Headline: Galaxy Rejoices as Ice Cream Delivery Man Beats Back Evil Robot Menace
As some of my contract work I was doing through my company, Addo Games, began to wind down in early 2011, I began to think, "What's next? What if could I make anything I wanted?" The answer was Robots Love Ice Cream. I knew initially that I wanted to make something that was cute and approachable, with a child-like innocence. I knew it should channel my love of toys and growing up in the arcades of the late 80s and early 90s. I wanted it to be something that my parents would have let me get as a kid, so it couldn't be something with a lot of overt violence. I also decided that I should target mobile platforms due to their openness to all developers without any titles to their name or a publishing deal in-hand.
With the help of a lot of early contributors, the concept for Robots Love Ice Cream really solidified in first half of 2011. Over several iterations, we managed to rid the story of unnecessary complications, each pass leaving the story more distilled and concise. Eventually, the concept settled into a quirky story about an ice cream truck delivery man who travels across the galaxy defeating robots with weaponized ice cream. As we all know, robots do really love ice cream, so it seemed like the perfect fit for a premise and for a name.
In Robots Love Ice Cream, players assume control an ice cream truck armed to the teeth with weaponized ice cream treats. When the player manages to hit the robots with enough ice cream, it causes the robots to overload with joy and explode!
Players assume control of the ice cream truck, navigating around various planets and defending them against waves of incoming robots. The player is able to drive around the planet, firing an array of unlockable weapons at the robots. Each weapon offering unique firing mechanics using a singular fire button in a variety of ways. Weapons can be upgraded using Sprinkletonium, the element inside the robots that makes them love ice cream so much!
Technically speaking, the round planet gameplay presentation presented a host of challenges. Most of the game math plays like a 2d side-scrolling shoot 'em up game. At the end of each game update, I take the position of the game elements and wrap them around a planet. This includes converting positions for the truck, the robots, and the projectiles.
The robots fly around in whimsical patterns via an animation sequencer I wrote. I built this system to simulate attractive and player-learnable patterns that hearken back to the days of Galaga and Space Invaders. Animations play out in a Cartesian coordinate space and are effectively converted into polar coordinate space. Animations can loop a set number of times (e.g. do five loop de loops before moving to next animation) and can be reordered by a designer in the Unity editor.
Client – Addo Games, Dragon Army
Roles – Producer, Lead Developer, Game Designer, Executive Creative Director, Technical Artist, Modeler
Platforms – iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV
Downloads – 700k+
Shader Forge (Unity plugin)
NGUI (Unity plugin)
Featured App – On both iOS and Google Play App Stores around the world.
Featured twice at Penny Arcade Expo – Kickstarter Showcase (2012), Indie MEGABOOTH (2013)
Press coverage – IGN, Touch Arcade, Destructoid, Wired.com Geek Dad Blog, Cult Of Mac
Successfully Funded Kickstarter - raised over $18k in 30 days