Category Archives: Backyard Brat

Backyard Brat iOS Now Available

I’m always amazed at how long it takes to build a simple game.  Back in July I had this idea for a helicopter game that involved dropping objects on others, and creating havoc.  Seemed simple enough.  How long could that possibly take to whip together?  A month?  Seven months later, I proudly offer you Backyard Brat for iOS.  Well, proud may be too strong a word.  Let me rephrase that and say that I gladly bring you Backard Brat for iOS.

There’s so much competition out there, these days.  They say (and it MUST be true if THEY said it) that it costs a million dollars to build a decent app nowadays.  500k for development, plus another 500k to promote the finished product.  I am thankful of the fact that the expenses came in well below that.

There is so much that you get from even the free apps out there right now.  My daughter is obsessed with a game called Clumsy Ninja right now.  Awesome graphics, fun gameplay, not too pushy for your money.  I must remind myself that I’m not a team of 20 with a million dollar budget.  I’m the guy you see at Starbucks, sitting in the corner with his Macbook Pro.

byb2As I’ve said before, I love building air traffic control games.  Air traffic control is my day job.  I have no plans to ever stop building Airport Madness or Radar Chaos.  But I have to try new things at least occasionally.   Like I did with Office Jerk 3 years ago.  This new game is similar to Office Jerk in how it allows us to be the troublemaker, in the consequence-free environment of our mobile device.  I’ve mentioned that this game is an experiment, and if it’s a hit, there will be more such games.  If not, I maintain focus on the air traffic control stuff.

I hope you will give this game a try.  Tell your friends.  Let me know if you have suggestions or ideas for it.  Be on the lookout for a Flash-based version of the game very soon.



Backyard Brat Teaser Video

byb_video_imageI’m hard at work on my latest application, Backyard Brat, an all-ages flying game for iPhone, iPad, PC and Mac.  I truly hope to deliver this to you by mid-January.  The initial release will have 25 levels, with more to be added later.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Backyard Brat is an experiment.  If it is well received, there will be more such games!  Enjoy!

Fun and Games

My next mobile app, “Backyard Brat”,  is in development for a January release.  As much as I love building air traffic control games, it’s important that I continually experiment with new game ideas.  And splashdespite the app store already being chock-full of silly games, I plan to submit some of mine anyway.  However, I am most certainly not planning to ever stop making air traffic control games.

Backyard Brat is an experiment.  It is the first of what will hopefully be a series of fun flying games.  If the experiment goes well, you will definitely see more.  The concept stems from an older idea I’d wanted to develop, which was an actual flight simulation.   I’ve been playing with flight simulators such as Microsoft Flight Simulator and XPlane for years, but I’ve been thinking about everything that is wrong with them.  And here it is:  computer flight simulation is boring.  And after 25 years of creating flight simulations, Microsoft has figured this out.  That’s why they have changed their name Flight Simulator to, simply, Flight.  Oh, and they have tossed in some challenges and missions for us.   The problem is, these challenges and missions lack fun.  Find the daily aerocache?  What the heck is an aerocache?  I can’t find the definition online anywhere.

msfsIt’s really hard for beginners to fly these things, too.  I think most people just want to be entertained by their games, not dazzled by how real they seem.  I am a seasoned real-world pilot  and I have a heck of a time landing Microsoft’s RV6 aircraft at Hana Airport in Maui.  It is very dependent on how good your joystick is, and what kind of video card you have under the hood.  If you have a laptop like I do, attempting a landing is a truly brutal experience.  Why even make a game like this?  We should all give up trying to make a computer feel like a real airplane.  It’s never going to happen.  Concentrate on the experience itself.  Leave control realism out of it.  Even my real-world pilot friends don’t give a duck about control realism in their computer simulations.

What users want is entertainment.  These companies should make flight handling a no-brainer, but intensify the challenges.    Why make a game about how one must attempt to land on a very small runway?  That’s dull.  Make a game about how one must land on a small dirt field, in an aircraft that’s loaded with illegal cargo, while being chased by a pair of Military Black Hawks.  I’d pay money for that.  When you add a little story to the flight experience, it becomes a fun game.

Most flight simulators lack story.  There is no fun in these games.  And fun must be baked in, not bolted on afterwards.  Simulators are difficult for most people to play, so the market is small.  Plus, they require a great deal of time and money to make, due to the requirement for 3D rendering.

gtaI envision the ultimate flight simulation as having a little ‘Grand Theft Auto’ to it.  It needs attitude.  It needs story.  You don’t just fly your helicopter through the friendly skies.  No. You bust your friend out of prison with it.  You fly an illegal midnight cross-border cargo run.  You rescue helpless children from the apocalypse.  I have fifty more of these ideas that I’m dying to create for you.

So we must first make our craft a helicopter, not a traditional aircraft.  Flying a traditional aircraft on a computer is boring.  You takeoff, then float around aimlessly, without any further ground interaction. Helicopters, on the other hand, can land on anything.  They can land anywhere.  A chopper opens up the possibilities for fun.

I want to make an easy-to-fly machine, with the wildest challenges you can imagine.  I’m totally giving up on the thought of 3D rendered graphics, and will make mine a classic side-scroller.  Development is faster, and game play is easier.  Backyard Brat is a simple side-scroller helicopter game that’s innocent fun, for everyone.  Hopefully it will find it’s market, and I can further develop these ideas.