly Festival events to make sure there's at least half a years worth of them, and I'll probably add a 4th event to each week. Some of the newer tracks may be refined a bit as well (so they are more consistent with the obstacles in them).

    Beyond that, I need to get back working on the destruction-physics game. I've been talking about working on it again for so long that I feel a bit of pressure. It can be a little daunting to go back to code you haven't look at in 4 months. After I get the announce trailer done and released, I'm thinking about live-streaming development once a week.

    It's not that I really want to stream, but the game is actually quite streaming-friendly, and having some consistent pressure to show progress and do actual work on the game is not a bad thing. I've gotten less consistent in my work focus since Speed Demons launched. Though I have always had a lazy side, it's never been a problem for my work until the last 18 months. It's not a constant problem, but my motivation has definitely been spotty since Speed Demons launched.

    Setting long-term goals hasn't really helped much with that--I just keep pushing things back--but I believe a more consistent public pressure (even if it's just a 5 viewer stream) could help. It's definitely helped break me out of my recent funk to have to stream Devastator, so it seems like a good thing to try.


    The 8-Core Migration

    January 13, 2021
    Speed Demons has been updated to version 1.4.2. Along with a minor controls feature that's been requested for a while (relative gamepad controls regardless of camera orientation), the big new feature is the Data Manager screen. This menu, found from the credits menu on iOS/macOS only, lets you restore data from version 1.3's save data backup file, or from deleted save games (deleted with 1.4.2 or later). If neither of those backup methods work, there's also a way to auto-complete up to chapter 6 so everything unlocks. You have to go into the data manager menu 5 times to unlock the auto-completer feature. I wanted to make that available if players need it, but not make it too easy to get to it since it takes the fun out of the first 6 chapters (unless you want to 3-star everything).

    Other than finishing up that update, I've been focused on Devastator. That means tweaking one of the new modes (there are 3 distinct modes now), polishing up the menus, and trying to start on the new music for Devastator. The music has been something I've been meaning to do for a while, and I finally started working on it in the past couple days. But it hasn't gone particularly well, and one reason for that: My PC just isn't powerful enough.

    It's not that it's particularly old (2015) or that I bought a low-end model (i7 4700, 16gb ram, 2tb ssd, and a GTX 1080), it's just that the synth I want to use in Reason (ReSpire) is kind of a resource hog. I actually bought a new PC last summer, but haven't found a need to switch to it until now. So yesterday afternoon I put the new PC where my old one was and started to get everything installed so I can use it as my main PC from now. I'm writing this update on my new-ish 8-core i7-10700k with a GeForce 2070 Super, and my preliminary tests in Reason show the additional 4 cores make a big difference.

    Now that I'm no longer fighting technical limitations, I'm hoping I can find a musical groove again. Writing music requires a different mindset from the rest of game design, and it's been almost 2 years since I've written anything. Auvic did an amazing job on Speed Demons' music, and is doing the music for the unannounced physics-destruction game. For Devastator I wanted to try the music myself, since I've wrote the original soundtrack and I'm hoping I can improve on it. It's a balancing act, as I'm trying to do the best I can for Devastator's music, but I'm trying to be realistic about the quality standards, and trying to enjoy the work as well.

    So I'm going to try to find a groove, and try to have fun, and try to push the quality, all at the same time. I'll probably end up writing some non-Devastator music as well, since I won't feel as much pressure doing that. Either way, my anxiety about writing music again isn't going to go away by thinking about it or writing about it, so it's time to start doing it.


    Back from the Dead

    December 3, 2020
    Ballistic SE is finally back from the dead on iOS. You can get it now on the Apple AppStore. I had issues submitting it back in May, and a couple times since, but after a recent email asking where it was, I tried again and it worked! Yay! I had even forgotten that I actually did add controller support, so you can play it with a Nimbus or other iOS controller of your choice.

    While I can't say Ballistic is the favorite twin-stick shooter I've made, I still really enjoy the soundtrack, and the sound of the bombs is very satisfying. I'll be working on new sound effects and music for Devastator soon, and I will make sure the bombs sound at least as good as Ballistics'.

    Speaking of Devastator, the Steam page for it is now live. Aside from that link, I'm not going to promote it yet. The page is only live now because I wanted to have the option to submit the game to the February Steam Festival, and yesterday was the deadline for getting your game in (had to have a Coming Soon store page). The game is still called Devastator for the moment. "Super Devastator" was the winner of a Twitter poll about the name, but since then I've leaned more heavily into the Tron-like fiction of the game, and "Super" doesn't fit the theme, so I need to think of a modifier that fits a little better. Once I get the trailer done (and a final name), I'll do more promotion and try to get some real wishlists.

