Alpha Commander was inspired almost entirely by Missile Command.
When I created this game, I wanted to think about what would have happened if Dave Theurer had created Missile Command in todays era. Mixing the classical elements of Missile Command with a modern twist created a dark and apocalyptic vibe, while maintaining the recognizable 6 buildings and 3 launcher overlay that Missile Command is known for. This design really kept that feeling of isolation, while maintaining a realistic immersion for the player.
Keeping in theme with that philosophy of design, I moved to gameplay. After experimenting for countless hours with different ways to take on the classic gameplay found in Missile Command, I realized that the one thing all the other Missile Command-esque games had gotten wrong was breaking the mold. The gameplay in Missile Command is extremely simple in its rules, but extremely complex in practice. By sticking with the original concept of 30 missiles spread over 10 launchers, the player is forced to make decisions that may cost a city, a bundle of ammo, or both, within seconds. Utilizing the touch screen brought this gameplay to a new level, adding additional layers of skill for the player to hone and muster in order to accurately and quickly bring down the ICBM onslaught.
Once those two facets were down, the design focused on the audio and music aspect of the game. I drew a lot of inspiration from a great game, Defcon Defense, along with Halo, when choosing the soundtrack (by Kevin Macleod) The gregorian chants and light strings create a tense mood and ambience, and the bass heavy explosions ring out to create that helpless feeling one always got when playing the classic. Finally I borrowed heavily on the concept of unwinnable gameplay, where no matter where you go or how well you do, the city will ultimately be decimated. The classic ‘The End’ screen makes its reappearance, to great effect.
Of course, only the players will be able to judge whether or not I was successful in my goals. Regardless, I had a truly enjoyable time getting to make this, and I really want to thank Dave Theurer for being the inspiration for countless artists across the world.