Zany Zombies

Appturn is a game dev studio from San Francisco

  • # C++
AppTurn Inc.

Zany Zombies is a physics-based shooting game for iOS.

Ruthless zombies are trying to disturb the peace of the living. The player beats them back with a magic slingshot and powerful ammo and a little help from friendly ghosts as well.

This game is a complete remake of Slingshot Cowboy hit, which reached #1 spot in the All Games category and #2 spot in the Top Free App category in the US and had about 8M downloads overall. We extended Zany Zombies with new game mechanics, characters, storyline, and new visual style and setting!

01Goals and Tasks

Goals and Tasks
Original Slingshot Cowboy was a hit at its times although it was a quite simple game. We aimed to enliven it with new game mechanics: different ammo, characters with their own abilities, and weapon
Also, we wanted to give a fresh look to a pastorale visual style of Slingshot Cowboy. It had to be fun and still cartoonish
The original game suffered from the lack of progression and storyline, so we just had to add it!
Last, but not least goal was the monetization. We wanted to keep the game free to download, so we decided to add an in-game store with various power-ups and extension, which could be bought with in-game currency



At that time the size of a game bundle was quite limited by the App Store. Along with that, we desired to make a game with excellent graphics and animations. Hi-quality graphics required hi-res assets, which took a lot of bundle size, which was limited!


  • Before we started the development, we spent hours creating the game design and elaborating game mechanics, characters, their abilities as well as ammo and its effects. We created not just a bunch of random mechanics, but the well-shaped building blocks, which were related to each other. Then we used them to mix with each other to get the surprising mutual impact and even to get more variations of mechanics as well. These combinations allowed us to receive more variety in the game
  • To resolve the challenge with hi-res assets and bundle size, we used Adobe Animation approach. Instead of producing traditional animation sequences with lots of frames our artists drew separate parts of characters. Then with the help of our developers, who created an animation engine for those parts, we managed to create beautiful animations, while still saved the bundle size
  • To make the game engaging we drew up a storyline and game progression. We had lots of newly introduced characters with unique abilities and powerful ammo with different effects, what helped us a lot with building the progression. However, our game designer spent lots of time in spreadsheets and playtesting the game to make it a challenging yet inspiring ladder
  • Another math problem we solved was a monetization balance. With a new in-game store, we built a sequence of levels and challenges that encouraged players to buy power-ups and spend their real money on the in-game currency



As a result, Appturn got an advanced version of the original hit, with amusing characters and environments, engaging game progression and extended monetization mechanics.

Engineering practices

Continuous Integration

Our engineers integrate their code into a shared repository several times a day, which benefits us with a robust workflow and better quality assurance

Test Driven Development

TDD leads to more flexible and extensible code and gives the confidence to change the architecture of an application when adding new functionality to address new business requirements

Unit Testing

The purpose of unit testing is to validate that each unit of the software performs as designed. It results in a more reliable codebase, smooth integration, and faster development

Automated Testing

Automated testing allows us to simplify testing efforts. Once created, automated tests can easily be repeated testing the same areas over and over at no additional cost

Code Reviews

Systematic examination of completed work is a part of our workflow that allows us to deliver defect-free software. We keep continuously updating and improving this process

Pair Programming

Fewer mistakes are introduced into the code, and more of them are detected earlier rather than in QA Testing or in the production. Also, the software design is better and code length is shorter, and multiple teammates understand each piece of the system

Static Code Analysis

Static code analysis allows our software engineers to examine code without executing it. Meaning, it is used to find potential software quality issues and ensure that the codebase conforms to coding guidelines and industry standards

Coding Convention

Coding standards define a programming style. It makes the code easy to understand and provides consistency which leads to saving working hours and making the code easy to both manage and maintain in the longrun

C++ Game Developer x4
2D Artist x3
UI/UX Designer
QA Engineer
Game Designer
Project Manager
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