As you may know a couple of weeks ago we helped put on the first ever Gamehack, in which developers were given 24 hours to create brand new games from scratch. Alongside being the main sponsor for GameHack we also ran a challenge category called best use of mobile, which was won by Lightwood Games who developed Plasma Party – and the most exciting bit is that they have just released it on the Apple App Store!
Plasma Party is based on the simple ‘whack-a-mole’ concept, extended across multiple iOS devices using a feature of Apple’s GameKit framework that allows more than 2 devices to connect through Bluetooth. In the game, two to four players can connect up to 16 iPods, iPhones and iPads to create a gaming board in which they must be the first to turn off all of their own colour lights.
BV: Who are you and what do you do?
LG: We are Lightwood Games, a team of two developers who have produced a number of puzzle games for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Usually with rather more than 24 hours to make them though!
We’re passionate about social gaming experiences, so our titles include multi-player online modes. We created the first ever online competitive word search puzzle, which has now been played more than 10 million times. We made a jigsaw app that lets you create puzzles from your own photos and then race to solve them against a friend in real time. Our Sudoku game has a crazy two-player mode like nothing you’ve ever seen before!
BV: What is the name of the Game you made at GameHack?
LG: At GameHack we called it “Plasmafest”, although we’ve since renamed it to Plasma Party, so it fits alongside some of our other “Party” games. We took a simple whack-a-mole concept and extended it across multiple devices connected using Bluetooth. Two to four players then compete to be the first to touch all the lights in their own assigned colour. Game play becomes a real-world social experience, involving intertwining limbs and digits with nearby opponents as you battle to reach lights in the far corners.
BV: Did you have fun at GameHack?
LG: Yes! It was something neither of us had done before, and whilst rather an intense experience, it was good fun. We were interested to see what other people were creating in the time, and some of the graphics were amazing.
BV: How did you come up with the game? Was it spur of the moment?
LG: We’d had the idea to use Bluetooth to create a larger play area for a little while, but hadn’t had the time to develop the idea. We figured it was something we could probably create in 24 hours, and despite doubting that at around 3am when the devices still weren’t communicating properly, it all suddenly came together in the last few hours.
BV: What is the game made from, what technology did you use?
LG: The game is written in Objective-C, creating a native, Universal iOS app. It utilizes a lesser known (and sparsely documented!) feature of Apple’s GameKit framework to connect more than 2 devices via Bluetooth.
BV: Any idea what you are going to make using your Arduino prize?
We both spend far too long during the day hitting refresh on multiple websites to catch the latest stats – how many word searches have been played today? How many bootups has Worcle had? Which advertising network is performing best? These stats all have APIs so we can aggregate them onto one page, but it’s still very distracting.
What would be just as distracting, but infinitely more awesome, would be to have a scrolling LED sign above the desk! Our very own private stock ticker
BV: Any future plans for your game?
LG: Amazingly, we’ve already submitted it to Apple! After all the lovely, enthusiastic comments we received, we just couldn’t wait to get it out to everyone to play. It feels a little like the event has only just finished, after a couple of days of further frantic coding to iron out the bugs we chose not to demonstrate on Sunday