From composing to compiling: Whitaker Trebella’s new puzzle creation
One of the neatest things to come from Apple’s App Store is the plethora of resources available for new developers looking to try their hand at game design. This story is easy to see in the creation of Polymer, an upcoming iOS puzzle title created by Whitaker Trebella.
Known for his prowess as a videogames musician (as heard in titles such as Casey’s Contraptions, Tilt to Live, and the upcoming Word Fighter), Trebella decided that the time was ripe for his own app. After nearly a year and a half of dedicated work (complete with plenty of obstacles), Polymer was born.
Named from the scientific word for a compound molecule, Polymer is all about creating the largest interconnecting shape. By sliding a grid of unique pieces vertically and horizontally, players continually expand interlocking pieces. Once a desirable mass is created, it can be “popped” for points, with higher scores awarded to larger blobs.
For someone that has spent so long in sound design, Trebella has shown a great knack for visual appeal. The color of each shape isn’t integral to gameplay, but is instead determined by several unlockable themes. You can play with shapes in black and white, rainbow, or even Neapolitan, if you’d like. New shapes are also unlocked gradually, creating a gameplay experience that slowly gets more and more visually complex.
Whether you enjoy your puzzle games fast paced or slow and thoughtful, Polymer has a mode for you. 2 minute mode is a standard test of reflexes as you race for the best score in a limited amount of time. Bomb mode is another test of wits that forces you to form polymers with specific pieces on the board before they explode. And for those who would rather relax a little more, 10 polymers mode offers the untimed challenge of assembling the most massive creation.
Following Trebella’s blog, it’s inspiring to see how a small concept grew into a full-fledged title. “I didn’t really set out to make a finished app at first,” said Trebella, “but the more I worked on the game, the more I enjoyed playing it … It’s amazing the problems you have to figure out when trying to push through to create a finished product.”
Perhaps the greatest benefit of becoming a songwriter-turned-developer is that you don’t have to hire out to get great sound design. Each game mode comes with its own upbeat soundtrack, and each destroyed polymer chimes in tune with the music. Trebella hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Polymer was just recently submitted to the App Store for review, and we’ll likely be seeing it sometime soon. If you’re looking for a colorful puzzle game with a variety of gameplay modes and expert sound design, keep on the lookout for a Polymer’s imminent release.