Fly PANIC! is a simple arcade game that takes place in the kitchen. Your task in this game is to eradicate the swarm of house flies, as they try to go after your food. Equipped with a prototype device called "The Bug Zappa", you must take out the flies one by one, by aiming and shooting (tapping on the screen).
I've always dreamed of designing an arcade game.
The idea for FP was inspired by observing my son (and was originally created for him), whom in the past, had a huge fear of flying insects. Any such critters that found their way into our home, would trigger an intense panic attack for him. It was mayhem! Nothing seemed to work, until in an act of desperation, I said "Hey buddy, let's turn this into a game!". What was I thinking? How could I think of games in a time like this, when my son is so frantic and shaken? Well, I figured "what do I have to lose?". My wife and I tried everything else except for taking his (and my own) love for video games and fear of bugs, and putting them together.
Calliphora vomitoria aka The Bottle Fly
Lucilia sericata aka The Blow Fly (or Green Bottle Fly)
Drosophila melanogaster aka The Fruit Fly
Simuliidae aka The Black Fly
One summer day, during a particularly bad fly swarm, I took a spray bottle filled with water and vinegar, and said "Watch me! Watch how many I can get!". He was still very visibly shaken, BUT I had his attention; with him watching me spray each bug one at a time, I told him to think of each "spray kill" as earning a point, and encouraged him to pick up the second spray bottle and see how many more than me, he could spray! Though it took some time, these activities proved worthwhile. Eventually and surprisingly, it gave him a new approach to facing off against nature's annoying little flying critters, with less anxiety each time.
Pictured: Very crude original title screen design, circa 2013.
Pictured: Much cuter redesign, from mid-2014.
When I started designing Fly PANIC!, I wanted to take that very concept of earning points for each successful shot landed, and earning more points for landing shots on the fast flies, as well as the illusion of a room filled with flies — though it never got that bad, we are talking about a child's point of view. Once I had a playable demo, I invited my son to try it out. He was hooked! I said to him "next time, any flies get into the house, I want you to think of this game and what I showed you the other day". Little by little, he became more intrigued by spritzing the flies in real life. One day while he was testing out yet another demo, he says "Daddy, you should show everybody this game. I bet a lot of people don't like flies...even though some of them are kind of cute up close!". Well that did it! For the next few years I began taking the game more seriously, right down to the smallest details, until I completed it.
Pictured: Final, much less crude title screen.
So there you have it. The in-game action of Fly PANIC! is basically from a child's perspective: a fast-paced and intimidating swarm of annoying, buzzing critters taking over. Give it a shot for your self! See how far you can progress!