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Team Junkfish Blog

From PC to Mobile: The Reinvention of Attack of the Earthlings.

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Hello there! We've quietly been working on a project since early 2022, and we’re excited to give you a behind the scenes look at a new adventure for Junkfish - a journey into the vast, new, and exciting world of mobile gaming. Here’s your first exclusive look at Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile.

What is Attack of the Earthlings?

Anyone who has played the original Attack of the Earthlings (released in 2017 on PC, Xbox and PlayStation) will be familiar with the concept of the game but for those that didn’t, let me fill you in. There is a war between the humans and the alien species ‘Swarmers’. Humans have invaded the Swarmer’s planet with hopes of draining its precious resources, killing anything that gets in their way.

Sounds like humans are the bad guys here, huh? That’s because they are! In Attack of the Earthlings, you take control of the alien species defending their home planet from the evil, invading human corporation that is trying to pillage your home.

Attack of the Earthlings is a turn based strategy with a dark comedic single player campaign, and its mobile counterpart shares a few similarities and a few new exciting changes. Let’s get into them!

What’s new with Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile?

Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile still maintains the same dark humour and turn based strategy elements from its 2017 predecessor, but the gameplay loop is now updated.

Instead of a campaign, you will now face hordes of enemies trying to wipe you out. Wave by wave, you will grow and evolve your units to try and survive the increasingly difficult enemies and bosses coming your way. Kill humans, absorb their biomass and grow your army to withstand the hordes coming to wipe you out in this new mobile adventure.

If the humans overwhelm and defeat you, fear not. All is not lost in death, and you will be able to take your earned experience and use it to unlock new abilities, new units and level up. Return to the battle with more power, stronger abilities, and see if you can outlast the human hordes.

This is NOT the same game you have already played!

It’s important to note that Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile is not a simple port of the 2017 game to mobile. It is an entirely new experience for you to dive into.

Image: Main menu art for Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile.

Why Attack of the Earthlings and not something new?

Attack of the Earthlings got praise from its players for being a short and fun experience, but feedback said that it lacked replayability. Taking inspiration from one of the levels from the PC game (where you protect the Matriarch against waves of enemies), we thought we could take an already well loved game and expand on the gameplay to create an endlessly fun and replayable experience.

This is also our first attempt at a mobile game, so there was a lot for us to learn as a team. Expanding on an already developed universe meant we didn’t have to spend too much time working on things like character designs, enemy types, and combat. We knew they all worked already, and each archetype was designed to counter another. Building upon an already designed game allowed us to focus more on learning to develop for a new platform and improving gameplay mechanics.

Has Developing for Mobile Been Hard?

Simply, yes!

Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile began as an experiment. Junkfish had never tried working on a mobile game before, and we wanted to explore the experience and challenges that came with it.

One of the complications was the weaker hardware. The majority of mobile devices cannot handle the same magnitude of games that a PC can handle, so optimisation was a huge challenge. Not just getting the game to run well on a mobile device, but also catering for the massive variance of specifications on all the different phones available required a lot of optimisation.

Another issue we encountered was that the systems brought over from the PC game ran horribly on mobile. It took the team a lot of hard work to dissect the code and rewrite any problematic parts to enable it to work well.

For those who may not know, we have an incredible team of developers in Singapore. While the Singapore team did support the development of Monstrum 2, their main focus for the past year has been on Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile. The team slowly built up over the course of development, starting with just one programmer to a slowly expanding team of 6 developers. So not only did we have a steep learning curve ahead of us experimenting with mobile games, it was also the Singapore team's first project!

After development on Monstrum 2 calmed down, the rest of the team were also able to help support the development of Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile.

It’s been a huge learning curve with a lot of challenges, but we’ve learned so much and grown a lot as a team because of it.

Can we get a sneak peak?

Oh go on then.

Something we are really proud of is the overhaul of the 3D art and animations. Not only were we able to reduce the size of the game, but we improved the visual style and readability of the characters and their environment.

Image: Gameplay from Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile.

The new animations also bring so much life and personality to the characters. We can’t wait for you to meet all of the weird and wacky personalities waiting for you.

When Can I Play?!

Attack of the Earthlings: Mobile will be released later this year on Google Play and iOS stores. Keep an eye on our newsletter and social media for more information.

The team has worked extremely hard on this game. We’ve grown a lot over the course of this project, and we can’t wait to share this exciting new experience with you!

We hope you have fun battling the hordes of evil human invaders in the battle for your planet. Good luck out there, Swarmers.

Any questions? Come chat to us in our official Discord!

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