Posted 12 February
PlayStation Mobile spotlight: Chimpact
Priced at £3.15/€3.99, Chimpact is a one-touch arcade puzzle game that is fun to play and hard to master. It features the very cheeky Chuck the chimp, who catapults his way through the jungle searching for bananas and hidden gems.
Getting your own team together and creating brand new products from scratch must surely be the dream of everyone who works in game development. The rise of casual game-play has given us a chance to go back to our roots in the industry and concentrate on creating something really fun to play.
With a new team, we needed a new product. Keen to create something fresh, Chimpact was born out of our love of old console games from our youth in the 8- and 16-bit days.
We had a desire to make a fun, physics-based game with an engaging main character. Various ideas were put into the pot, but none of them generated very much excitement, until the magic moment when Kev our lead artist said, “I know, let’s make pinball with monkeys”.
We all sat there smiling and each one of us could picture it in our heads. Simple one-touch control, rich graphics, absorbing gameplay and FUN!!
Now we needed our leading man – or, should I say, chimp. Chuck was originally meant to be a little on the grumpy side, battered and bruised from his jungle acrobatics. However, as time progressed, Chuck became ever more cheerful and loveable.
We put a lot of care and attention into designing the jungle environment that Chuck and his family would inhabit. We used 3D rendered objects, strong depth of field and stupidly high resolution to help the scenery pop off the screen. For inspiration we looked towards animated movies. Colour schemes were intentionally naturalistic, prompting many people to describe the scenery as ‘beautiful’.
Every single level has a unique combination of features and environmental effects to give it a distinctive atmosphere and special attention was given to the lighting. Our goal was to give the chimps real personalities and have them react to the world around them. All the creatures – especially the chimps – went through multiple revisions, as we wanted every single one to feel special.
We saw simplicity as fundamental to the design. Mobile gamers are often playing in short bursts to fill an idle moment. Complicated controls with lots of buttons and cryptic goals were out, in favour of one-touch gameplay. The game had to be highly accessible to appeal to a broad range of players and yet remain challenging. Progress is rarely blocked but there is always something fresh to do.
Chimpact has been a real labour of love for us and we hope that you have as much fun playing as we did making it.