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Swing Skills is a free-to-play rope swinging game for iOS/Android.
One night, as you sleep in the jungle, you awaken to see the nefarious Swingorms kidnapping your friends into their evil prison machine!
Swing your rope through unique Levels, smash through Blocks and collect Coins to save your pals from the angry Swingorms' clutches.
Find out in Swing Skills!
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You can also look at an album of gameplay gifs on Imgur.
Heavy Frog Games is a one-man games development company founded in 2016 in the United Kingdom by tamerobots.
How long have you been interested in video games?
Dave: I've been interested in video games ever since I picked up a Game Boy in the 1990s and played Super Mario Land for the first time. The catchy music and interesting levels you play through hooked me immediately, with the strange Moai statues you jump on and the weird submarine bits! I soon moved on to Sega Master System games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Rampart, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, and Marble Madness. As I grew older and the N64 came out I played Goldeneye, Super Mario 64, 1080 Snowboarding and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, and after that I moved to Xbox 360 and played Halo 2, Gears of War and TES:Oblivion, and dozens of others. Something about the ability of a good game to take you into fantastic imaginary worlds has always strongly appealed to me. The immersion you feel inside the game as you learn about it and how to explore it is a feeling I think I will never get tired of.
What made you decide to make Swing Skills?
Dave: Before I made Swing Skills, I was a web developer working in Oxford, making websites for schools and businesses. I enjoyed the work and being part of a great team, but after 4 years I decided it was time for a change. So I planned a trip around the world, worked my last few months at work, then set off, travelling to 9 different countries. I got to swim with sharks, I drove a muscle car through the desert, jumped out of a plane and lots of other fun stuff. When I got back from my trip, I realised that I had the time and freedom to make something creative and do a solo passion project, so I decided to take a chance and give game development a try.
What went into making it?
Dave: I spent 2 and a half years on this project. I took inspiration from the functionality and mechanics of other popular games in the industry, and memories of fun I'd had playing games on games consoles. I've always really enjoyed pick-up-and-play fast-paced arcade games that don't require a huge investment of time to play, and are intuitive to use, so I set out to make something along those lines. The great thing about the internet and the wealth of resources out there to developers like me is that it makes it plausible to make a game alone, which is fantastic - but it still took me a lot longer than I thought it would. I think if I started game development again from scratch I would have created a few smaller simpler games first to get the ball rolling.
How did you develop Swing Skills?
Dave: I used Unity 3D with MonoDevelop for the Game Engine. It's stable, easy to use, well-supported and has a great community around it, with thousands of articles to help you work in it. I'd strongly recommend it for mobile game work, but if you're a game developer you should research other engines as well to figure out what's right for your needs.
I used Qubicle to make the 3d voxel models of the levels, characters and outfits. Qubicle's a good system. I've also heard good things about MagicaVoxel if you're looking for a free solution.
I used sfxr and bfxr by DrPetter and increpare for some of the sound effects.
Why did you make it free-to-play?
Dave: I thought that making the first game a paid title would be a risky move, especially as an unknown developer. Free to Play seems as though it can be a workable model, and from what I can tell, if you make your game a paid title it will receive much less attention than a free one. I've made sure that there are no paywalls or pop-up ads, and a capped spend. There are no surprise payments or ads in the game, I'm hoping that this will help players enjoy the game and share it with others.
What are you expecting from this game release?
Dave: I'm an unknown solo developer and this is my first game project, so I don't expect much of a success with Swing Skills, but hopefully it will earn me a little bit of money so I can make more games in the future. If I don't make any money from it, at least I will have made a game that I'm proud of.
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