A lot of indie iPhone developers have come from bigger game companies that failed to survive the credit crunch, with the unemployed ground floor troops setting up on their own in the handheld gaming world.
Newly formed Riptide Games – founded by IGDA board member Brian Robbins – has a similar story, though it was born when Fuel Games Denver (creator of Vans SK8 and Lifeboat, among others) was shut down in late August.
Anyway, at this year’s 360i|Dev conference, Brian and Riptide teamed up with old colleagues Jonathan Hartstein of Pyro Monkey Productions, Seth Howard of Spatial Reasoning, Eric Lannan from Crucial Games and Ben Long of Noise Buffet to enter the iPhone Game Jam contest.
In 12 hours they put together the core gameplay of Gravity Sling – an inertia-based puzzle game in which your astronaut slingshots his way around stellar bodies to get back safely to his ship.
Riptide has since been refining the graphics and gameplay, and constructed 35 levels with full OpenFeint integration for online high scores and achievements. Riptide is also planning to add a level editor further down the line.
Gravity Sling is due to be submitted to Apple any time now, and a Palm Pre version has also gone into production, so the game should be with us soon. We’ll get you some more coverage of this fascinating developer shortly, and in the meantime, check out the gameplay video below and register your interest in the comments section.