    Aside from the audio side of things, I'm adding a third mode to the game (shorter, more intense mode), and still have some UI/sequencing work to do, and more playtesting. I recently completed my first real use of multi-threaded code so the particles would run faster and I could have some background dust particles that react to the action and float around in a cool way. Without multi-threading the dust particles made the game dip to under 150 FPS on my machine, and now the game stays above 240FPS in even the most intense bonus waves. When I remake Fireball someday, I'll definitely be using multi-threading again so I can get potentially thousands of enemies on-screen at once along with tens of thousands of particles.

    Speed Demons 1.4.1 Update!

    Last but not least, the 1.4.1 update for Speed Demons is finally out on Apple Arcade! It actually came out last Friday, so sorry for the late news. There are a number of changes to the game and a bunch of new content, including Weekly Festivals (3 new difficult fixed-upgrade races every week), Chapter 9 (with 6 new vehicles and a few new environments), and a new way to see the event list. The save system also changed significantly to meet Apple's new standards.

    Though most of my focus now is on Devastator, and I'll be focused on the physics-destruction game in 2021, I'll still be planning to update Speed Demons twice a year for the foreseeable future. I think the vehicle line-up is pretty full now, though next year's 2nd update will probably have the final main chapter (Chapter 10), and I will probably do more special vehicles someday. I'm also going to work on polishing up some elements, and have been trying to think of ways to make the vehicles break into more pieces without having to model lots of custom destroyed parts.

    Finally, Apple named it's top 20 games of Apple Arcade for 2020 yesterday, and Speed Demons was actually #20 on that list. I think the list is based on overall plays/popularity over the 1st 11 months of 2020. Speed Demons was in the Top Games list for January and February and maybe a bit of March (don't really remember), but has been off that chart for a while. Being out the full year and in the top 20 for part of the year was just enough to get onto the bottom of the list.


    Name Of The Game

    November 16, 2020
    The new version of Devastator is going well, and I wanted to give an overview of what has changed from the original version. But almost everything has changed, except some of the basic visuals. It's essentially a sequel or complete re-imagining, and far more than an enhanced port. My dilemma is what to call the game. The only reason I'm hesitant to call it "Devastator" without any additional words/letters is because the mobile version exists. Players don't like mobile games that were ported to PC/consoles. Someday I may actually port this version back to mobile (after the PC/console version comes out), though that's unlikely to happen for years at this point. That seems to make the game a sequel I guess, even though I didn't intend it to be that.

    If I look at the history of my own games, Crossfire 2 and Inferno 2 are both sequels with similar amount of tweaks/work. Super Crossfire, which changed to Super Crossfighter later, combined the first two Crossfires and added/changed a number of things into a single game when I ported them from XBLIG to PC. Then there's Inferno+, which was an enhanced version of Inferno when I ported that to other platforms. That was definitely not as extensive an update as the new Devastator. Finally, I didn't work on Descent II, but I did work on Descent 3, and Descent II started as an add-on to Descent 1, but expanded and improved so much (and added new levels) that Parallax decided it was a sequel instead. Either way, I'm not sure yet what to call this version. I'll probably do a poll on Twitter to see what people think.

    This 30 FPS clip is from the first wave of the game on Elite difficulty.

    Speaking of Twitter, I posted the animated GIF above as part of Screenshot Saturday. It didn't take off right away, but over the next two days the post got 50+ Retweets and 150+ Likes. That's more than anything I've posted to Twitter except for the original Speed Demons trailer. So it seems quite a few people are excited about a new hardcore twin-stick shooter with flashy visuals (and 4k 120hz support). That's a nice bonus, though the reasons for making the game are definitely more internal-driven than external.

    Development has been relatively smooth, and it's been nice to be able to spend so much time refining the gameplay and visuals. Because I've been spending more time on Devastator than I expected, I've decided to put off any work on the new Fireball until after my other big project is released. I feel more confident about being able to polish a game beyond what I've done in the past, and I feel more confident in my games being worthy of putting my name on them (see the previous post below for more about that). I'm still not completely comfortable with putting "Luke Schneider" right next to the title of my games, and I'm not sure I'll be able to get over that. I don't feel that way about putting Radiangames in the title, and Radiangames is basically me.

    If Devastator isn't the game I put my name in the title, I'll probably never do it. I don't need to decide yet, but the time for a decision is coming soon. An announce trailer and Steam page launch are coming sometime in December, and I should probably make a choice of some sort by then.

    The Radiangames Newsletter!

    One quick final note: I've finally set up a proper newsletter for Radiangames. As I write this, the sign-up link is on the About Page of this site, but once I get it thorougly tested, it'll move to the top of this page. Signing up for the newsletter gets a free download of the Inferno 2 soundtrack. There will be more free stuff in the future, as well as opportunities to sign up for closed betas and get early access to demos of upcoming games.


