Touch Arcade forum member Rozgo has been posting for around a month now on the progress of his currently untitled 2.5D sidescroller that already shows a lot of promise. In the two videos he has posted we see multiple weapons, using missiles to break things, a grappling hook to solve physics puzzles, and many other amazing things that have come out of this one-man wolfpack of iPhone development.

This game looked impressive in screenshots, but seeing it in motion is something else. As a huge fan of both MegaMan and Metroid, these videos have me amazingly excited to have the game in my hands.

Alex Rozgo's game is still in development, which you can follow in his thread on our forums. According to his posts, he's optimistic to have the game submitted in early November to hopefully see it released on the App Store a few weeks later.

  • violatizzle

    reminds me of vectorman on sega genesis!

  • violatizzle

    reminds me of vectorman on sega genesis!

  • GDSage

    Perhaps instead of going for an early as possible release he meets up with an artist (if he can't afford front up pay, get someone in to share profits from sales) and try and imbue some sort of art direction / animation into the game?

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Comments like yours bring such joy and encouragement to indie developers... Keep it up, please!

      • GDSage

        Not sure what I said wrong, same goes to spiffy. The art direction isn't up to much and I merely suggested perhaps the dev should take their time with the game and make sure one aspect of the game is brought up to level with the rest of the game. A more unified art direction would do wonders.

        But apparently now constructive criticism is a big no no.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        "Go hire an art director" is not constructive criticism.

      • GDSage

        Except that was a suggestion, a possible solution to the criticism I had. Apparently with you no one can state reasonable criticism despite the fact many already have in here.

      • spiffyone

        I can understand you meant no harm, GDS, but it wasn't so much what you stated but rather how it was stated.

        Oftentimes what sounds perfectly innocent out loud or in hour minds does not read that way.

    • breezytrees

      I agree, the gameplay looks absolutely fantastic. Terrific programming, nice use of what looks like quite a robust physics engine, and just plain simple, addictive gameplay. The animation and character/monster art, however, need some work. It looks like a game made by someone with amazing skills at programming and what makes a great game, yet totally lackluster at art/animation.

      With a game like this, it may be easy to find a top notch artist willing to share the profits? I know I would if I had the talent.

    • spiffyone

      C'mon, GDS...you're better than this.

      There's no need to stoop down to such a level.

      The game is a one man show, and for what it is it looks like it plays damned good. So it isn't overtly "polished". There are a lot of such games that also appear on other platforms, but the gameplay more than makes up for that.

      And, IMHO, for a one person developed game...the art doesn't look all that bad at all.

      • DannyV

        He's not far off on his statement though. The developer SHOULD get someone to do the artwork for him because as it is now it looks like it plays well but it's just an ugly game. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm a graphic designer so just adding some constructive criticism.

      • spiffyone

        I can understand that. However, there are ways to present criticism without it reading so insulting (again, I concede that it may have been an innocent comment...but it did not read so innocent).

        For example, when presenting criticism it's always helpful to affirm or reaffirm what you like about something and THEN state what needs work. As written, however, it comes off as if GDS just wanted to criticize only, and while, again, it may have been an innocent comment aloud or in the mind, it reads quite differently.

    • John

      Couldn't agree more, as soon as I started watching the video I was really turned off. Unless it gets absolutely rave reviews, or the programmer finds an artist with a shed of creativity, I already know I'll pass on this. Even if he had gone for a minimalist 8-bit look, it would have fared better, as is it's just bland and uninspired looking, and repetitive. Video games are both interactive and visual, saying we can't critisize this is ridiculous, and I am surprised the writer of this article didn't even mention the art direction, or lack there of.

      Gameplay looks solid though, with some creative physics. Wish it could have looked nicer.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      I agree. This game looks great, especially for a one man job. The graphics are passable though. The gamplay looks solid and this game could be more successful if it had a more focused art direction.

      I know gamers say that want gameplay, but in a market so saturated, it's the polished presentation that gets a lot of people playing in the first place.

    • jon

      I couldn't agree more. You are dead on. SquareZero needs to chill out.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      It would be easier to chill out if I hadn't seen so many indie developers put through the same rigmarole by people who seem oh-so-certain about what sells or doesn't sell in the App Store. Monica is right that the market is very crowded, but spit and polish is no guarantee for success (if it were, Samurai: Way of the Warrior, Tap-Fu, and Soozis would have all made it to the top 100). It's much more important to deliver something that feels new to the platform (as this does) with a budget that acknowledges the reality of mobile game pricing. Hiring a great art director (and that's what we're talking about -- only a fool would work for a share of App Store "profits") at this stage would be unwise, considering the amount of interest the game has generated as is.

