Mangahigh.com // February 2009 – September 2009
In SODP, asteroids are heading on a collision course with Earth; your goal is to save civilisation as we know it by intercepting them with missiles. Your lunatic science advisors recommend three possible flight path equations, of which only one is correct. You divine the correct flight path from the positions of the Earth and the asteroid, plot two waypoints for the missile to follow, then hit ‘FIRE’, sit back and enjoy the fireworks (assuming you didn’t mess up, of course).
In the early levels the missile flight paths are simple linear equations but as the game progresses quadratic and cubic equations are introduced, explained away as you having to steer the missile around space debris or dodge alien defences (it’s eventually revealed that those ever-aggressive ETs are behind the onslaught, y’see).
The raw concept for Save Our Dumb Planet (SODP) was already laid down when I joined Mangahigh, but the spec needed a lot of work – especially as regards the maths algorithms, which were virtually non-existent – before it was ready for sending out to the developer.
To be honest, SODP is probably my least favourite Mangahigh title. Despite a fantastic job on the presentation by developer MP Game Studio, you never really forget that you’re participating in a series of interactive exercises rather than playing a genuine game. It’s not an example of Mangahigh at its best.