Gagana is a top down shooter drawing a large amount of inspiration from the old Phoenix game for the TI-83+ calculator. The player must survive through waves of enemies which have a chance of dropping money and health when destroyed. Every 2 minutes the player is taken to a shop where they can do various things including upgrading their weapon, ship, and healing. There are a set number of waves the player must defeat in order to win, however the game continues to run after these waves are complete getting harder and spawning random enemies instead of choreographed waves.
Gagana was developed for Windows Phone in about 3 weeks using C# and XNA. The game is free but includes ads via Microsoft’s Advertising SDK along the bottom of the screen at certain times. The graphics for the game were all drawn using Photoshop and draw much of their inspiration from the original Phoenix game for the TI-83+ calculator. The sound effects were generated using SFXR, a free tool for generating sounds, and the music used is public domain.
There are 5 types of enemies that the player will encounter, each with different behavior. Basic enemies simply move from the top to the bottom of the screen, they don’t shoot at the player but they will cause damage if they collide with the player. There are 2 types of enemies that will cycle in place and shoot at the player, one shoots bullets that move straight down off the screen and the other aims their shots at the player’s location. Then there are enemies that follow a fixed path around the screen before moving off-screen. And finally there is the boss enemy which moves left and right along the top of the screen, shoots at the player, and have a lot of health. Many of these enemies are not super challenging, but it’s important to kill as many as possible so you can get any money they drop; Keeping your ship upgraded is important if you want to survive later waves.
Upgrading your ship is an important part of the game; The longer you play the tougher the game gets. The player is taken to the shop every 2 minutes, this time is indicated by a bar on the right hand side of the screen. At the shop the player can spend money they have picked up from destroyed enemies. The player can upgrade their ship which changes its appearance and how much health they have. They can upgrade their weapon which will change how it fires making it easier to destroy enemies. The amount of damage done by each bullet from their weapon is also separately upgradable. Or, if they are close to dying, the player can spend money to simply heal their ship. Earning enough money and spending it wisely is important if the player wants to survive through future waves.