      If you guys want to be constructive, give the developer specific comments about what should and shouldn't be changed. Saying "make it better" just doesn't help.

      But heck, it would probably do me good to chill out, anyway ;).

      • GDSage

        Well, I did say what it was. The term Art direction should give plenty of meaning by itself, as its purpose is to give a product a particular look or feel (usually unified). So me making the comment of to try and imbue the game with an art direction suggests the games current look has no particular look or feel, or unification.

        What exact look to go for would be completely up to the dev.

        The 'perhaps delay and try and get someone else in' was merely a suggestion if the dev is unable to do it.

      • spiffyone

        Perhaps a small statement of what you did like preceding what you didn't would've "softened" the "blow" of the critique. It's not the criticism that I'm opposed to, but rather how it was presented. While perfectly innocent, jumping right into it made it read more harshly than it was meant.

        I agree that general art direction could use some tightening up. I will state, however, it looks good for a one man job as is currently, but it does need extra spit and polish. But that can be added...later.

        And "as is currently" is a key phrase here. This is still very much in development. The mechanics and general level design of the game haven't been completely solidified by the dev. The "getting it out by November" is a projection by the dev, not a hard fast deadline. He stated "I WANT to get it out by November" not "I MUST/WILL/NEED to get it out by Novemeber".

        Art direction, while important, does in fact take a backseat to getting the general game design down first (by which I mean control interface, level design, etc.). Spicing up the art direction is a secondary concern. Let's not forget how, say, Nintendo develops games: levels are laid out, controls and interactions with in game elements hashed out, and THEN when sets are solidified are the things the artists have created added to the mix.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        spiffyone has expressed my opinion better than I did -- don't exactly know how that happened ;). From the comment below (and the fact that he decided to share the game-in-progress in the first place) it's pretty clear that rozgo looking for feedback from the TA community. I'm sure that he's a big boy and can take criticism. My problem was the tone of some of the comments (including GDSage's) that seemed to show absolutely no appreciation for the creativity and effort already on display on that game play video. Now, I get that GDSage means well, and I agree that it's possible to take this game to another level visually (as it happens, I'm a graphic designer/art director myself). Nevertheless, the App Store is becoming fairly hostile place for independent developers, and I guess that I feel a bit protective of the ones who show this level of talent. Please forgive me if I came across a bit strident.

    • http://www.rozgo.com rozgo

      Hi guys,

      I can take criticism, and feel encouraged by squarezero's optimism. I've worked on other iPhone titles where a full nextgen console team put all there efforts. Art directors and all. The games looked incredible and had some decent gameplay. Those were the times where stick figures and farts where making the charts. The team got frustrated and the iPhone community lost an incredible group to XBox Live and Playstation Nextwork.

      I on the other hand, decided to give it one last try, on my own, and put out the best I could, gameplay wise. I've seen graphics don't even come close on deciding how successful a title gets. And on that note, I decided to aim for a fast, smooth, high performance game running at 60 frames per second, with physics-based gameplay and puzzles.

      I'm going the build-your-game-with-the-community-route for the first time, and I'm having lots of fun. Nothing wrong can ever come out of that.

      Cheers! And thanx again for all your support!

  • GDSage

    Perhaps instead of going for an early as possible release he meets up with an artist (if he can't afford front up pay, get someone in to share profits from sales) and try and imbue some sort of art direction / animation into the game?

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Comments like yours bring such joy and encouragement to indie developers... Keep it up, please!

      • GDSage

        Not sure what I said wrong, same goes to spiffy. The art direction isn't up to much and I merely suggested perhaps the dev should take their time with the game and make sure one aspect of the game is brought up to level with the rest of the game. A more unified art direction would do wonders.

        But apparently now constructive criticism is a big no no.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        "Go hire an art director" is not constructive criticism.

      • GDSage

        Except that was a suggestion, a possible solution to the criticism I had. Apparently with you no one can state reasonable criticism despite the fact many already have in here.

      • spiffyone

        I can understand you meant no harm, GDS, but it wasn't so much what you stated but rather how it was stated.

        Oftentimes what sounds perfectly innocent out loud or in hour minds does not read that way.

    • breezytrees

      I agree, the gameplay looks absolutely fantastic. Terrific programming, nice use of what looks like quite a robust physics engine, and just plain simple, addictive gameplay. The animation and character/monster art, however, need some work. It looks like a game made by someone with amazing skills at programming and what makes a great game, yet totally lackluster at art/animation.

