Lancaster student Lucas Gordon has expressed his excitement as his first computer game, Volcanic, hit the iPhone application iStore and is experiencing remarkable popularity.
Volcanic is a tongue in cheek Space Invader-esque game which encourages players to see a lighter side to the recent volcanic ash issue. Centred around three mischievous mountains – Haoirjkal, Plsakdj and Mqoiwa – the player must control each one to shoot down numerous amounts of planes as they try and land on the island. The aim is to prevent more than three planes landing on the island, thus fighting to protect the islanders from greedy tourists. With each stage becoming progressively harder, the player will need skill and strategy to get through each level, a simple and contemporary game players are finding hard to put down.
As a result to the fun and aesthetically pleasing game play, Volcanic has experienced great success in its first few days on the Apple Store, with over one thousand downloads worldwide by the end of its third day. Gordon was proud of the fact that Volcanic “reached number thirty in the Portuguese strategy game charts out of tens of thousands of other games in the same category.”
Gordon is currently studying for a MSc in Management and in an entrepreneurial move he sought to capitalise, with the help of Lancaster’s Create staff, on the recent success of iPhone applications. “I thought I would try my hand at application development myself, and try and get a few of my simpler game ideas out there,” he said.
Having taken two to three weeks of development, both Gordon and his recently found platform Night Leaf expressed pride in Volcanic. Both parties are optimistic about the game’s first major update, which includes an additional UFO among the enemy aircraft, currently being reviewed by Apple.
Asked whether he encountered any difficulty in developing Volcanic, Gordon noted that the “application development, especially the coding language, was very complex, and I often encountered problems that felt like brick walls, but I persevered and I’m very happy with the results.”
A second game, YOMP, will hopefully also be approved for distribution shortly and Lucas expatiated on Night Leaf’s feelings towards its future releases: “I’m very excited about YOMP – it’s very addictive and I can’t seem to put it down myself. Upcoming releases include an enhanced version of Volcanic for the iPad.”
Gordon hinted at “a main game” that started it all: “I can’t divulge any information about that at present, but it has attracted the attention of external investors and will be huge,” he said.
“I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received from LUSU and Create, and urge players to join the Night Leaf Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter, so they can be kept up to date with all game news and information about our big upcoming project.”