Word Up Dog: Then and now

Word Up Dog‘s coming to mobile this Thursday! Now for the very few of you who actually played the original Flash version (available here), I’m gonna tell you bout the changes I made. The most obvious one was the addition of Sara Gross of Two Bit Art to the team. She turned my janky blobbish characters into super pimpin funkmasters. By comparison anyway.

The Lightnin (formerly Lamp) Lizard got some serious mojo.

I resisted change in the UI but added a sweet clock for the bonuses, and generally made everything bigger so it’d be easier to see and read on bitty little phone screens. I changed the default aspect ratio from 4:3 (800×600) to 16:9 (iPhone5), but the game stretches and pads to fit any device.

The Dog left pastel country fields and donned a phat tuque.

Gameplay-wise I took out the idea of lamps and limited sight radius so you can see the whole screen all the time now. I added two more levels and a unique element to each one like vines, vending machines, dancing bugs and lava. And I took out adventure mode, which was a single superlong level that changed the deeper you went. It really needed some design work although it was my favorite way to play, and I’ll put it back in if I get enough mobile sales.

You can see a lot more in the game now.

The bulk of my time on this was spent totally rewriting the graphics engine in Stage3d/Starling and making a hundred other little performance improvements. Those things you don’t even have to think about when writing a browser game for PCs but suddenly become make-or-break on an iPad 1.

The mobile version of Word Up Dog is so improved it’s practically a sequel, but I think of it as version 1.5. I’d like to go back and upgrade the original Flash version now… but ironically it runs slower now on some computers because of the Stage3d. The dance continues!


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