Retro-themed indie games are our lifeforce, and we’re thoroughly looking forward to this slice of shmup heaven – Space Toads Mayhem by LimeVibe Games. Check out the Steam Greenlight page and the video below to see why we’re so excited! We caught up with head honcho Luke Snopkiewicz for the latest…
Luke, great to have you here at Arcade Attack!
Awesome, thanks for having me! 🙂
You’re the creator of Space Toads Mayhem, currently on Steam Greenlight. Tell us a bit about the game.
Well, at its core it’s basically a very retro-flavoured, topdown shoot ‘em up. It’s a challenging, reflex-based game, rewarding a player who enjoys fast-paced action and can adapt to chaotic onslaught of enemies quickly.
I’m aiming to capture the very essence of the 8-bit/16-bit games I grew up playing as a kid, and make something unique at the same time. I suppose I’m trying to make a shooter which I always wanted to play but couldn’t quite find.
There will be a single player campaign with some rather silly storyline elements as well as a couple of arcade modes. I think the arcade runs will be a big nod to the fans of the golden age of arcade video games. At least one mode will allow you to do a proper marathon for the ultimate epic hi-score. So if you fancy yourself the next Billy Mitchell or Tim McVey (of Nibbler fame), stay tuned for the updates 😉
Is it just you or are there others in your team at LimeVibe Games?
Good question! Actually, I’m the one-man band doing it all at the moment, all the artwork, coding, sounds – you name it! My girlfriend and my cousin sometimes help out during gaming shows, but other than that it’s just me.
We’re big shoot em up fans here and can see a lot of retro influences in the game. Were there any games that you drew particular inspiration from?
Hmmm… I’ve certainly played tons of shoot ‘em ups growing up – it’s one of my favourite genres of course. Some of my favourites include titles like Life Force, Galaga, Tyrian, River Raid or R-Type. That said, I don’t think I’m trying to imitate any of the classics as such, but some influences are inevitable.
I’d say there is certainly a bit of an Atari-esque vibe to the game, especially that it plays pretty well on the Atari2600-derived ALAN9000 controller (which I’ll be bringing for all upcoming gaming shows I attend, and it’s glorious!). Someone once said that the game feels a bit like Galaga on steroids, and there must be some truth to that I suppose.
The game has some very cool features (we’re big fans of the scores for each hit flying towards the screen btw), what do you hope will set this apart from other shooters on Steam?
I always loved the flying scores too!:)
I believe the gameplay itself makes it stand out from the crowd. I’d say, it’s a little different from a lot of other shmups.
There is no such thing as mega easy, “popcorn” enemies in Space Toads Mayhem for example. From the very start the enemies take at least 3-4 hits before they die – and they react to your shots, as well as bumping into each other etc.
Another critical aspect worth mentioning is the player movement. Right away, you’ll notice that the enemies try to escape when you blast at them, so you need to chase them around to land your shots. Later on when they become more aggressive and start charging at you, you need to keep moving in all directions (not just left and right!). This helps to confuse the AI a bit so you can dodge the vicious creatures. When it gets hectic, you can’t remain stationary as your spaceship is simply not fast enough to twitch out of trouble if you react at the very last moment. It’s all about skills, a good hand-eye coordination and being able to apprehend the oncoming attacks.
Also, a lot of power-ups do not upgrade your weapon as such, but instead affect a big area in one way or another. Like the Space Spikes flying all over the place like crazy and obliterating anything in their way or the Vicious Red Hole sucking up all the enemies into the abyss.
Speaking of power-ups, I’ve added the chance for a good drop mechanic. Basically, as you progress through the waves, it gets lower to add to the increasing difficulty. At later stages of the game you have to watch out for what you pick up as it could potentially be a trap. From top of my head, I can’t think of a shooter of this kind which would implement drops like this (neither can we, nice! – Ed).
Is that you in the pilot’s get-up at the end of the vid? And what on earth are you saying?? 🙂
You might as well think it’s me, but I couldn’t possibly comment hehe 😉 This rather intriguing character is the Space Admiral James Colonell. He’ll appear in most campaign mission briefings which are meant to warn you of what traps to watch out for, what power-ups are available etc. There’ll be a visual transmission and text appearing below I think, all old school basically. It’s a work in progress…
We like it! How long has the project taken and what have you developed the game in?
Time-wise, it would be very tricky to determine how long it took thus far. I’ve been moving the project forward for the past few months but I can’t say that’s how long it took to get to this point. With all the commitments and responsibilities I’ve got, I often have to operate a rather intense and weird schedule. When it comes to working on Space Toads Mayhem, I’m usually pretty time-starved and I never clock myself with this one.
Do you have any tips for budding indie developers out there?
If I were to give only one tip, I’d say start spreading the word about your game as soon as possible. As soon as the vision of the game forms in your head, start Tweeting about it etc. Decent amount of exposure can be extremely hard to get, especially when you’re new to the scene. So do everything within your power that might increase your chances of getting seen by people who might be interested in what you’re doing.
What was your favourite console growing up and games to play on it?
Most certainly the NES, or shall I rather say a grey Dendy Junior (we want one of those!! – Ed). It was effectively an unlicensed Russian Famicom clone, which was quite widely available in Eastern Europe. It was the first console I ever owned so I’ll always have a soft spot for games from that era.
Titles like the original Contra, Life Force, Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros and a few others are among my all-time favourites. Interestingly, I was not aware of the famous Konami code as a kid, nor can I recall knowing any other NES cheats for that matter. It was all about fun and skills, I used to be able to beat Contra without dying! I wonder if could do it again now, it’s been a while since I’ve played it…
That’s impressive! Just one more before you go Luke, if you could go for a drink with any video game character, who would you choose and why?
If we’re talking any character from any game, it’d probably be the protagonist of one of the Fallout games. It’d be awesome to hear all the stories while sipping some Nuka Ale! Then we could wander into the wastelands to shoot some raiders and mutants, it’d be fun! Hanging out with Duke Nukem wouldn’t be too bad either! 😉
I think we’d pass on a drink with Duke… 😉 Thanks for stopping by Luke, we wish you all the best with the game! Readers, please thumb up the game on Steam Greenlight and also try to pop down to PlayExpo Leeds and Insomnia 60 where you can meet Luke and play the game! Follow him on twitter at touch_the_sky1 or SpaceToadsGame.