Zirthian: A new generation side-scroller that will keep you energized

I have recently left jobs in academia and robotics to pursue my passion for AI, mobile development and games and started a new company, Qubiq Interactive, based in Vancouver, Canada. My first in-house project, titled Zirthian, is a shoot-'em-up arcade-style side-scroller with cool mechanics such as procedurally generated world, lots of different weapons and defensive abilities, flight speed control, and enemies that have interesting behaviours like charging at you at hight speed, shielding each other, etc. As the game story progresses, your character gets away from a close-minded society of their home planet, Zirth, conquers his/her own demons and becomes a part of an inter-galactic society that helps aliens in need. For me, this is as much a software project as it is an art project - I am writing the story, drawing all the graphics by hand and I'm making some sound effects and music too.

Here is a sneak preview of what I have managed to complete so far:
A spaceship flying in a procedurally-generated world, where you can shoot down enemies while avoiding being shot, use a special gamma ray weapon and a shield recharge ability. All the graphics are placeholders for now.

You may have previously heard about my old game project 'Alien Strike'. It was a basic side-scroller where you controlled a flying saucer and unleashed your wrath upon Earth's defences. There were different weapons, powers ups, enemies and explosions. I was about 20 when I made the game, and even managed to sell a few copies on the App Store. Here is what the game looked like back in the days:

Because of my limited experience at the time, the game lacked a real direction or a unique style. Eleven years later, I am approaching this project from a completely different perspective, after having made a few games and lots of other software in real industry. The game design document is now done, complete with UI mockups, weapon designs and level beat charts. I want to make the game fun and I want it to stand out. I want players to experience nerve-wracking enemy waves, beat them by using previously learned skills and be rewarded by new weapons and character customizations.

So keep an eye on the Zirthian project! I will continue blogging as development progresses to share interesting insights and achievements.

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