Blow Things Up!

November 18th, 2010 Games Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Another new game out! That’s three within about a week of each other. Obviously they haven’t only taken me a few days to make they’ve all just been sitting waiting for sponsors and release dates to come along.

Blow Things Up is my first attempt at using box2d, a physics engine that handles all the collisions and physics simulation in the game. It’s a fantastic tool that is very versatile and can be used for any number of game ideas.

Blow things up started out with me just playing around and trying to get to grips with box2d. The original game featured a character that could shoot cannons at structures to knock them down and I was going to invent a whole bunch of different weapons that would help him achieve his goal. With that in mind I started trying to come up with a way to create realistic looking explosions using box2d but once I had a method I decided that it was so much fun just clicking to create explosions that I could make a game using just that as the core idea.

The actual method I used to create the explosions was fairly straightforward but it seems to produce good results so I decided not to delve deeper into creating a more sophisticated method. Basically all I’m doing is applying a force to the centre of an object if it is within the blast radius and the force strength is greater the nearer the object is to the blast. This does have drawbacks (the main one being that if an object is really large then the bomb might register as being too far away to affect it even though it is right next to it since it is only actually registering at the centre of the object) but I feel that it generally works well in the scope of this game.

The main difficulty in making Blow Things Up was coming up with good level designs. I made a simple level editor to help me make the levels which did the job reasonably well but I found it very tough to come up with a variety of levels that were both challenging and fun. I think the levels ended up being a bit on the easy side but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Players don’t always like to have too much of a challenge and there are at least a few levels in there that are a bit trickier than others. I wanted players to enjoy the experience of just having fun blowing things up and not getting too bogged down by levels that were too difficult. Also, to add more of a challenge for those players who want it, I added in a trophy system which will award you a trophy if you use the minimum number of bombs possible for a level.

Update: I feel that I should update this post just to say that in its 2nd day of going live this game had just under 250,000 plays, a new record for me for the most plays from a single game in one day :) That equates to almost 3 plays every second over a 24 hour period! I’m very pleased with how the release of this one is going.

15 Responses to “Blow Things Up!”

  • andy [ 18Nov10]

    the game is not working, not on here and not on notdoppler, on the second and third level everytime i press space to blow up, it freezes after a second, ive retried multiple times and refreshed the page….

  • Rob [ 18Nov10]

    Thanks for the report, although that’s a strange one that I’ve not come across before. I’ve never had a problem myself there and no one else has reported it either so I don’t really know how to help you… Were you able to beat level 1 fine then presumably? Also have you tried using the TNT button in the top right instead of the space bar to detonate the bombs? That probably won’t make any difference but it’s the only thing I can think of to try.

  • Marloes [ 18Nov10]

    The game is not working at all! I see the title screen, the level-select screen and the congrats-with-completing-the-game-screen flashing by every second.. Very strange!!

  • ... [ 25Nov10]

    i have a problem to select levels. I completed level 7, but level 8 isn’t unlocked.

  • Rob [ 25Nov10]

    Have you completed all the levels up to and including level 7? If you hover over level 8 does it say “Beat 1 more level to unlock this level” or anything like that? The only thing I can think of is that you might need to go back and beat some of the earlier levels that you may have skipped.

  • ... [ 25Nov10]

    I completed all the other levels, but not all with trophy.

    After this, i completed all the other levels with a trophy, and level 8 shows. “Beat -2 more level to unlock this level”

    Till this time i used firefox-browser.

    After this, i swithed to IE6 (i am at business….). Level 8 was unlocked, but i have this problem again on level 14. All levels have a trophy….

    After finished the game, i said everytime “next level”.

  • Dick [ 25Nov10]

    I really like this one, enjoyed all the levels, particularly solving the tricky ones. I’d love to see a toughie version but the mix here was just right.
    It would be good to say what the minimum bombs was for each game and make a little more of the trophies so that you get some status perhaps that of Master Bomber if you get a full set of trophies.

  • Rob [ 25Nov10]

    It’s very strange that that would happen but it could possibly be that your flash player is corrupt in some way. You can try uninstalling and reinstalling adobe flash player and see if that sorts it out but otherwise I don’t know what to suggest.

  • Dick [ 25Nov10]

    Ah, I see you have done that (re minimum bombs). Am finding the face tricky.

  • Dick [ 29Nov10]

    On level 29, the only one where I still don’t have a trophy, I resorted to the walk through but replicating those bomb positions (which I’d already tried) still didn’t get rid of the little blighters, even when I repeated it several times. Where am I going wrong?

  • joe [ 03Dec10]


    had to stop at level 25 to go get some work done.



  • Raed Amer [ 02Jan11]

    Really smart game and you need the skill in the solution

  • Dan [ 16Feb11]

    Good game but I found a glitch you might be interested in. It allows you to plant bombs over top the (wooden?) pillars. Heres the steps on how to:
    1. place bomb over pillar
    2. hold down left click down
    3. click right click in and release left (do not have to hold in right)
    4. move mouse out of right click menu and right click on another part of the pillar
    5. move mouse out of the new right click menu and LEFT click on the pillar.
    6. bomb plant on pillar.

    screen shot:

  • ClockworkBastard [ 25Feb11]

    Nice one! Some levels was a bit… unfun? like the one with guy in glasses with good guys in it. When I made all the levels I started to resolve puzzles to the cup trophy, but remembered that level and thought – I’ve got enough of level 22.

    Thanx for game after all. And I hope you’ll make sequel with different bad guys. For example bouncy, that will continue jumping for a while, stone – that is heavy but can’t roll at all and steel, which is heavy and round so keep rolling all the way if starts.

  • Bernardo Boeira [ 23Mar11]

    I really think your game is amazing.

    If it was available on the itunes app store I would certainly buy it.

    You could make a lot of money on this.

    Anyway, thanks for the game!


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