      With a game like this, it may be easy to find a top notch artist willing to share the profits? I know I would if I had the talent.

    • spiffyone

      C'mon, GDS...you're better than this.

      There's no need to stoop down to such a level.

      The game is a one man show, and for what it is it looks like it plays damned good. So it isn't overtly "polished". There are a lot of such games that also appear on other platforms, but the gameplay more than makes up for that.

      And, IMHO, for a one person developed game...the art doesn't look all that bad at all.

      • DannyV

        He's not far off on his statement though. The developer SHOULD get someone to do the artwork for him because as it is now it looks like it plays well but it's just an ugly game. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm a graphic designer so just adding some constructive criticism.

      • spiffyone

        I can understand that. However, there are ways to present criticism without it reading so insulting (again, I concede that it may have been an innocent comment...but it did not read so innocent).

        For example, when presenting criticism it's always helpful to affirm or reaffirm what you like about something and THEN state what needs work. As written, however, it comes off as if GDS just wanted to criticize only, and while, again, it may have been an innocent comment aloud or in the mind, it reads quite differently.

    • John

      Couldn't agree more, as soon as I started watching the video I was really turned off. Unless it gets absolutely rave reviews, or the programmer finds an artist with a shed of creativity, I already know I'll pass on this. Even if he had gone for a minimalist 8-bit look, it would have fared better, as is it's just bland and uninspired looking, and repetitive. Video games are both interactive and visual, saying we can't critisize this is ridiculous, and I am surprised the writer of this article didn't even mention the art direction, or lack there of.

      Gameplay looks solid though, with some creative physics. Wish it could have looked nicer.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      I agree. This game looks great, especially for a one man job. The graphics are passable though. The gamplay looks solid and this game could be more successful if it had a more focused art direction.

      I know gamers say that want gameplay, but in a market so saturated, it's the polished presentation that gets a lot of people playing in the first place.

    • jon

      I couldn't agree more. You are dead on. SquareZero needs to chill out.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      It would be easier to chill out if I hadn't seen so many indie developers put through the same rigmarole by people who seem oh-so-certain about what sells or doesn't sell in the App Store. Monica is right that the market is very crowded, but spit and polish is no guarantee for success (if it were, Samurai: Way of the Warrior, Tap-Fu, and Soozis would have all made it to the top 100). It's much more important to deliver something that feels new to the platform (as this does) with a budget that acknowledges the reality of mobile game pricing. Hiring a great art director (and that's what we're talking about -- only a fool would work for a share of App Store "profits") at this stage would be unwise, considering the amount of interest the game has generated as is.

      If you guys want to be constructive, give the developer specific comments about what should and shouldn't be changed. Saying "make it better" just doesn't help.

      But heck, it would probably do me good to chill out, anyway ;).

      • GDSage

        Well, I did say what it was. The term Art direction should give plenty of meaning by itself, as its purpose is to give a product a particular look or feel (usually unified). So me making the comment of to try and imbue the game with an art direction suggests the games current look has no particular look or feel, or unification.

        What exact look to go for would be completely up to the dev.

        The 'perhaps delay and try and get someone else in' was merely a suggestion if the dev is unable to do it.

      • spiffyone

        Perhaps a small statement of what you did like preceding what you didn't would've "softened" the "blow" of the critique. It's not the criticism that I'm opposed to, but rather how it was presented. While perfectly innocent, jumping right into it made it read more harshly than it was meant.

        I agree that general art direction could use some tightening up. I will state, however, it looks good for a one man job as is currently, but it does need extra spit and polish. But that can be added...later.

        And "as is currently" is a key phrase here. This is still very much in development. The mechanics and general level design of the game haven't been completely solidified by the dev. The "getting it out by November" is a projection by the dev, not a hard fast deadline. He stated "I WANT to get it out by November" not "I MUST/WILL/NEED to get it out by Novemeber".

        Art direction, while important, does in fact take a backseat to getting the general game design down first (by which I mean control interface, level design, etc.). Spicing up the art direction is a secondary concern. Let's not forget how, say, Nintendo develops games: levels are laid out, controls and interactions with in game elements hashed out, and THEN when sets are solidified are the things the artists have created added to the mix.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        spiffyone has expressed my opinion better than I did -- don't exactly know how that happened ;). From the comment below (and the fact that he decided to share the game-in-progress in the first place) it's pretty clear that rozgo looking for feedback from the TA community. I'm sure that he's a big boy and can take criticism. My problem was the tone of some of the comments (including GDSage's) that seemed to show absolutely no appreciation for the creativity and effort already on display on that game play video. Now, I get that GDSage means well, and I agree that it's possible to take this game to another level visually (as it happens, I'm a graphic designer/art director myself). Nevertheless, the App Store is becoming fairly hostile place for independent developers, and I guess that I feel a bit protective of the ones who show this level of talent. Please forgive me if I came across a bit strident.