    Not Good Enough

    October 23, 2020
    I may have spoken a little too soon about the big project in the previous update. The game is going really well, but I've been thinking a lot about this GDC talk by Zach Gage and Bennett Foddy. They talk about putting your name on your game, and I'm leaning towards putting my name more prominently in my games from now on. But there's one big problem with that: I don't think most of my games are good enough to put my name on them. That's actually one of the biggest benefits of considering whether to make my name more prominent: I feel more pressure and motivation to push myself to focus on the quality of the games.

    I played through and updated the majority of my iOS games back in April and May, and briefly played the ones on XBLIG recently. They are generally impressive for how long I took to make them (usually a couple months at most), but no one really cares about that when they're playing. They also don't really care how many people worked on them either. A few players are aware of those things, but really matters is how fun and enjoyable they are.

    As I'm switching to focus primarily on PC as my platform of choice for the foreseeable future, I have been thinking about which of my games *could* be good enough to put my name on them on Steam. Slydris 2 is the best mobile game, and I'll port it to PC eventually, but it's about 3rd or 4th in line (it doesn't get much better as a PC game). Speed Demons is exclusive to Apple Arcade for a while longer. I don't think Bombcats would make a good PC game. Powerpuff Girls was on PC, and it was good but not great. I want to do a Metroid-vania shooter again someday, but PPG won't be used as a starting point.

    None of my other puzzle games are good enough to port/update for PC (Crush, Slydris, Sideswype, and Pivotol). Inferno 2 is already on PC, and it's good, but it definitely could improve in many areas (especially visuals/UI). I might tweak it a bit, but creating a sequel or something similar but with different visuals would be more worthwhile. That's a 8-12 month game, so it'll have to wait (I'm not going to update Inferno+ for the same reasons). Super Crossfighter had a PC version a long time ago, but the UI system is the worst UI system in any of my games to work with, and I would rather spend time on a sequel. That's at least a 6 month project. A new version of SCF is higher priority than a new verison of Inferno since it's more unique gameplay-wise and should take a bit less time. But 6 months is still too long right now.

    So that leaves the arcade-action games: Scorcher, Fluid, JoyJoy, Ballistic, Fireball, and Devastator. Scorcher is not deep enough (or very fun) even though it has very nice visuals. Fluid has more substance but less style, and I don't find the style of gameplay particularly fun. It's a top-down racing game where precision is more important than anything else (with a slight puzzle element that fades pretty quickly). By comparison I find Fireball a lot more enjoyable in the moment-to-moment gameplay. We'll come back to Fireball, and focus on the 3 twin-stick shooters. JoyJoy and Ballistic both have their relative strengths, but neither is especially fun when it comes to gameplay. Devastator is harder than both (and less popular), and not particularly fun in its current form, but the enemy types are much more varied, and the visuals have a lot of potential to improve with a new version.

    This is how they look now, but they'll look different soon

    Fireball and Devastator are nowhere close to my most popular games, and no one is asking for drastically-improved PC versions, but I think they have potential to be two of the highest quality games of their kind. They are just small arcade-style games that play best with a gamepad, and that's kind of the point. I've never had the opportunity to just focus on quality, and now's a good time to do it. I get to become more comfortable with Steam's back-end before launching my big game on there, and figure out how far I need to push my games to feel confident about putting my name on them. It feels weird to even write this out, but here goes:

    Luke Schneider's DEVASTATOR

    [Or maybe it should be...]

    DEVASTATOR - A Twin-Stick Shooter By Luke Schneider

    Update On The Speed Demons Update

    Speed Demons' update has been "done" for a while, but there were numerous small problems with the save/load system. The Apple Arcade requirements were updated over the summer, and the big change was to the save/load design. Speed Demons' save/load system was already the most complex part of the game, which is saying something when I think about how many layers of procedural generation are used for the highways. In the change over to the new requirements, the complexity became too much and it started to falter under its own weight.

    After a couple failed attempts to fix it, I finally broke down and rewrote the majority of the save/load system over the past couple weeks. This let me simplify some things while making sure the import process (from the old save data) was robust as well. It's still a complex system, but it's a lot less messy and seems to work really well. Hopefully it passes the testing phase this time, and even if it doesn't, I feel a lot more confident about being able to fix any issues.


    Speed Demons And New Project Update

    September 28, 2020
    I've been quiet for a while, but it's time to get back to more regular updates and a shift in how I do things. Before I discuss the new project and Radiangames' future a little, let's talk about Speed Demons for a bit.

