Debris Field

Debris Field is my re-imagining and a new version of my original iOS game Aerolite. It's now available on Apple TV and MacOS.

How To Play

MacOS you can use the keyboard or game controller

Apple TV requires a game controller.

Download on the App Store Download on the App Store

Story

With its nostalgic charm and modern twists, you are invited to embark on an epic journey, battling through the debris field to save Earth from the impending asteroid apocalypse. Can you rise to the challenge and become the savior of humanity?

An ancient space rift has caused a cataclysmic event, resulting in a massive debris field spanning across the galaxy. The debris, consisting of shattered asteroids and celestial fragments, threatens to collide with inhabited planets, including Earth.

As the last remaining hope for humanity, you are an elite pilot tasked with venturing into the treacherous debris field to protect Earth from the impending asteroid onslaught. Equipped with a state-of-the-art spacecraft, you must navigate and destroy asteroids before they reach the planet's surface.

It may start off easy but as you venture deeper into space you'll encounter various cosmic hazards that pose grave threats. Black holes can appear, attracting everything in their vicinity. You must avoid these gravitational anomalies at all costs, as being pulled into one would send you on an unknown course.

Super nova can suddenly appear and explode with incredible force, releasing pulsing shockwaves. Anything that gets caught within their range will send it hurling through space. Quick reflexes and careful maneuvering are essential to dodge these cosmic explosions.

As you progress through the game, they encounter hostile alien drones sent by advanced extraterrestrial civilizations seeking to exploit the chaos of the debris field. These drones are relentless adversaries and are indestructible. You must avoid them at all costs. You might not be able to destroy the drones but the more you shoot them the slower they get.

To aid in your mission, you can collect power-ups scattered throughout the debris field. These power-ups enhance the your spacecraft, providing boosts and advanced weaponry. Machine guns shred asteroids with rapid-fire precision, while triple guns unleash a volley of projectiles to annihilate multiple threats. Extra shields provide an additional layer of defense, safeguarding the your ship from devastating impacts.

Amidst the chaos, dark matter anomalies manifest as pockets of unstable energy. They are hazardous to the touch and cannot be destroyed but they can be slowed down when you shoot it.

History

I think it was spring of 1980. Near the entrance of a local IGA grocery store in CT sat a bradn new Asteroids arcade cabinet. It lured me in with it's blue toned images of a space ship shooting floating rocks. It's glowing triangularly shaped ship sputtering tiny space bullets at similarly glowing odd looking rocks had be begging my mom for a quarter.

23 year old me forever in plaster.

That was the first video game I ever played and naturally when I started to learn to code, Asteroids was a game that I had to one day make. It would be years before I tried my first attempt and even longer before I made a version that I thought was decent.

My first iOS version of this game was called Aerolite. It was built with a mix of Obj-C and C++ using the Cocos2D framework. In fact it was the first game I made using Cocos2D. It did well in the App Store and was downloaded in the millions.

I had a version of this running on AppleTV years ago. I wrote it with the first versions of Swift. I wanted to release it under a different name. It was to be an endless runner type of game but with asteroids that keep on coming. No levels, one life. Just endless bombardment.

It was fun except the controls made it awkward. If I remember correctly, Apple at the time wanted devs to make use of the Siri remote as a fall back. That remote wasn't great for game play. Frustrated by the constant Swift updates breaking the project and the Siri remote fallback I shelved it.

Even though it was running just fine for years, due to family commitments, I decided to remove Aerolite and eventually all my other apps from the store. Now that life has somewhat normalized it's back and better than before.

Art

A Photo of the artist's wacom on her desk with the color study on the screen

I have a love for retro box art and magazine game advertisements. I tried to make my own version of cover art for the online version of Debris Field but it wasn't great. So I asked a real artist for help.

I gave the her direction, example sketches, and some retro box and arcade art based on asteroids and other space games from the ‘80s. I loved what she came up with. THe following is the progression from sketch to almost final.

The first image is the sketch. The second one is the line art. The third image is the color study. The ugly ass 80s style pallette in the third image is all me. She had nothing to do it but humored me none the less.

All the work was done in Photoshop on a Wacom Cintiq.

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