We’ve been eagerly anticipating Rocketcat Games’ newest upcoming iOS game Mage Gauntlet since it was first revealed back in July, and that anticipation has only intensified with the newest gameplay trailer that was released for the game late last month. The funny thing about game development, though, is that projects tend to go through a pretty intense evolution from their beginnings until the time a finished product hits the market. One of my favorite things is to see early prototypes or concepts for a game and then compare them to later versions, much like the incredible transformation that Aralon: Sword and Shadow [$4.99] underwent during its development cycle. There’s even an entire thread in our forums dedicated to developers showing off their before and after work on their games.

Mage Gauntlet is no different, and Rocketcat has recently released a short video showing the earliest version of their game, which charming as it may be, looks like the nasty gas station hot dog that’s been sitting on those spinning heat roller things for the past week compared to the filet mignon that is the latest Mage Gauntlet trailer. Ok I’ll admit, sometimes I have a hankering for those crazy hot dogs, but still, Mage Gauntlet has come a long way since its humble beginnings:

Pretty crazy, huh? In the YouTube description, Rocketcat explains that Mage Gauntlet was originally planned as a top-down arcade shooter, sort of like an 8-bit fantasy-themed Minigore [99¢/HD]. It then changed to a randomly generated dungeon crawler, and finally morphed into the action RPG with an SNES-era aesthetic that it is today. Interestingly, through this growth process, the story remained unchanged, and they’ve even held onto certain gameplay mechanics from that first version like having 4 spell slots and an emphasis on powerful but quick-burning spells. For reference, here is the latest Mage Gauntlet trailer for you to compare:

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’re all glad the game has evolved to where it’s at now, though to be honest that game in the old trailer does look pretty cool. And Rocketcat, please, tuck away that “randomly generated dungeon diver” idea for a future game. At any rate, Mage Gauntlet has been in Apple’s possession for a couple of weeks now, and barring any more snafus it should hopefully be available extremely soon. Rocketcat’s best guesstimation is next week, October 13th, so keep your eyes glued to this space and we’ll let you know just as soon as it’s available. You can also get plenty more information and lively discussion on Mage Gauntlet in the thread in our forums, so be sure to check that out as well.

  • Anonymous

    interesting, but looks like it'll be for tiny screens only :(

  • http://twitter.com/_GeekGamer_ Sander Nemvalts

    face meets palm. ITS A EARLY BUILD. HOW HARD IS IT TO UNDERSTAND THAT GAME IS DIFFERENT IN V 1.0 THAN IN ALPHA, PRE BUILD, OR BETA. GAWD!

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I didn't really think it was possible to miss the entire point of an article so horribly, but, well, bravo.

  • Anonymous

    I think the point isn't that it's "hard to understand that game is different [sic] in v 1.0 than in alpha...", I think the point is how much the gameplay has changed. The game is unrecognizable yes, but more importantly, the type of game has totally changed.
    I found this fascinating.

  • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

    Thanks for the coverage!

    "please tuck away that dungeon diver idea for a future game"
    Game after this one, actually.  It'll have basically the same combat mechanics as Mage Gauntlet, but be more in line with our previous intent for the game.  We couldn't handle doing all our random generation plans and hammering out the core game, at the same time.  Also there was some paranoia on my part whether or not people would enjoy a dungeon diver with permadeath.

    One small correction, Apple hasn't been sitting on it for that long.  Crash problems cropped up with the submit build, so that pushed things back a bit.  It turned out to be based on the particle code, where it would freak out if an enemy magic projectile was silenced or cancelled before it was even drawn.  Instant crash, bypassing any savestate.

  • Anonymous

    Are you planning an iPad version or universal? Or perhaps is it already?

    • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

      There's some (minimal) universal iPad support on release.  We can improve it in the content update, based on feedback (still need to buy iPads here).  No separate iPad version planned.

  • Anonymous

    Are you planning an iPad version or universal? Or perhaps is it already?

  • Jade Blake

    I still would have played that, because it's by Rocketcat.

  • Tyler Ames

    I am looking forward to comparing of a picture of myself, taken when the game was supposed to be released, to what I look like in the distant future when the game is actually released.

    • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

      Haha.  I hope you're serious, I'll consider it fan art.  I envision some sort of "faces of meth" style slideshow.