    Speed Demons 1.3.1 came out in early June, and I'm just wrapping up version 1.4.1. There's a decent lead time for Apple Arcade updates these days, but hopefully 1.4.1 will be available sooner than later. The big new things for 1.4.1 are a new chapter, an optional event list UI (so you can track your overall progress better and see more at once), and Weekly Festivals.

    The Weekly Festivals give you 3 new events in a single environment with precision-tuned difficulty every week. The upgrades for these events are fixed, and that means I can tune the goals to fit the vehicle exactly the way the player will be using it. Hopefully players enjoy the Weekly Festivals, as I'd like to expand them to 4 events per week, and right now there are 15 weeks worth of events to cycle through, but I plan to add a lot more weeks in future updates.

    Looking Ahead

    My new project, which I expect to announce later this year, is once again my main focus now that the Speed Demons update is finished. It's the same project I mentioned earlier this year, but it's gone through some major shifts in focus since then. A major part of the core technology is still the same, but there's a new layer of complexity that's been added, and I've leaning even heavier into the physics side of things. The game direction is stable now, and polish has become the main focus for the time being. This is a project I hope to work on for multiple years, though it will be available at some point in 2021.

    When I'm not working on the new project, I've been doing a lot of research into the one aspect of game development that I've never excelled at: Discoverability and Marketing. There are plenty of great resources out there, including tons of GDC videos on YouTube, Simon Carless' Discoverability newsletter, the Clark Tank episodes by Ryan Clark from Brace Yourself Games, and the aptly named howtomarketagame.com.

    It's pretty overwhelming to be honest, and definitely a lot of work to promote a game properly, so I'm trying to write down all the half-decent ideas that I find, and I'm slowly narrowing down the options to those that seem to have the best potential time-to-benefit ratio. I've wanted to have a more open development process for a long time, and the new project will have that soon. The one big upside of wanting to be more active in promotion and such is that I'll get to be more involved with players. I like talking about games and the behind-the-scenes stuff, and I also want to know what players think and want in my games.

    I realize this one random blog post isn't really changing anything on its own. It's just a small step, but one I've been hesitant to take. One other small thing I've done is updating the Games page above so it has fewer links (so there's less chance of them being broken), while I added more information on the games themselves, including others I've worked on that aren't directly on the AppStore or Google Play. Should make that page a bit more interesting. Until next time.


    A Big Wave of Anniversary Updates

    May 5, 2020
    The 10th anniversary of Radiangames first release, JoyJoy on Xbox 360, is coming next week. The game was officially launched on May 15th in 2010, and since then I've released nearly 20 games on various platforms. It's been quite the journey for Radiangames in that time, and at times my work on Radiangames' titles has taken a back seat to other projects, especially Overload from late-2014 'til mid-2018. But for the majority of the time since 2010, I've been working on Radiangames' titles.

    Lately I've taken a short break from my big project and have been working on getting my iOS catalog fully up-to-date, aside from the titles handled by GameClub (they currently handle Fireball and JoyJoy, and probably Inferno+ in the future). Speed Demons is receiving another update as well, but I'll go over that in more detail when it releases in early June. The 3 titles that used to be on iPhone/iPad but aren't currently available are my top priority first, with updates for older non-iPhone X-friendly games being the next phase.

    [Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville is the one exception, as I don't own that IP. Sorry!]


    Bombcats is the solo game I worked on the most hours, aside from Speed Demons. While Speed Demons has been my most successful game, Bombcats was by far the worst investment of my time. Not because it's a bad game, but because I spent a very long time on it and it hardly made any money. Bombcats almost ended Radiangames 7 years ago, but let's instead focus on the positives. It's a large polished game, with lots of cute cats, nice physics, and most of the game is quite enjoyable.

    For the re-release, I played through the whole game again, and focused on removing as many points of frustration as possible. That mostly means making the cost of skipping levels and replaying challenge levels a *lot* cheaper, and reducing the star-lock requirements by a significant amount as well. There were many other minor tweaks, and I decided to just call it Bombcats though it's based on the Bombcats Special Edition code.

    Bombcats is available for pre-order for $0.99, but that's a first-week sale price, and it'll go up to $2.99 on May 21st, so grab it while it's cheap. Because the original app was completely removed when it was de-listed by Chillingo, this is a new app ID. If you bought Bombcats SE years ago and want a new copy, just email me and I'll send you a code.


    Ballistic SE is an odd one because the 1.2 update removes the bonus mode (Chain Blast) that was added in version 1.1. I somehow lost the source code to that update a long time ago (the Android version doesn't have Chain Blast mode either), but I'd rather update it with better controller support and make it actually playable rather than have it dead forever. The gamepad support in iOS 13 is excellent now, and I'm making sure all my shooter games support gamepads in both gameplay and menus. Support for iPhone X was a little less painful than Bombcats SE, but it still wasn't fun to work on.

