Orbit Arcadia iOS Game

Design / Direction

Let's play Shuffleboard, IN SPACE!

You know those classic skill-based games like skee ball or shuffleboard? Those games where your one friend could absolutely destroy you every single time and the game went from fun to just drastically annoying when it felt like you had no chance in hell to even come close to winning? But then, that one frustrating shot you didn’t plan at all landed perfectly and the game miraculously just got good? Yeah, THOSE are games, and we went and built ourselves a game that harkens back to those classic, social experiences that were uniquely addictive and endlessly playable.

Orbit Arcadia is our version of an arcade classic, but set in space! Aim your shots and launch them at just the right speed to land an orbit around the nearest planet. Orbital rings will help indicate where those ideal shots can be aimed. When you’ve used all your shots, it’s off to another planet in the never ending Arcadia system.

Game Modes

Orbit comes with 4 unique game modes to play. Two are single player, and the other two are local multiplayer. When setting out to make Orbit, one of our prime directives was to make it co-op and make it local. None of this online multiplayer nonsense. Single player modes include a meditative practice mode and a strategic shootout mode.

If you’re done playing with yourself, loop in a friend and play head-to-head trying to hook as many orbits as you can while also knocking each other's orbs off the rings. Payback tastes especially delicious when you manage to hit 2 of your friend’s orbs in a single move. All of that aggression can get tiring so we’ve included a Co-Op mode as well that let’s you and a friend eliminate enemy orbs and progress through the planets together.

Local Multiplayer

As stated above, local multiplayer was a core component of the game we knew we wanted at the start. The reason for this was the incredible lack of fun, local, single-device arcade games. It seems like any multiplayer game these days requires multiple devices and a user account tied to an email. We hate that. We wanted to make a game that lets you bust it out at any time and challenge your friends and family right there next to you without making them figure out how to get the game and join. Cut the fat, and get right to the fun.

As part of a fun launch campaign, some of our most bizarre moves have been immortalized in a graphic poster series.

Never Ending Space

With a game like this, the re-playability is endless. To make sure that statement was true, we made each of the levels build off of an algorithm that randomizes each setting all the way down to the visual attributes of the planet. With a simple gameplay mechanic, we sought to build out the game in a vibrant universe. Each planet has their own unique design characteristics that will change as you jump around levels. The atmospheric void you play in even changes its colors and density. These small cosmetic shifts can create some exciting environments that never get old.

By modeling the core game mechanics on shuffleboard, we were able to then twist it with our added layer of gravity to create something wholly unique. As we tweaked and simplified, the game became its own beast further removed from its initial inspiration. As someone who is obsessed with all things space, it truly was an exploration on the merger of science and gameplay. Deciding how much we rely on true-to-life physics and where we draw the line for easy gameplay was a challenge. In the end, while the game does use gravity as its core conceit, it’s not exactly a perfect representation of Newton’s equation. Oh sure, we DID try it, but good LORD it was a hard game.

If you’ve made it this far down the case study, please, for the love of god, just go play the game! Download and play the game now on the iOS app store!

Orbit Arcadia iOS Game