Game Description Blurb Chopper Mike is a challenging, fast-paced, arcade helicopter time trial game featuring super smooth graphics and amazing controls.
Fly through 3 difficulty modes and 48 levels, picking up gems, avoiding collisions, and landing as quickly as you can! Skillful play will be rewarded with mysterious bonus aircraft!
Complete the levels, beat the target times, then replay to beat your best times!
Structure The game is composed of 3 difficulty modes, each of which have 16 unique levels.
Gems Each level has a number of gems and a landing pad. The landing pad starts deactivated and becomes activated once Mike collects all the gems in the level. Once the landing pad is activated Mike can land, finish the level, and get a finishing time.
Time Time is important in Chopper Mike. The game records your best time per level. Each difficulty mode has 16 levels and when you complete them all you get a combined time for that difficulty. Then, when you complete all the difficulty modes, they are added together for a total game time!
When you really get into the game you spend a lot of time trying to beat Target Times or your Best Times, trying to shave off hundredths of a second by taking a slightly tighter line through the level. One mistake early on and you're hitting the instant restart button!
Stars Players can earn three stars per level...
* A 'Complete Star' for completing the level. * A 'Perfect Star' for completing the level without colliding into things. * A 'Fast Star' for a perfect run which beats the Target Time.
In addition to Level Stars, there are Difficulty Stars and Game Stars. To earn a Difficulty Star you have to earn all the matching Level Stars in the mode's levels. To earn a Game Star you have to earn all of the matching Difficulty Stars. So, to earn the Game Complete Star you have to complete all the levels in the game.
Goal The ultimate goal of the game is to earn all the stars and reduce your combined game time as much as possible. iOS versions have Game Center support, so you can see how your game time compares to your friends or the whole world!
Touchscreen Devices Video demonstration here. Power is controlled by touching anywhere on the right side of the screen. Touch to climb, let go to fall. Press and hold anywhere on the left side of the screen to create a joystick. Slide thumb around to move joystick and set Mike's direction, (his head moves immediately to show you where you're pointing). Let go and press somewhere else to create a new joystick. The main point here is that the virtual controls are NOT fixed in place! :D
PC, Mac Controllers and keyboards are supported and work as you'd expect.
Fact Sheet Developer VAMflax. A one man development company based in Royal Leamington Spa, England.
Platforms iOS, (iPhone4+, iPad2+, iPod Touch 4th Gen+), Android, PC, Mac. Note Due to the high quality lighting, (link), it does require a reasonably powerful device. Runs at 60fps on Samsung Galaxy S2, Nexus 7 and Asus TF300T. Unfortunately the iPhone 4 version is locked to 30fps. Chopper Mike has a Steam Greenlight page.
Release Date iOS and Android: 21st March 2013. PC, Mac: soon after.
Price iOS and Android: £1.49, ($1.99). PC, Mac: around £1.99.
Features * Super-responsive controls. * 60 frames per second refresh on most devices, (e.g. iPhone 4S+, iPhone 4 is 30fps). * High quality graphical shaders, (check this!). * Minimal load times. * Instant Restart, for when you're trying to beat your best times. * 48 levels, split into three difficulty modes. * 6 playable aircraft, each with their own handling characteristics. * Beautiful soft shadows. *No IAPs!! Unlock the 3 bonus aircraft by just playing the game! Pay, play, have a nice day!™. * Extremely funky music, (which can be turned off, boo!). * A playable UFO!!
History Chopper Mike started as a prototype to see if it was possible to make a super-responsive arcade game using just one touch on a touchscreen device. It was originally called HeliQoob, and there's a video here. Three days later the cube had turned into a chopper and Chopper Mike was born, link here.
The controls were great, but feedback from friends and family was split. Some people loved it, some people couldn't get past their hand obscuring Mike. I decided to split the controls into two parts, one touch for power, one for direction. I didn't want virtual controls that were fixed in place, so instead I made it so that a touch on the right side of the screen made Mike lift, and a touch on the left side would plant a virtual joystick that stayed in place until you let go.
Once the controls were sorted I began turning it into a full game, with feedback coming from 50+ testers I managed to find in the form of friends, family, and people of the Internet. Nine months of evenings and weekends while working 9-5 in the week later.. and here we are, Chopper Mike is ready to be played!
Trivia The chopper sound effects were made by hand. Literally. Check this video.
The switch sound effects are a recording of a GameCube power button.
About VAMflax VAMflax is an independent game developer, founded by Jamie Lowes and Lucy Alexis Hewitt in 2012.
Jamie has been a games programmer and designer since 1997 and has worked for Sony, Sega, and Codemasters, on Colin McRae Rally 1, 2, 3, Sega Rally (Revo), and Motorstorm AE. He has spent a lot of time working on the very core gameplay, working closely with designers and physics programmers to create the best controls and gameplay experiences possible.
"I'm taking the skills I've acquired from working for these awesome companies, combining them with my love for arcade games, and putting them to use making rad new titles for you to play!", Jamie.
As well as setting up VAMflax, Jamie also started Jamie Lowes Development Services LTD. in order to work freelance. Since February 2012, JML Dev has helped Sega, Codemasters, and Midoki make Sonic Jump, DiRT Showdown, Go Deliver, and Sonic Dash.