    The update should be out in on May 28th for $1.99. Unlike Bombcats, this uses the same app ID as the original version did years ago, so if you bought it before, you don't have to buy it again.


    Slydris 2 is probably the best touch-centric game I've made. I somehow stumbled into a very fun variation of a block-dropping puzzle game that fits perfectly on a touch screen device. But it hasn't been available for a year or so because I was working on a version of it called Blocks with the awesome TripleDot Studios. Blocks is a free-with-ads slightly more casual version of the game, but it didn't become quite as successful as TripleDot's other titles and I wasn't available to iterate on it regularly. So we agreed to stop working on Blocks, and Slydris 2 is able to come back earlier than I expected.

    Aside from adding Undos, the biggest change is the game becoming paid. I think the game is actually well suited to being free-with-ads, and it would definitely make more money with that structure. But working on free-to-play mechanics is not enjoyable for me, and free games require more post-launch iteration and technical maintenance than paid games. In the time I could make a free-with-ads version of a game, I could probably make 2 paid games of similar size (outside of all the stuff for putting the game on the AppStore and promoting it). Slydris 2 is one of the games I definitley want to be playable in 100 or even 1,000 years, and having it free of ad-related and IAP-related logic makes that a lot easier to achieve.

    I expect Slydris 2 to be available again on May 21st for $2.99. It'll use the same app ID as before, so if you downloaded it before, you get it automatically. If you paid for the IAP to remove ads and would like another game from the Radiangames' library, please email me.


    In playing all my games on iOS, it's interesting to see which games have held up better than others.

    Of my shooter games, Super Crossfighter is easily my favorite these days. The controls are simple enough and fit pretty naturally onto a touch screen. On the other hand, playing twin-stick shooters just feels too exhausting without a gamepad, which is why I'm updating them all to have iOS 13 controller support. Devastator is the most affected by the touch screen controls being inferior to a gamepad. I really like the audio-visual experience of that game more than my other 2D-centric shooters, but the touch-screen controls just aren't responsive enough for its style of gameplay. Ballistic feels more natural to control because there are no obstacles and more momentum in the player's movement (and the pace of the game takes much longer to ramp up). Inferno 1 and 2 are nice to play, but I dislike their UI now, and the visuals pale in comparison to Devastator (not to mention Speed Demons + Scorcher).

    On the puzzle side of things, Crush sounds really good but is too shallow. Sideswype is my least favorite puzzler to play, but looks and sounds great. Just not quite enough strategy/depth/choice in the gameplay. Pivotol is decent but unexceptional in any particular category (more fun than Sideswype and Crush). Slydris still holds up pretty well though it looks a bit dated. It feels different enough from Slydris 2 that I like that both exist. But Slydris 2 is my clear favorite of the two because of how all the elements work together. I have many more ideas for puzzle games, but none of them will likely be as fun as Slydris 2 (unless I make a Slydris sequel/spin-off). That doesn't mean I shouldn't try making them, just that I won't be surprised if they're more like Pivotol than Slydris 1/2. And maybe they'll need a sequel to reach their full potential...

    I think that's enough rambling thoughts for now. Just to be clear, the following games will be updated sometime soon with iPhone X support: Inferno 2, Super Crossfighter, Devastator, Fluid, CRUSH, and SideSwype. Pivotol and Scorcher don't need updates, while Fireball SE and JoyJoy were updated by GameClub, and Inferno+ will probably be updated by them as well.

    As for the Google Play versions, I'll do them all at once when the iOS versions are done being updated. Updating goes much faster when I don't have to jump between platforms, and I already have a tough time keeping track of everything for just one platform. I'll do my best to make sure all the games are available on Android again, as Google randomly removes one every once in a while for reasons I don't always understand (usually some random unused API in Unity or a plug-in becomes a problem to their automated checks).

    The next time I post will likely be about Speed Demons 1.3.1 when it releases.


    Speed Demons 1.2.2 Now Available

    February 20, 2020

    Speed Demons is now at version 1.2.2 on iOS and tvOS (with the Mac version coming soon) on Apple Arcade. Version 1.2.1 released a couple weeks back, and 1.2.2 submitted shortly after that. 1.2.2 fixed a couple minor issues and made the tutorial a bit more robust in a number of minor ways, and it just released last night.

    After updating the tutorial, I decided it was time to reset the ratings on the AppStore. The game has had somewhat mixed reviews for all versions of the game, with many players loving the game, but some hating it. The controls are the most divisive issue by far, with some complaints about there not being enough of an introduction to the controls as well. Hopefully the tweaks in 1.2.2 will help new players and get the game back into the 4+ star rating territory (it had been averaging 3.9, which is quite low compared to most of my other games).

