Not happy to allow the Wii U naming to be the only party in town confusing consumers, ten days ago I released Fun Infused’s latest iOS masterpiece Hypership Still Out of Control. Is it a sequel? Is it an updated? Is it a boat? These are all questions that are pouring in from our vocal fanbase. I’d like to take the time now to clear this up.
First off, aside from the name, Hypership Still Out of Control on iOS shares really nothing with Hypership Still Out of Control on XBLIG. The XBLIG version was really just the original XBLIG version plus the graphic we had created for the iOS version with some tweaks made to the existing levels and no online high scores. I would have liked to have simply updated the original graphics in the XBLIG version but unfortunately it was an XNA 3.x game and at that point, only XNA 4.x games could be submitted to XBLIG. Updating the online scores to XNA 4 was going to be a major undertaking that I did not want to do. Rather than update the original XBLIG game and remove online high scores, I created an updated version without the scores but with all the other cool new stuff and Hypership Still Out of Control was born.
In February 2013, I started work on Hypership Out of Control 2. While I got sidetracked with other projects (such as Ouya ports of Abduction Action! and VolChaos), I have done a significant amount of work on Hypership 2. Hypership 2 is going away from the retro pixel art look of Hypership 1 and I want to have some really unique environments and thus it has required me to invest a lot more money in artwork (and music and eventually sounds) than I did for the first game or any other game I’ve created to date. My intention is to do a Kickstarter campaign to help fund this (I have paid for the first level art and most of the music out of pocket so far). When I finished my ports and was ready to do the Kickstarter campaign, it was about late November. I felt that running my Kickstarter campaign in December (given that people would be spending money on Christmas gifts) wasn’t the best idea. This left me with a month of time to kill.
Wanting a small project I could realistically finish in a month, Hypership Still Out of Control for iOS was born. By releasing this game, I could drum up more interest in the Hypership brand and make some money to help with getting more cool stuff into Hypership 2 before the big Kickstarter started. Given a month deadline on this project, I wasn’t going to redo everything and with so many new ideas already planned for Hypership 2, I felt the best way to go was to create new waves and do a few other minor tweaks to the gameplay on an engine largely the same as the first Hypership.
So Hypership Still Out of Control on iOS got ten brand new waves. I took some ideas for wave design from the original and added some new twists. I really honestly feel the level design in Still is much better than that in the original. When I made the original waves, I was an inexperienced Hypership pilot, I learned a lot more about how to make cool waves after many, many play throughs of the first game in the years that followed. I also shortened the levels some and made them all the same length. I wanted gamers to have a more varied experience with each play through than the original, an idea that I will likely also incorporate in Hypership 2. I then recolored many of the level graphics so the waves looked more unique in addition to playing more uniquely. Because the levels were shorter, I had to tweak powerup length too as it was initially too easy to finish levels if you collected invincibility or power shot powerups. Lastly, I cycled in some new music to replace one of the less exciting songs from the original.
So essential Hypership Still Out of Control is a semi-sequel but it’s most certainly a standalone game too. It’s like what Lost Levels was to Super Mario Brothers or what Doom 2 was to Doom. Same basic engine, same basic features, all new and more creative level designs. I really do think that Hypership fans will enjoy this game and hopefully keep them satisfied until the full blow sequel arrives.