Space Invaders + Awesome = Super Crossfire HD: An Interview with radiangames

by on December 8, 2011

If you’re a regular reader of our Mobile Monday feature here at then you’ll have no doubt read our review of Super Crossfire HD, a crazy little shooter that takes everything you thought you knew about Space Invaders, mixes it all up with some simply stunning visuals and places the concoction neatly onto our iDevices ready for our enjoyment. We recently had the opportunity to talk to the people behind the popular iOS game, radiangames, and asked them a few questions about Super Crossfire HD, their future and a few other questions along the way.

01. Super Crossfire HD has such a striking visual style, what made you settle on this style, what was the thought process?
When I started on the original Crossfire for Xbox 360, I knew I had to get away from the circular shapes that were prominent in my first two games. So I tried to keep everything angular, and make the particle effects as unique as I could. Crossfire 2 expanded on that style, and I was able to add more detail to the ships thanks to a newer drawing program. When I ported Crossfire 2 to Unity at the start of Super Crossfire, it was pretty obvious that the game had lost some of the dazzling array of colors that I originally intended. But I had an opportunity to change that once I started on the iOS version.

02. Once the style had been decided upon, how easy was it to implement? Were there any major obstacles to do with the visual style itself that needed to be overcome?
For the iOS version, I revised everything in the game to have more varied color and graphics that worked better with the tilting camera. One of the key components was having each particle effect use a range of colors, so when the games in motion the graphics sparkle a bit more than they do in screenshots.

03. The gameplay in Super Crossfire HD is quite fast paced, how much fine tuning did it all take when you were getting close to release?
I actually slowed down the pace quite a bit from what it used to be. I knew I was on the right track when new players (some who had never touched an iPad) could get through 15-20 waves before encountering any trouble. When testing difficulty by myself, I play on Hotshot or Ace depending on how quickly I feel like playing.

I have to admit I wasn’t completely happy with the final visuals in version 1.0, and the first update will bring enhanced graphics, particularly to those with the latest and greatest devices (iPhone 4S and iPad 2). If you have something not quite as powerful (iPhone 3G/4 or iPad 1), you’ll also be able to enjoy the enhanced graphics as an option, but there will be a little slowdown.

04. You got your start in this genre with the release of Crossfire on the Xbox LIVE Indie Game network, have you thought about bringing Super Crossfire HD to the Windows Phone 7 platform? Complete with those ever-enticing achievements.
I’ll never rule out porting the game to any platforms. It’s something I’m considering.

05. Similarly to the last question, with you getting your start with Crossfire using a pad instead of the touch controls present in Super Crossfire HD, have you ever thought about bringing the pad control scheme back by porting the game to the Xperia PLAY for example?
In the first update for iOS, I have added iCade support, and I didn’t have to change anything significant from the digital controls that are already there. Playing with an arcade stick is a lot more enjoyable than I imagined it would be, and I’m sure the game would play great on the Xperia as well.

06. What’s your opinion of mobile gaming? Do you think it’s where the industry is inevitably heading or just something that people like to do on their way to work?
I think it’s heading that way to some extent, but there will always be room for the high-powered living room experience that requires a dedicated controller. Not every game is ideal for a touch screen (or translates to any controller as well as Super Crossfire), and I think one of the best things about today’s gaming world is the diversity of games that can exist in it.

07.How did you come up with the idea of allowing the ship to swap sides? What options within the gameplay did having a ship that wasn’t anchored to the floor open up for you?
I was just drawing on graph paper trying to come up with an idea that make a Space Invaders-like game worth making. You can read the whole story of the game’s evolution here:

08. Does it bother you or fill you with pride that people keep comparing, myself included, Super Crossfire HD with Space Invaders?
It doesn’t bother me at all. Every game is compared to something else, and to be compared to a 30 year old game but still being able to bring something new to it is something I’m fortunate to do.

09. As a developer do you ever worry about how flooded the iOS App Store has become or do you just try to put out the best game you possibly can and hope that people take notice?
Yeah, the flood of games, both good or not, is a bit overwhelming. There’s no way you can put out a good game and hope it’ll do well. Even if you support a good game well, it’s still not guaranteed to be a sales success.

10. What’s next for Super Crossfire HD? What’s next for radiangames?
We’re definitely considering other platforms, what we’re seeing so far is pretty exciting!

11. Regular or inverted Y-axis?
Regular. I used to play PC FPSes using a joystick with inverted Y, but game pads feel better to me when they’re not.

It was with that that our brief conversation with radiangames came to a stop. It looks like we can look forward to a few things from the minds at radiangames, we’ll certainly be keeping our eyes peeled for what’s to come, as I’m sure all of you will be too.

Did any part of this interview pique your interest? Did you manage to glean something from it that we missed? Let us know in the comments below or over at our lovely, lovely forums.

Super Crossfire HD is available right now from the App Store at the bargain price of £1.99. Get it! Get it now! Super Crossfire™ HD - Chillingo Ltd

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