VALA: Alpha goes live!

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that quite a while ago we got accepted into AppCampus (seriously, go watch the video that got us into the program) with a game about llama slaughter. We were then invited to Finland for a month-long intensive training camp called AppCademy.

Since then we’ve gone through lots of iterations, scrapped the project multiple times to start from scratch, and had team members change. The core team is now Renier Van Der Westhuizen (who has worked on awesome games like The Harvest for WP7) on art, and myself (Matt Cavanagh) on code. And we’re bringing in a few people here and there to help.

Say hello to Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse: Alpha (VALA: Alpha in the store)!


We’ve received an awesome response, with tons of great feedback. WPCentral even wrote about it!

In the first 2 weeks the game has been downloaded over 50,000 times! That is without any marketing or promotions.

The game

VALA: Alpha is a top-down 3D shooter exclusively for Windows Phone (for now). The game has just one goal currently: survive, and slaughter as many rabid llamas as you can!

The game is completely free, has no adverts, and no In-App-Purchases. (Want to know why? DVLUP interviewed me about this, go check it out).

To help you out there are 4 different towers (bought using energy that dying llamas drop), and each can be upgraded 3 times:

The Health Tower will generate health packs to keep you from dying.

The Shield Tower will generate powerups that give you the ability to spawn a protective shield around you for a limited time.

The Slow Tower generates powerups that allow you to deploy a large dome for a limited time that will slow down the llamas.

The Sentry Tower will protect you.

A short gameplay video

The future

We decided to launch VALA: Alpha in quite an early state to get it into the hands of real players, and allow the feedback to shape the game. We have an awesome roadmap of features that we are adding, and are really excited about the future.

Since launch 2 weeks ago, we’ve pushed 2 updates. The latest one should be available in the next day or two and drastically increases performance and reduces the crashing that was seen on low-end devices like the Lumia 520 and 620. We decided early on in development that the game shouldn’t exclude people with those phones – so are committed to making it awesome on everything from a 520 to a 1520.

The plan now is to keep on adding features and push updates as we go. Here are a few features that you’ll see in the game soon:

  • MOGA controller support
  • Better llama variations with individual personalities and abilities
  • Various weapons
  • Powerups (these are different to the ones generated from towers)
  • Badges/Achievements which lead to unlocks
  • Tons more that I can’t mention yet Smile


BhKx4RCIQAAp2Ki.jpg large

And to address a common question:

Why Llamas?
Because 9/10 of the imaginary fortune-tellers we asked predicted that llamas were a greater real-world threat than zombies.
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  • Darren Leak

    Congrats! I don’t use a Windows phone but I really wish I did to try this out! How long have you been programming and building games? Good luck for the future.

    • RogueCode

      Thanks a lot!
      Programming for as long as I remember, but only really started game dev when the ZuneHD came out (with XNA).

  • Nuron

    Congrats Matt, I really love this game.BTW I wanted to ask you why did you decide to make it completely free without any ads or in-app purchases.

    • RogueCode

      Glad you like it!

      DVLUP interviewed me and asked the same question – so go checkout the detailed answer there:

      (Not sure how the link got lost when I posted, adding into this post now).

      • Nuron

        Thanks for the link.I really appreciate what you guys are doing for the windows phone family.I am a student developer and just released a wp8 app for my university . I made it completely free and without any ads as it would help many fellow students who use wp8 in my university.

        Thanks again for the amazing game Matt 🙂

        • RogueCode

          Nice work 🙂 Back in the day I did some free apps and they lead to paid work.

  • Mohamed Ashid

    Hey, Its been months since the last update for VALA:Alpha . Is there an update coming soon?