It really has been almost 50 years since Atari became a household name in the gaming industry. With such a vast array of arcade-inspired cult classics spanning over generations under their belt, they are a wonderful client to be working side by side with. It has to be mentioned, Breakout: Recharged is another installment in our lasting partnership during all of the Recharged series.
As with other Recharged projects, Sneakybox studios are responsible for revitalizing and reworking a legendary title from the 70s that spawned an entire genre of block breaker games. The game is called Breakout and during its heyday, it was in the five highest-earning video games in the US for 3 years. Now it is up to us to update it to the modern standard, create visual design and check and update the code involving game mechanics, rework UI and port the game to various platforms.
Breakout might have been a ground-breaking legendary title in its own time, but how does one modernize it without reinventing the wheel? How does one update the game in such a way that attracts players from new generations and offer something else that Breakout or its clones over the generations have already presented?
When a primary gameplay loop in a game only includes bouncing a ball to blocks mechanics must be in pristine condition. The code was written a long, long time ago, hence we turned our focus to tidy it up first. There were a hefty amount of issues regarding ball bounce physics but luckily, our past experiences with the Recharged series games helped us along the way and turned this process into relatively smooth sailing.
After getting the essentials right we started looking for ways to improve the gameplay. Here, once again our groundwork from past Recharged series installments bore fruit as we implemented various tried and tested features such as powerups and challenges. After trying tested solutions we have also added half a dozen unique blocks that gradually ramp up the challenge for the players. Such decisions provide replayability value and bring variety to casual, classic games.
Breakout: Recharged was also our first Recharged game in the series that already booted up with additional game modes called Recharged, Classic and Classic Recharged as they provide different ways to experience the game and keep the game fresh adding additional hours of game time. These game modes, however, will not be exclusive only to Breakout, as they will be patched to Breakout: Asteroids, Breakout: Centipede and Breakout: Black Widow as well.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
Game Engine: Unity
IDE: Visual Studio
I2Localization – localization
ReWired – controller support
Cinemachine – camera control
Shader Graph – Shader editor