Flibitz Dev Log Catch-Up: Part 1

Our first commercial release, Flibitz, is nearing completion. There is still a moderate amount of work to do, but we expect to release to iOS sometime this Fall. I intend to make frequent “development log” posts of all projects going forward, but unfortunately I did not start this blog until Flibitz was already fairly far along in development.

Flibitz

I intend to right this wrong, so I am doing some retroactive dev log entries. Since I’m working from memory, I am sure that I will get some facts wrong, and this won’t be entirely in chronological order. Still, I intend to give it the old college try (please bear in mind that I was a music major in college, so adjust your expectations as needed).

Concept:

For those of you who have not played the demo yet, Flibitz is a casual puzzle game that involves tapping lovable blob-like green aliens—the Flibitz—to make them fly from one platform to another, helping them to reach portals that take them back to their home world. In addition to making them fly, the player can use the “flip button” to cause the platforms to rotate and move along tracks. In order to navigate the Flibitz toward the portals, the player must find the exact combination of flipping and flying.

To be honest, I don’t remember exactly what sparked this idea. It just kind of popped into my head one day, so I made a quick sketch of it in one of my many game idea notebooks (yes, actual paper ones). And there it sat for several months while I worked on another game, called “Octotentiary”.

Early Production:

Flibitz Idea Notebook

“Octotentiary” had gone fairly well overall, but I was starting to get overwhelmed with it. I’m a programmer by trade, but have only ever really dabbled in art, which led to various delays while I struggled to learn a whole new skill set and corresponding tool set. To make a long story short, “Octotentiary” just kind of got away from me and grew into something that was going to take more time than I was comfortable spending on our first release.

We decided to put “Octotentiary” on hold in order to make a very simple game, start to finish, in a few months. This would give us the opportunity to get our feet wet with every step of bringing a title to market. I started flipping through my notebooks and came across the sketch of what would eventually become Flibitz. It fit the bill perfectly because it was something that I knew I could prototype very rapidly and it would not require dialogue, story, or cut-scenes. If memory serves, I believe I had a fully playable prototype up and running the first weekend.

[Part 2 of this post is coming soon.]