    Rewinding a bit more, I wanted to talk about 1.2 in general a bit more. The game now feels as complete as I ever intended it to be, and the overall play time exceeds 20 hours by a significant margin. 1.2 adds a lot of new cars (5 of them have a top speed greater than 200 MPH), a monster truck, some new modes and modifiers, and a lot of new events. It's a very long game, and any future updates will need to stretch the game in new directions if it's to add anything of value. I have some ideas for the next big update (later in 2020), but I'm not going to commit to anything yet.

    The new trailer has been out for a couple weeks, but here it is in case you missed it:

    With Speed Demons work on hold for a while, I've been working on a new prototype project. It uses top-down low-poly art, lots of particles, and relies a lot on physics, but is otherwise quite a bit different from Speed Demons. I can't really say anything more about it, but I'm aiming to hit my first big milestone at the end of February. Depending on how things go in March, I'll either start discussing it more in public, or keep it quiet for a while. Sometimes working on a new project can be a bit of a grind while you build up the basics and flail around for the key elements, but other times it's just plain fun to work with new mechanics and controls. It's been a bit of both so far, but now I need to focus and just get to the next milestone and prove that the prototype is more than just a tech demo.


    Speed Demons 1.2.1 Coming Soon

    January 21, 2020

    Version 1.2.1 of Speed Demons has just been submitted for Apple Arcade. It might take a couple tries to get thru submission, though it's been well-tested and I don't expect it to be more than a few weeks before it's out. This update has taken a lot longer than I expected for a few reasons. The three main ones are:

    1) The update is bigger than I expected, with 150+ new events and 13 new vehicles (I originally expected around 100 and 10 for those numbers). I also modified some existing events to highlight the new modifiers. The original game shipped with 205 (or so) events, and the first update added 40 new ones, but now the game has 401 events.

    2) I changed how AI steers, and that took longer to get right than I expected, and it led to me needing to re-test/re-balance the entire game. I had to test all the new/modified events anyway, but I had to 3-star everything, which was harder than I expected, and I slightly re-balanced a good number of events that had no other changes.

    3) My motivation has been lacking in consistency. At times I've been productive over the past months, but other days I've gotten very little done. Perhaps I took on too much with this update, but none of the tasks were especially painful or tedious. I believe I'm past the worst of the recent laziness, but I'm not certain of that.

    Regardless, here's a screenshot from the progress menu taken on my iPad, showing the 2,000+ miles I've driven over the past few weeks:

    I'll be working on a new trailer for the update starting today, and will release that when the update is out. There's a lot of cool stuff in the update, particularly if you like fast cars, but I'd rather show than tell, so I'll save further details and elaboration of the update highlights until it's available.

    After the trailer, I'm going to focus on figuring out my next game. I have a number of ideas for what that might be, but it may take a little while to sort it out.

    As for the future Speed Demons, version 1.3 won't be released this Spring like I originally planned. I have plans for additional vehicles and features, but I need a break from the game, and next time I won't be changing anything that affects the whole game like the AI steering did this time. At this point the game is so massive that it doesn't need more content, but there are a few more vehicles I'd like to add, and right now I think a custom mode (where you get to create and save custom events and settings) is the next logical step. I might also revise the UI a bit more, but after playing through the whole game, it doesn't feel as important as it did last fall.

    A little time away from Speed Demons will help me gain a little perspective. Right now I'm looking at it as a player who has finished everything there is to do, but I also need to look at it with fresh eyes as well. Either way, the game is in a really good place as of 1.2.1, so I'll write down all my current ideas and reevaluate them later this year.


    Speed Demons 1.1.1 Now Available!

    November 8, 2019

    The first big update of Speed Demons is now out on Apple Arcade. Version 1.1.1 adds a bunch of new content, Daily Quests, landscape mode for iPad, and a few other minor fixes. It also breaks the non-standard camera angles on iPhone X/11, unfortunately. That will be fixed in 1.1.2, which was just submitted this morning.

    There are 40 new events in Chapter 6, with 6 new vehicles introduced, 2 of them being large trucks, 2 are everyday vehicles (minivan and compact SUV), and 2 high-speed cars. There are also 2 new environments. The new vehicles are really the best part of this chapter, with the Apex, Maverick, and Vault being the 3 that really stand out to me.

    As for other features, landscape mode is now available on iPad. You have to go into the Graphics settings (in the Options menu) to change the orientation. And the Daily Quests are an extra way to add a bit of variety and motivation to the game. Initially you'll start with 3 quests, and you'll get new ones every day. They are all pretty simple to achieve, and each gives a bit of XP along with an extra coin. So now it's theoretically possible to upgrade all the cars to their maximum level, but it would still take a while to accumulate enough coins.