    • http://www.rozgo.com rozgo

      Hi guys,

      I can take criticism, and feel encouraged by squarezero's optimism. I've worked on other iPhone titles where a full nextgen console team put all there efforts. Art directors and all. The games looked incredible and had some decent gameplay. Those were the times where stick figures and farts where making the charts. The team got frustrated and the iPhone community lost an incredible group to XBox Live and Playstation Nextwork.

      I on the other hand, decided to give it one last try, on my own, and put out the best I could, gameplay wise. I've seen graphics don't even come close on deciding how successful a title gets. And on that note, I decided to aim for a fast, smooth, high performance game running at 60 frames per second, with physics-based gameplay and puzzles.

      I'm going the build-your-game-with-the-community-route for the first time, and I'm having lots of fun. Nothing wrong can ever come out of that.

      Cheers! And thanx again for all your support!

  • crsrc

    This game looks awesome. I can't wait.

  • crsrc

    This game looks awesome. I can't wait.

  • B34$T

    Nice! I have been watchin this for some time and am really glad is going to be submitted soon.

    Must buy.

  • B34$T

    Nice! I have been watchin this for some time and am really glad is going to be submitted soon.

    Must buy.

  • Jeff

    Games like this, while fun, showcase why the iPhone/iPod Touch is horrible for gaming: bad controls. Until Apple makes a peripheral that'll add a gamepad or something, Nintendo and Sony have nothing to worry about.

  • Jeff

    Games like this, while fun, showcase why the iPhone/iPod Touch is horrible for gaming: bad controls. Until Apple makes a peripheral that'll add a gamepad or something, Nintendo and Sony have nothing to worry about.

  • Frog

    Looks great! I'll buy this when it comes out.

  • Frog

    Looks great! I'll buy this when it comes out.

  • http://www.pennygamer.com Penny Gamer

    Looks like fun. I just hope the game has an interesting storyline woven into it. Running and shooting is fun for a while, but in the end, the story carries the game (IMHO).

    Still, pretty impressive for a one man team. Nice job.

  • http://www.pennygamer.com Penny Gamer

    Looks like fun. I just hope the game has an interesting storyline woven into it. Running and shooting is fun for a while, but in the end, the story carries the game (IMHO).

    Still, pretty impressive for a one man team. Nice job.

  • http://jespersunivers.dk/ Plast2

    Insta-buy!!!!

  • http://jespersunivers.dk/ Plast2

    Insta-buy!!!!

  • EatKodosDaily

    Is the name of the game supposed to be "illegal"?

    Because the first video in this post has a second i in it's title (illiegal) and the second video in the post only has one l in it's title (ilegal).

    Unless you tell me that it's a deliberate misspelling meant to make it conjure thins the properly spelled title wouldn't, then I'm not buying this. If their videos weren't quality checked well enough to catch a mispelling like that, how can I trust them to quality check their games?

  • EatKodosDaily

    Is the name of the game supposed to be "illegal"?

    Because the first video in this post has a second i in it's title (illiegal) and the second video in the post only has one l in it's title (ilegal).

    Unless you tell me that it's a deliberate misspelling meant to make it conjure thins the properly spelled title wouldn't, then I'm not buying this. If their videos weren't quality checked well enough to catch a mispelling like that, how can I trust them to quality check their games?

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron aaronsullivan

    I believe the current build has the camera pulled back a bit. I like the looks of this and the interactivity should make up for the lack of art design a bit.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron aaronsullivan

    I believe the current build has the camera pulled back a bit. I like the looks of this and the interactivity should make up for the lack of art design a bit.

  • Noa Söderberg

    Woh, looks really good! I've been waiting for a Metroid-style game for a while now, will def buy and enjoy this! I have a few constructive things to say about it, though, Roscow.

    -The artwork is bad, as the others are saying. The main character looks just ugly, and the enemies too. The enemies also need way better animations, it looks really unsmooth right now. Try to get someone to do the artwork for you, as you seem to be more focused on the programming.

    -The camera is way too zoomed in. With the corner-shade (that's nice though, don't throw it away) it seems like it will be hard to see what's happening over there. Zoom out just a little bit.

