"AlphaBattle" for iOS. Redesign & Re-imagine

By: Conor 19. November 2010 11:57

The idea is clever and the gameplay challenging. All in all, this is a game with an excellent idea and good bones. Unfortunately, the actual execution does not live up to the promise.

AlphaBattle: Word fun requiring GUI tweaks

from TUAW


Alpha Battle Splash screenThe 15th of October 2009 we released AlphaBattle for the iPhone and iPod touch.It was a pretty exciting release for us, our first real departure from trivia games and our Inquizitor Engine.


About 3 weeks beforehand we had one of our traditional Redwind brainstorming sessions in The Ivy House and came up with the basic concept of a word game that would combine elements of Scrabble and Tetris and best of all would be called "AlphaBattle". Vowels would appear on the screen from the top, consonants from the bottom and there would be a "deathzone" in the middle where if the letters collided they would become unplayable. Throw in some power-ups and special letters and boom, we were sure this game was going to be big. Back then and even a little bit now I believed it was our best game, far outshining anything else we had done to date.


This is the story of AlphaBattle so far, but more importantly how we want you to help us with the next chapter. 


Kick on no more than 2 weeks to the 5th October 2009 and the game was done, uploaded to iTunes connect and there was some hearty pats on the back all round - we had created a masterpiece. Or so we thought. Looking back now it's easy to see so many mistakes in our approach. We made our "masterpiece" in roughly 2 weeks, whilst working full time in other jobs. We presumed that due to our successes in the trivia category we would easily translate that to a new genre and we were cocky as f**k. We loved the game, everyone else would.


Fast forward to today, the 19th November 2010. AlphaBattle has been on sale for 427 days. It has had sales on 285 of those days. Total sales amount to 532. Hardly a roaring success...


However there are some interesting things that happened along the way. On December 18th 2009 we made the game free for a day as part of the Appvent Calendar giving us 42336 downloads and making it the number 1 word game in almost every country. We had hoped this would spur sales of the app, but as you can see it most definitely did not. What it did provide us with was really excellent feedback on why the game was not working. As in the TUAW review above, almost everyone loved our concept but almost everyone felt the execution was simply not good enough.


We've toyed with the idea of rewriting AlphaBattle many times over the course of it's lifetime but ultimately we've always known that we've tainted and been tainted by the original version. So, this brings us to the crux. 


Do you want to help us rethink, redesign & rebuild AlphaBattle?

We are looking for 2 third level students* to come onboard in January 2011 for a few months internship to take this project on as their own. We want to keep the original concept, but we want you to bring your own flair and imagination to the table. We will act in an advisory role on the project more than anything so you will be getting first hand experience of building an iOS game in our own unique "professional" environment.


This is an unpaid internship, however you will get to keep any and all hardware and software we supply you to complete the project. At a minimum this will be a new MacBook Pro and iPod touch. You will also have a large degree of freedom over how, where and when you work.


If you are interested please download the attached pdf files to find the details on how to apply. Please get in touch if you have any questoins or anything is unclear. I can be reached at conor[at]redwindsoftware[dot]com


* You must be based in and studying in Ireland


AlphaBattleComp.pdf (477.64 kb)


AlphaBattle-Slides.pdf (476.74 kb)  

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