    I've been working on various additional features for the next update after that. I'm pretty sure I'll call it version 1.5, as it has so many new features and such that it's more than just another update. There will be two new Chapters (7 and 8, with 13 new vehicles), two new game modes, new major modifiers, AI and visual tweaks, and more. I expect there to be over 350 total events with version 1.5 (there are 246 in 1.1, I believe), with most existing vehicles also receiving new events as well. I believe 5 of the cars will be faster than the current fastest car (Voyager). Hopefully it'll be out in December, but I don't want to make any promises since so much is being added. I'll likely create a new trailer when that is done.

    Beyond that, I'm currently planning on one more major update for early 2020. In addition to new content (Chapters 9 and 10) and other modes/tweaks, I'll probably revise the event list UI in that update. There are just too many events, and scrolling through a mega list is becoming cumbersome. I have a few vague ideas, but I'm definitely open to suggestions on how to best organize the chapters and events in a more readable and usable way.

    Hope you guys enjoy version 1.1.1, and definitely let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, or other issues.

    [Apologies for not continuing the YouTube series, but there was a pretty low interest in them, so I'd rather keep focusing my time where it makes the most impact.]



    Speed Demons on Apple Arcade!

    Inferno 2 on PS4 and Switch!

    Septemeber 19, 2019

    It's safe to say that today is the biggest day for Radiangames, ever. September 19th, 2019 is history in so many ways that I need to list them all out:

    * Speed Demons is my first launch-day release for a new platform (Apple Arcade)!
    * Speed Demons is my biggest solo game ever, and I'm not done working on it!
    * Inferno 2 is my first Radiangames release on PS4 and Switch! (XB1 is coming soon!)
    * Inferno 2 is my first Nintendo release of any kind (solo or otherwise)!
    * Inferno 2 on consoles is my first co-op game since 2011!
    * And both of these are launching on THE SAME DAY!

    That's a lot of freakin' exclamation points!!! I can't believe this is all happening on the same day, but it somehow is. I didn't plan this in any way, so I'm as surprised by the dates working out this way as anyone else. Launching two games on the same day is not something I'd recommend to anyone, especially a solo developer, as I'm so stressed that I'm pretty much numb today.

    Plus it's probably the biggest launch day in mobile games history (not just Apple Arcade, but multiple big Switch games are out today). Normally, getting any attention is difficult and requires some luck, but today it's even more difficult. Somehow, Speed Demons has been very lucky.

    Before I get ahead of myself, the important links:

    Speed Demons on Apple Arcade - requires iOS 13 for iPhone (or iOS 13.1 beta for iPad)

    Inferno 2 on Switch

    Inferno 2 on Playstation 4

    (XB1 version was delayed a couple weeks, stay tuned!)

    I also want to point to the following two Discord servers:

    2Awesome Studio's Discord Server
    (for #inferno2 discussion)

    Speed Demons Discord Server

    Working on Speed Demons over the past 5+ months has been all-consuming of my life. I worked on it a bunch towards the end of 2018 as well. And though that doesn't add up to as many days worked as Powerpuff Girls or Bombcats, the number of hours worked on Speed Demons is definitely higher. I've had to become as efficient as I've ever been on any game in terms of producing content. And I'm not even close to being done working on the game, though I'm hopefully done working 12+ hour days. I anticipate by next summer, the amount of game content (cars/environments/events) in Speed Demons will be more than doubled.

    I'm also starting a new series of videos on my YouTube channel about the development of Speed Demons:

    Being part of Apple Arcade is both exhilirating and terrifying. The number of super-high-quality games is off the charts. Multiple people have said this is the best launch line-up for any new platform. I mean, technically, it's a service, but either way, Speed Demons is in the company of some amazing games, and I feel very fortunate to be part of the Apple Arcade launch.

    I also feel fortunate about Inferno 2's launch. The amount of work I've had to do on the ports has been minimal. I worked on adding co-op back in the spring of 2018, but since then David and Alejandro at 2Awesome Studio have handled almost everything else. It's the "easiest" game I've worked on even if it did take longer than initially expected.

    I have no idea what to expect with the console version of the game, but hope it's at least moderately successful. Super Crossfighter really deserves a console port as well, so Inferno 2 might make that a no-brainer or a non-starter based on what happens with it.


    Speed Demons Coming Soon to Apple Arcade!

    Septemeber 16, 2019

    This is a big week for Radiangames (see the previous news item below). And it just got a LOT bigger: My biggest and most ambitious solo game, Speed Demons, is coming soon to Apple Arcade! I don't know the exact launch day of the game yet, though Apple Arcade launches this Thursday, September 19th. Here's an all-new trailer for the game:

    It's very exciting being part of Apple Arcade, and I can't wait for everyone to try the game. I'll share more details about the game and everything that went into it (a lot!) once it's available to download.


