Creating a video game [Part 4]


Even though this game wants to stay minimalistic, I desired the animations to be crisp and attractive. The rotation had to feel satisfying. I wanted it to appear like each arc was loaded with tension and had a physical mass that developed momentum and transported energy to its successor. I experimented with around 150 different values and combinations until I settled down. Yes, I tend to obsess about the little things, which was one part why the development took a lot longer than I had initially expected…

I wanted the different shapes and colorthemes to alter your experience of the game distinguishly. So a colortheme does not only change the grid, but the whole application. The menus will change according to the theme you have chosen. The different shapes do feel very different even though the mechanic and effects do not change.


Sound to me is more than a subtle element to a game. Oftentimes a tiny sound has the ability to lift an effect from average to good or from great to perfect. I’m far, far away from being a sound engineer, but 8 years of playing the guitar have taught me to appreciate great recordings and subtle effects. Since the guitar is pretty much my only way of expressing myself in the “universe of sounds” I first tried to create the sound effects for the game with my guitar. Yet, I was not satisfied with them. I was looking for a different style of sound. There was some bubblewrap from one of my several online orders lying around next to my keyboards. Sometimes when reading support mails squishing things to stay calm is quite useful. 😉 I enjoy the relaxation I get from just popping some bubbles. Well, who doesn’t!? I tested different sounds and ended up with mouth-created popping noises for the reactions. There is something about these sounds that tickles my brain…

The final animations and sounds in action:


As someone who makes a living of his applications this topic was tough for me: I hate, hate, hate InApp purchases. Usually I do not even bother to download an application if it is labeled with “Offers InApp-Purchases”. I would rather throw 10 bucks at an application just to try it than to hit any kind of pay wall later. I know that most people think different though… When I leave my nerdy circle of friends, most people do not want to pay anything for their applications. They also do not feel bothered by advertisements as much as I do. So I thought that I would rather create a fair free popular game, than a paid shelf-warmer.

As a result of that Chain The Arc! will come free with iAds at the bottom of the play screen. No ads in menus, no fullscreen or video adverts and none that are made to trap you into pressing them accidentally. I’m neither mining your data nor implementing Google Ads for this very reason. I could make more money by using them, but I won’t. Period. One of the reasons why I’m loving iOS is, that many developers have a passion about their apps and make ads truely optional. I’m an iOS user and want to develop a game that would satisfy myself in the first place.

If you remove the iAds, you will get a cute, little random quote at the bottom of your screen as a bonus instead. Since I offer a GameCenter leaderboard I do not want to sell an in-game advantage to people who pay. I’m not working for EA… 😉 Also the inventory in Puzzle Mode moves down if you have removed the adverts. So it gets a bit more accessible.

All the different themes are available for a fair amount of collected arcs. Unlocking a theme of choice can take you less than 5–10 minutes and should happen while you are enjoying the game and experimenting with it. I see the “Unlock All Themes” purchase as a kind of donation for people who like my work…