Retrobooster Retrospective Video

May 27, 2014 by Terry

To illustrate the creation of a game, I made this video of Retrobooster’s development process. Enjoy.

There are a couple versions of the game that have been lost along the way, and I wish I could have included them. In particular, version 0.0.1 was even more bare-bones than version 0.0.5. It was before I had programmed a level editor, so it consisted simply of a ship flying around a big pink temporary planetoid.

The information in the video moves quickly. In case you had trouble reading all the text, here is the full script.

version 0.0.5 – December 30, 2007
Basic physics, navigation, particles
Sort of looks like a game
Passable level editor

version 0.1 – May 29, 2009
Surface shader
Particle shader
Light sources
Sound effects

version 0.2.5 – November 24, 2009
Level design experimentation
Advanced particle animation
Gobs of math

version 0.3 – December 8, 2010
Soundtrack from
Game controller support
Better textures and shaders
Glow effect
Gross levels
Starfield backgrounds

version 0.4 – February 26, 2012
Content creation
Level prototyping
More math

version 0.5.3 – December 3, 2012
Much testing
Health bar
10 weapons
Continuous shooting
Smoke trails
Better backgrounds
Quit day job
Targeting laser
Lightning weapon
Splash damage
Defender drone
First trailer
Playable demo
Fried egg

version 0.7 – July 12, 2013
Conveyor beams
More enemies
More puzzles
Death Ray
A little calculus

version 0.8 – November 11, 2013
Humans are more interactive
New player ship model
Multiple render targets for better multiplayer performance

version 0.9 – January 10, 2014
Save game feature
Refined collisions, physics
Tweaked visuals, packaging, difficulty, bonuses, powerups, weapons

version 1.0 – February 21, 2014
Unique starfields and lighting per level
Dolly-zoom for score multipliers
Launch trailer
Full game released
Fried egg looks more galactic

version 1.1 – April 23, 2014
Widescreen support
Level and game timers

4 Responses to “Retrobooster Retrospective Video”

  1. Great retrospective – very interesting how things progressed! Ever thought about releasing that level editor? Could be great fun to create a level-building community!

    • Thanks Michael. I have thought about releasing it, but it would be a lot of work still. It’s nowhere near high enough quality for public release. There are plenty of missing features, and I have never even compiled it under Windows.

  2. Erik

    Amazing arcade action — incredible! If this game (and OPEN GL) had been around in 1982, this would have been the biggest hit ever in the world of arcade! I have a 70-inch SONY UltraHD and will be playing it this weekend. Amazing work Terry, an immersive experience. Appreciate all the hard work and creative genius you’ve provided in this game. Countless hours of entertainment for a mere $15. Well worth the price.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Erik. Plenty of 80s games influenced this one. The concept is similar to some of those, but it sure was fun to add all the crazy 3D graphics that we couldn’t have in the 80s.

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