    -The level design seems to have the potential of becoming repetive. Even though it's hard to see if that's the case in a short trailer like this, i think you should adapt some variation.

    Other than this, it looks really, really good, especially for a one man team! If the game has a good story, variation and length, and you fix the things i talked about, this will be a 10/10! :D

  • Noa Söderberg

    Woh, looks really good! I've been waiting for a Metroid-style game for a while now, will def buy and enjoy this! I have a few constructive things to say about it, though, Roscow.

    -The artwork is bad, as the others are saying. The main character looks just ugly, and the enemies too. The enemies also need way better animations, it looks really unsmooth right now. Try to get someone to do the artwork for you, as you seem to be more focused on the programming.

    -The camera is way too zoomed in. With the corner-shade (that's nice though, don't throw it away) it seems like it will be hard to see what's happening over there. Zoom out just a little bit.

    -The level design seems to have the potential of becoming repetive. Even though it's hard to see if that's the case in a short trailer like this, i think you should adapt some variation.

    Other than this, it looks really, really good, especially for a one man team! If the game has a good story, variation and length, and you fix the things i talked about, this will be a 10/10! :D

  • Noa Söderberg

    Oh, Rozgo it was, not Roscow. My bad!

  • Noa Söderberg

    Oh, Rozgo it was, not Roscow. My bad!

  • Noa Söderberg

    Meh, i suck. Thought the video with the shadow was the newest one.

    So, you deleted the shadow. Too bad... but you zoomed out the camera, very good! :D

  • Noa Söderberg

    Meh, i suck. Thought the video with the shadow was the newest one.

    So, you deleted the shadow. Too bad... but you zoomed out the camera, very good! :D

  • malohkan

    Wow I'm ready to buy it!

  • malohkan

    Wow I'm ready to buy it!

  • hapz

    ROFL.. *cough* hook champ concept as part of the game..

    SUE!!! SUE THEM!!

  • hapz

    ROFL.. *cough* hook champ concept as part of the game..

    SUE!!! SUE THEM!!

  • UrielMatt

    Looks good!

  • UrielMatt

    Looks good!

  • AlexSmokin72

    Awesome metriod game
    HE SHOULD CALL IT "MOONBREAKER"
    a play on words with the name moonraker

  • AlexSmokin72

    Awesome metriod game
    HE SHOULD CALL IT "MOONBREAKER"
    a play on words with the name moonraker

  • jase23

    This is impressive technically, congrats to the developer. But what I really want is less of a platformer and something that more resembles the XBox360 game "Shadow Complex," complete with a very good story.

  • jase23

    This is impressive technically, congrats to the developer. But what I really want is less of a platformer and something that more resembles the XBox360 game "Shadow Complex," complete with a very good story.

  • Chinito77

    Very impressive. I would buy this if the art gets cleaned up a bit, adds boss battles, and most importantly...changes up the annoying monster grunts.

    Seriously, this game could become a hit if marketed right and polished up a bit.

  • Chinito77

    Very impressive. I would buy this if the art gets cleaned up a bit, adds boss battles, and most importantly...changes up the annoying monster grunts.

    Seriously, this game could become a hit if marketed right and polished up a bit.

  • concrete_d

    Right now it looks like the gameplay is OK, but the graphics and art design is seriously bland (and occasionally outright bad). The animations seem a little off too. The game looks promising, I just hope this isn't the final look (or even close to it).

  • concrete_d

    Right now it looks like the gameplay is OK, but the graphics and art design is seriously bland (and occasionally outright bad). The animations seem a little off too. The game looks promising, I just hope this isn't the final look (or even close to it).

  • spiffyone

    Again, everyone...the game is still in development. The dev has stated in the forums that he will get into putting "spit and polish" into the game's art design but right now is concentrating on the general game mechanics (controls, level design, interactions, etc.). There will be boss battles, for instance, but he's currently designing closed arenas for those battles. And he's taking suggestions, btw.

  • spiffyone

    Again, everyone...the game is still in development. The dev has stated in the forums that he will get into putting "spit and polish" into the game's art design but right now is concentrating on the general game mechanics (controls, level design, interactions, etc.). There will be boss battles, for instance, but he's currently designing closed arenas for those battles. And he's taking suggestions, btw.

  • http://traygon.com Richard Edmonds

    This game looks like a great addition to the iPhone platform, looking at the video is making me very excited.

  • http://traygon.com Richard Edmonds

    This game looks like a great addition to the iPhone platform, looking at the video is making me very excited.

  • CaptnWildStar

    looks like Turican Jr.

  • CaptnWildStar

    looks like Turican Jr.