Working on I.R.I.S – DefOp HTML5 Edition

With the release of I.R.I.S – DefOp version 1.0.3 on iOS, I was deciding on what to do next. The choice was either to work on a new game or create a web version of I.R.I.S. I chose the later because I wanted to take a break from programming and just focus on the design aspect.

Wait … making a game without programming you say? Is that even possible?

Short answer is yes. Back in 2013, I purchased a game making tool called Construct2. It allows you to create 2D games without any programming experience at all. What you do need is logic thinking; ‘what goes where’, ‘what happens if x is triggered’ and so on. I will talk more about Construct2 in my next blog post.

sample 'logic code' from I.R.I.S DefOp HTML5
sample ‘logic code’ from I.R.I.S DefOp HTML5

When it comes to making the HTML5 version, I didn’t want it to be just a straight up port of the mobile version. Having access to keyboard and mouse controls brings a whole new world to the table. No longer are you restricted to just touch controls. Having said that, I still want to keep the core gameplay of I.R.I.S intact while changing things up a little … whichhhhhh brings me to the idea of putting … turrets.

Whats better than having 1 turret? 2 turrets!

You see, in the mobile version of I.R.I.S, your main defensive weapons are the two beam gates located on each corner of the screen. Holding the L / R touch buttons will activate the beam, killing anything that collides with it. From here, you can probably see the limitations of this design concept. Yeap, all enemies will have to move past a certain area in order for the player to destroy them. I did manage to get creative with some of the enemies (the annoying Orange ship) but at the end, an object needs to move from point A to B, with B here being the secret lab.

With the addition of turrets, the game is no longer restricted to the original design concept. I can now create enemies that attacks from a distance away and their movement paths are much more open ended. I can even throw in boss battles now.

At the time of this post, the game is about 50% complete. I will post up an early build over at GameJolt soon so do hit that ‘Follow’ button to get notified. Oh, and if you haven’t register as a member at GameJolt, do sign up. It’s a cool place where you get to play both freeware and commercial games using either your browser or in downloadable format. See you there!

Edit: The game is available now.

Work In Progress. A lot of effects are still missing
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8BITDO SFC30 Gamepad

Recently, I was bitten by the nostalgic retro bug and decided to pick up the 8BITDO SFC30 Gamepad, a wireless Super Famicom controller that works with iOS, Android, Windows & Mac OS. Below is my bitesize review of the product.

Packaging


From the packaging itself, you can probably guess that this is going to be a well made product. The SFC30 Gamepad sits nicely between by 2 protective foams. Below it is a box containing the instruction booklet (in both English and Mandarin), a flat USB cable and a 30th Anniversary keychain. Color me impressed.

Product Quality

It has been over 20 years since I held an actual Super Famicom or Super Nintendo gamepad (yes, I’m pretty old) so I can’t really make a direct comparison between the SFC30 and the original. Holding the SFC30 Gamepad in my hands, it felt really good and sturdy with none of those cheap plastic feeling. Buttons have that nice ‘clicky’ sound and doesn’t feel mushy. The D-Pad however feels a tad too stiff for me. Not a deal breaker but would be nice if it was softer.

Getting Started

You have a choice between Bluetooth and wires USB connectivity. At the point of this writing, I’ve only tried connecting it to my PC via Bluetooth and it was up and running within minutes. As far as I can tell, there wasn’t any noticeable lag. Playing Contra 3 on the SNES (via emulation) felt really good, granted I died a lot. Geez I totally forgot how hard that game was.

Battery Life

I don’t have an exact measurement but the gamepad is still running since its first charge, clocking about 10 hours of gameplay in total. Considering how light the SFC30 was, I wasn’t expecting much from the battery life but this is a nice surprise. I heard it’s possible to get 20 hours of play time out of a single charge. Wow!

Overall Thoughts

When I first ordered the SFC30 Gamepad, my expectations weren’t much. When it comes to 3rd party retro gaming products, more than often the build quality doesn’t live up to the original. This product however, went beyond my expectations and blew it out the window. If you looking to get into retro gaming, look no further. I would assume the same build quality applies to all other 8BITDO products. Hmm … wonder when will I get bitten by the retro Sega bug?

If you are looking to buy the SFC30 or any other gaming related products, check out the links below. Each time you buy from them, you will be helping out the site, in return I will be able to bring in more product reviews in the future.

I picked up the SFC30 from Play-Asia, a popular online game store located in Hong Kong.

8BITDO SFC30 Gamepad (Super Famicom)
8BITDO SNES30 Gamepad (Super Nintendo)

Retro Receiver (SNES / Super Famicom)
This is a nifty product that allows you to connect and play on your SNES or Super Famicom system wirelessly using PS4, PS3, Wii Remote, Wii U Pro and all 8bitdo controllers.

If you prefer to shop at Amazon, here you go, directly from 8BITDO themsevles. [Amazon-8BITDO SNES30 Gamepad]

Until next time!

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