Onslaught, Audio Asteroids, Released!

After roughly a year of development, and years of engine work, I’m proud to announce the release of Onslaught.

Frag asteroids and blast aliens in this fast-paced audio-only space shooter inspired by the classics. Onslaught is specifically for visually-impaired players, or for gamers seeking a fresh challenge.

  • Take on infinite levels of asteroids and aliens using only your ears to fly and shoot.
  • Play with headphones or in full surround sound.
  • Connect a controller for faster play and vibration feedback.
  • Use the embedded screen reader for multi-platform accessibility.
  • With support for Windows, Linux, and macOS, enjoy the same gameplay experience on more platforms than many other accessible games.

Purchase the game here, or read on for more details!

I’ll note a few things about this initial release. First, while I’m targeting blind players, I still want dialog boxes and menus to look decent. I’m not quite there yet, but my initial screen size was far too small. Unfortunately, scaling up the size also meant changing the size of the field. Changing the field size meant tweaking speeds, audio values, and just about every number in the game. In most cases, this was simple multiplication. I’ve almost certainly introduced balance issues however, and while testing those out would be the responsible thing, I think it’s time this bird left the nest. To that end, I’m committed to tweak any balance issues for the next few months.

Next, while I consider core gameplay to be finished, I’m still working on more platforms! The Android version on Itch is still considered alpha, and will be pushed to Google Play if it becomes stable. An unstable Xbox One build also exists, and iOS is in the works. I can’t promise that any of these will pan out, but if they do, they will be available through other platforms at additional cost.

Finally, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of those without whom this release would have been impossible. My dozen testers were invaluably helpful in ironing out lots of bugs and balance issues. The staff at itch.io provides an amazing service for publishing and selling DRM-free games, and I’d have a much tougher time going to market without them.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m also incredibly grateful to my friend Matt Campbell, without whom the macOS and iOS releases would have been impossible. Apple hardware is expensive, and audio game margins are razor thin. I’d given up on releasing on Apple platforms, but thanks to his generous donation of a Mac Mini and iPad, Onslaught now runs on macOS and may soon be ported to iOS as well. While stable mobile releases for this title are still a bit uncertain, future Apple releases are far more likely now that I have access to native hardware.

What’s Next?

In addition to the previously promised balance fixes, I have a few short-term goals on the roadmap:

  • More games. I don’t want to say much, but I’m currently prototyping a simple casual roguelike with accessible, immersive, and simple map review working on keyboards, game controllers, and touchscreens. I’m hoping to publish a free proof of concept soon, followed shortly after by an early access game.
  • More content. There’s lots of general design advice out there, but not much written on accessible game mechanics. I’d like to post what I learn while creating audio and accessible games, with hopes of improving the state of the art in game accessibility.
  • Sponsorship opportunities. Indie game development is tough. Audio-only indie game development is even more so. I’d like to branch out and make more mainstream accessible games, but to do that, I’ll need to create accessible tools. Most of what I’m building is open source. In addition, I also plan to provide more early access content for testing, as well as development streams and other sponsor benefits.

But enough from me. Check out Onslaught, join the forum, or come chat on Discord!