All Posts By

Trey Smith


The Making of Bounce: Inside a Top 25 Game

By | Buildbox Notes, Buildbox Tutorials, Showcase Games | 16 Comments

In our previous post, we showed the evolution of Bounce and gave some backstory on how this game came to be.  In this post we will dive deeper into the level design of Bounce and share stats from the first few days.

The video below walks you through the actual creation of this game.  You’ll learn about the original design philosophy and see the Buildbox save file that was used to create the final version of the game:

Now let’s check out some stats.

Bounce has been officially featured by Apple.  It was also a trending search term and hit the Top 25 of both the iPhone and the iPad charts:

Over the firs four days we broke 1,000,000 downloads just on iOS.  This broke our previous record with our game Phases (which took 6 days).

Check back for updated stats soon on the Bounce launch.  If you haven’t played Bounce yet, then check it out free on iOS and Android.


Bounce: Making a hit Buildbox game in 10 days

By | Showcase Games | 15 Comments

Note:  We’ve created an update post showing a video of the Bounce save file in Buildbox, download stats and more.

The Story

A few months ago, we were browsing the customer forums and noticed a unique game being created with Buildbox. The video we saw was of a prototype game created by Mike Davison called Bounce Zone.  Upon seeing this video, I immediately reached out to Mike to see how we could help.  I knew there was something good here and with a little tweak here and there, this could be a huge game.

Mike told me the story of creating the game and it was amazing.  He completed the first version of this game (including over 70 different levels) in just a few nights.  I say night, because he was only working on this in the evening when he got home from work.  We offered to work with Mike and help him with the game if he was up for it, he was and after about 100 emails discussing every aspect of the game, bounce was completed.

When the game was finalized, we showed it to Ketchapp and they were excited to publish it under their powerful umbrella and as an added bonus it was also featured in the iPhone, iPad and Google Play stores.

The Creation

From beginning to end, this game took 10 days to create.  Mike’s initial Bounce Zone was created in 3 days and then he spent 7 more days implementing our changes and finalizing the game.  The first thing we suggested was changing the name.  We feel that short simple names work better for minimal games like this.  We had a lot of luck with Phases and decided to just call this one Bounce.  It’s easy to remember, accurately describes the game and allows someone to quickly tell others what to search in the store to find it.

The minimalization process was more than just shortening the name, we also wanted to choose a smaller color palette for Bounce.  We decided to drop the textured background and simply use green and grey for the main user interface colors and also use a set of small icons instead of large buttons for the various sub-menus and options.


Next we turned the focus to Gameplay.  While we felt like the look and feel of the game needed to be more minimal, I felt the actual gameplay needed to be more advanced.  We loved the four major colors in the game:  red, grey, blue and yellow and decided to stick with these colors, but assign special abilities to each.

Red would be only for enemies and we removed it from the platforms completely.  Grey would be the color of normal platforms and would always be stationary.  Blue platforms would move left or right randomly (at random speeds) when touched.  Finally, yellow platforms would fall when touched.

This immediately added more depth to the gameplay and allowed players to expect what was coming.  The original mayhem aspect of the game was fun, but this structured style gameplay gave a stronger framework to the gameplay.  In the end, good level design is strongly rooted in rules.  We wanted this game to be as simple as possible while still adhering to the laws of the universe we created.

Mike was extraordinarily fast tweaking and creating levels under the universe changes.  He’s got a true gift at level design and sent us a final version with nearly 100 unique levels.  Every one of the unique level design elements you see in the game, from large rotating platforms to hundreds of tiny falling balls, was created solely by Mike.

Right before shipping the final product to Ketchapp, we decided to pay a homage to our first Buildbox game, Phases.  We had a lot of feedback from people who enjoyed the physics explosion of the ball in Phases when your character is defeated, and decided to amp it up a notch in bounce.


Bounce was an absolutely blast to be apart of and we thank Mike for letting us work with him on this game.  If you haven’t downloaded the game yet, you can get it now for iOS and Android devices and watch the official trailer below.

Make sure to check back soon as we’re going to release a new video walking through the Buildbox save file of Bounce in detail.

