By Mansoor Pathiyanthara, Founder of Gamasome Interactive LLP
“Sky Piper – Tournament” was a concept we created during an informal game jam on an ordinary weekend. Inspired by sci-fi favorites like “Star Wars” and “Star Fox,” our studio envisioned a game with simple but unique flight gameplay. As we continued to experiment, “Sky Piper – Tournament” quickly became a testbed for trying out all sorts of interesting and wacky ideas, both in art style and game mechanics. As we grew more invested in the development process, we transitioned the weekend project into a serious endeavour.
There were a few key elements we wanted to focus on during development. First and foremost was flight control – we wanted our game to deliver a truly ‘sci-fi’ vibe to our players. One of my favorite aspects of the game is how the ships handle and maneuver. Once players begin to steer quickly, they gain the ability to barrel roll in order to avoid obstacles. It’s incredibly satisfying to dodge obstacles and experience near-misses while navigating through increasingly challenging levels.
We also put a lot of care into the artwork and music assets, which are major focuses of our game and part of the key experience. Our objective was to have our game deliver a feeling of wonder to our players through a variety of color combinations, emissions, and lighting. The game also features a great soundtrack created by our very own in-house composer.
Skillz and the Future
We originally planned to convert the game into a real-time multiplayer tournament, but dropped the idea due to the costs and effort required to maintain the servers. However, I eventually learned about Skillz through last year’s IGDC (Indian Game Developer Conference). An organizer, impressed with the game we had on our hands, told me about Skillz and suggested I give it a shot.
After just a few days of research and playing a lot of Skillz games, I was sold on the platform. Games powered by Skillz deliver a fun, multiplayer experience that allows players to compete for rewards – something that I wanted to deliver to my own players.
Thankfully, “Sky Piper – Tournament” was designed initially as a competitive title, so the conversion process into an esport was seamless. Skillz fit perfectly within our game design philosophies. The only real challenge we faced was synchronizing level data in order to maintain fair play, but we were thrilled to discover that Skillz already provides the technology to ensure fun and fair competition.
Although “Sky Piper – Tournament” was the first official title released under our little studio, we’re quite happy with how it turned out. The things we learned along the way will serve as a powerful foundation for our future games. Working with Skillz was also a wonderful experience, and we’re planning to create a team dedicated to developing more Skillz-powered games throughout 2020 and beyond.