    Inferno 2 Coming to Console, with CO-OP!

    Septemeber 3, 2019

    I'm thrilled to let everyone know that thanks to the hard work of 2Awesome Studio, Inferno 2 will be coming to consoles (Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One) on September 19th! Not only is the game on consoles for the first time, but it also will have brand-new 2-player support! Those are the 2 most common requests for Inferno 2, and now they're both happening AT THE SAME TIME!

    Inferno 2 is the perfect title for Radiangames' first console release since 2011. I'm really excited to play the game as well, as David and Alejandro have put in nearly all the work on this one, and I don't have any development consoles at the moment. I helped out by putting co-op into the game and fixing a couple bugs, but that was a while ago, and they've handled pretty much everything else since then.

    One more piece of good news: The game will be the same price as the Steam version, which means it's only $4.99, so there's no reason not to pick it up on every console you own. Now I get to link to Inferno 2 on Switch, which is something that brings me a huge amount of joy:

    Inferno 2 on Switch

    (The Playstation 4 and Xbox One pages are not up yet, but hopefully will be soon)

    Eventually I'll try to find some time to bring co-op to the Steam version of the game, but I'm still busy working on another project. More details about the other project will probably be coming soon.

    (It's not Inferno 3, though I still hope to work on that someday as well.)


    Slydris 2 News

    May 20, 2019

    Just wanted to give a quick update about what's happening with Radiangames. Even though I've been quiet, there's been a lot of activity going on. The big news for today:

    I've been developing a new "version" of Slydris 2 for a while now. As I mentioned in my GDC talk, getting help with free games is good idea, and I've been doing exaclty that in working with Tripledot Studios (a cool UK-based free games developer). I've learned a lot about what's important to a hopefully-successful free-with-ads game, and everyone at TDS has been great to work with. We've been working on the game since early this year, and the game (Blocks) is out now on iOS. That's obviously not the most exciting name, but it is very friendly to search, and it might be better to not have any association with Tetris (so players don't have certain expectations about the controls/etc).

    The art style has changed a ton, and the sounds are completely new, but the game still feels great to play. And it really is a better experience in many ways. The tutorial is 10x better, the ad system is much simpler and non-intrusive, and the additions of hints and undos really add a lot to the game. Aside from the undos and hints, the biggest gameplay tweak was changing the dropping blocks to be immoveable. This will reduce player confusion immensely, and it doesn't hurt the game to have your focus always on the stack instead of worrying about what's dropping from above so much.

    There's one other important aspect to today's news: Slydris 2 will leaving the Apple AppStore (it's already gone from Google Play) tomorrow. Blocks is just a better game (for new and non-paying players especially), and taking down Slydris 2 gives Blocks a chance to get the attention it deserves. You can still play Slydris 2 as is if you have it already or download it in the next day, and it may return in some form far in the future, but for now, Blocks is the way to play.

    There are other things happening with Radiangames, but nothing I can talk about yet. I'm not sure what or when the next announcement will be, but there should be some big news later this summer.


    GDC Notes Now Available

    April 21, 2019

    It's been a month, so I apologize for the lateness of this, but I now have the GDC slides available here. The slides are pretty image-heavy and substance-light, so you should definitely take a look at the notes while looking at the slides. I wrote the notes as a script this time, and I think that worked better than the other style that is usually recommended (where you write brief snippets to remind you of what you want to say). Writing notes in script form isn't for everyone, but it's worth trying if the snippets method doesn't work for you. Of the 4 GDC talks I've given, I felt this one went the best, but that's not saying much since the 2nd and 3rd talks weren't particularly good (or well-reviewed).

    I don't know when or if GDC will post the video of the talk, but I'll be sure to add another entry about it.


    New Website Live!

    April 20, 2019

    Radiangames has a new website. Sorry for the delay in getting it back on-line, but I spent too long looking at various things I could use, and decided a simple DIY site was the way to go. I don't want anything too fancy, and I finally decided it wasn't too much hassle to just figure out HTML and CSS. I've done HTML websites before, but it's been a while, as well as customizing my old website with a bit of CSS. Now I'm just googling my way to getting a website up and running.

    I don't think a blog is as important as it was when I started Radiangames, so I'm going to scale back on the images and words a bit in the future. This new version has no comments or things like that, but the frequency of comments had fallen a lot since the early days, and there are plenty of ways to interact with me if you want to get in touch. I still intend to post every week or two as I had been before, as these posts still help me sort out my thoughts, and they are a nice record for what I've been up to.

    (c)2020 Radiangames