Update:  We’ve created a new video showing the level design and Buildbox file behind the final version of Bounce.


Phases hits 2,000,000 downloads

By | Buildbox Notes, Showcase Games | 18 Comments

We’re happy to announce that Phases, the first game created with the Buildbox software, has now crossed the 2,000,000 download milestone.

We originally released Phases for iOS in October which broke the top 30 of all apps and then Phases on Android last week.  Phases is published through Ketchapp who has been amazing to work with and we’re excited to announce some new projects that we’ll be releasing with them soon.

Next up we’ll be focusing releasing Phases for the Mac App Store, Windows Marketplace and Steam, where we were recently greenlit and hit the #1 spot out of over 2,000 games submitted:

Phases was originally created in 2 weeks with the alpha version of Buildbox.  In about one week we’ll be unveiling version 1.1 of Buildbox with many more advanced features we can’t wait to show off.  This will be a free upgrade to all current customers.

Thanks for everyone’s support, this has been an amazingly fun and check back for updates on future releases.


Buildbox – The First Three Months

By | Showcase Games | 62 Comments

Tomorrow celebrates the 3rd month anniversary of Buildbox, and we’ve seen some amazing games as I’ve been posting on Facebook.  We’re also excited to announce the release of Buildbox version 1.1 with some pretty cool new expanded features.  We will post more details on that in about a week.

Until then, check out this short montage video of over 20 games created with Buildbox:


Phases hits #36 in US App Store

By | Showcase Games | 3 Comments

Phases, the first game completed with Buildbox just hit #36 in the US app store. I created this game in only 2 weeks and it’s being published through Ketchapp. Right now we’ve had 323,108 downloads and growing fast! The game should break 1,000,000 downloads by the weekend. We’ll continue to update this post with more news in the coming weeks.


Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 10.17.19 PM

Making Phases

By | Showcase Games | 4 Comments

Three months ago, as we were nearing completion of an alpha version of our game building software, Buildbox, I started working on gameplay presets.  The preset was going to be a very simple jumping game similar to Doodle Jump.  Since it was my first time playing with a near completed version of our software, I went a little crazy, and Phases was born.

Phases turned into a bit of an obsession and also pushed Buildbox to new heights.  I created the game in only two weeks, but those two weeks were insanely hectic.  As I was working on the game I would find bugs or small features and the development team would add them to Buildbox in real time.  It turned into a 14 day hack-a-thon and I don’t think anyone slept much, but the end result not only made a really cool game, but some really cool software too.

We had no clue the game would be so popular, hitting the top of the app store and #1 on Steam Greenlight.  Pretty amazing and a bit mind blowing for us.

In the following video, I quickly go over the Buildbox save file for Phases.  You’ll see how I created the game and insights into the art style and level design:

Made With Buildbox

Buildbox Availability

By | Uncategorized | 36 Comments

In August we had a grand opening of Buildbox for 7 days.  During this time over 500 people got the software and then we closed down the release so we could work out any issues or bugs that might arise.  We’ve been lucky and things are running very smooth.  When we hit version 1.1, we’re planning on opening it back up again (at this point for good).

1. When will it be released again?

We don’t have an exact date, but we’re shooting for October.

2. What all is included with Buildbox?

Buildbox includes a full license to the software, a starter pack of art that has over 3,000 images you can use in your games, a sound pack with music and effects, and a full training suite of over 50 videos.  Half of the videos are technical in nature and teach you to use the software and the other half are business training explaining what I’ve learned after 13,000,000 downloads.  Here’s an example video from the series.

Phases on Steam Greenlight

Phases officially greenlit by Steam

By | Showcase Games | No Comments

We’re very excited to announce that Phases, the first game we’ve created with Buildbox, is officially greenlit on Steam!  When we submitted this game we were hoping for the best, but never thought we would get ranked to the number one position out of the 2,043 games submitted to Greenlight.

Thanks everyone for your support, it means a lot. I created every aspect of this game from the music to the level design.  We can’t wait to get the game live on Mac and PC.