It started with a skit for the Smosh YouTube channel (number one at the time) where Ian (half of the dynamic duo) was playing a made-up game called Head Esploder 5. Viewers started to write in asking where they could download the game so Smosh reached out to us to conceive and build a game based on the ongoing characters and themes of their show.
Smosh has a wide-ranging cast of characters with Happy Cow, Teleporting Fat Guy, Charlie the Drunk Guinea Pig and Box Man among the fan favorites. For game play we enhanced their personalities and gave them weapons appropriate with their personas. We stuck Charlie in a hamster ball to get around, rolling in a drunken path - spewing out swearwords as weapons. We put Teleporting Fat Guy, the nemesis of Smosh, in a spaceship that phases in and out at random and upgraded his power glove to fire rockets.
Anthony (second half of the duo) loves old-style 8-bit games so we found a pixel illustrator from an animation fan-club site and tracked down a musician who recreated their musical themes as 8-bit tunes but also looped them for game play. Anthony and Ian read hundreds of lines of game prompts we sprinkled throughout with Easter eggs for frequent players.
The unique and main feature of the game allows the player to take pictures of their friends' heads (or whatever) to put in the game. The user can pinch, rotate and scale to fit within the head template. We also built a custom game flow engine that lets us create, on the fly, the order, frequency and patterns of the Enemies as they move across the screen progressively getting more difficult as the game moves on.
On launch day the app quickly shot up to top-five in iTunes with thousands of users posting screenshots competing for the funniest heads and game scores. Fan sites and videos sprung up and the game continues to have a steady stream of downloads.