We’re happy to announce that Spheroids is finally available on Xbox One and Windows 10! Yes, that means our game supports Xbox Play Anywhere, allowing you to carry over your progress between these exciting platforms. It’s been a long road that started nearly two years ago and I’d like to take some time to reflect on the journey and how the game has changed during development.
When we started development of Spheroids we wanted to do something inspired by the mechanics of a classic game that was popular in the arcades in Spain when we were young: Pang! (aka Buster Bros). It was a simple skill-based game that had you bursting balls over different stages around the world. We thought it was great and that it could be used as inspiration to evolve it and mix it with other genres to create something new and original.
The first thing we thought could improve upon were larger environments. After all, why should you be confined to a small screen? It might have been a constraint back in 1989, but now we could push the platforming and puzzle elements hinted at in Pang! to new levels in Spheroids.
Following up on that concept, we thought it’d be good to include the plane-switching mechanic. We thought having different situations could help develop interesting puzzles which meant we could open the game up to new gameplay mechanics and situations, adding more variety and different challenges.
Great adventure games do this well. Think, for instance, how Rise of the Tomb Raider mixes areas of stealth with combat oriented gameplay, mixed with parts where you perform platforming elements as well. It keeps the player engaged and avoids monotony.
Thus we had three pillars to base Spheroids upon: combat from Pang, classic platforming, and puzzle elements. We played with some basic elements for puzzles and platforming, like buttons, doors, moving platforms. That turned into “Combat Zones” so that, sometimes, when you enter a zone walls would appear to bring about the Pang!-like parts.
But we wanted to improve the platforming part of the game. That lead to the creation of the hook and grapple, which turned into hook shooting and jumping. Then we thought we needed just one more mechanic to complete our set of gadgets: inverting gravity. That’s how the gravity boots were born. With that, it was time to think of enemies.
In Pang! The enemies are just balls with no personality. We were already brewing up a crazy story for Spheroids that involves aliens, a cubic world with alternate spherical dimensions. We decided to make the spheroids ‘aliens’ and give them some character. We added eyes and (in some cases) mouths to the balls to bring them in line with the story we were preparing.
We also thought different colors could be more than a simple cosmetic change; we could have different types of enemies with different gameplay elements so that the combat of our game could see some variety. That’s how we added enemies that are heavier, others have armor (my favorite) and others can rejoin after being split apart to name a few.
It’s been a long road to get here, but we did it. We’ve poured our souls into Spheroids to try and create the best game we could for you. We’re particularly proud of the Xbox One version and we hope you’ll enjoy the game as much as we did developing it. Feel free to email us for feedback, good or bad, or to just let us know you enjoyed the game. Would love to hear what you have to say. Thank you!