Boulder Panic! was the first game for Midnight Ryder Technologies (at the time, it just appeared as MidnightRyder.com in the games).
The first version of Boulder Panic! was published online in 1999 – basically as the new rush of online downloadable puzzle games had started to happen. The first version of the game was horrible! It was a “first effort” for independent game development for Midnight Ryder Technologies, and it really showed. Within two months, version 1.1 was released, which took it from be a simple randomized puzzle game to having pre-designed levels.
Boulder Panic! 2 was released in 2000, which was a complete overhaul of the graphics, sound, and gameplay. The focus of gameplay moved from concentrating on the random element of the game to the pre-designed levels (though randomized games were still available.) The addition of a score the players must beat to advance to the next level (“par”) improved gameplay considerably, and BP! 2 was released with 60 levels.
Two free versions of Boulder Panic! 2 were released – Boulder Panic! The Challenge was a contest version that gave away prizes for the highest score. Oddly enough, no one beat the developer’s score until one week AFTER the contest was over! His score was topped by 10 points – and to this day, he still can’t figure out how it was done. (Note: contest winners didn’t have to beat his score, and his score wasn’t revealed to the public.)
Boulder Panic! Christmas Bonus had enhanced graphics (OK, fine – it snowed. It wasn’t that enhanced.), and was a commentary on the lack of bonuses that year.
Finally, Boulder Panic! 2 DX was released, shipping with 117 levels in total, and multiple random games. Released in 2002, BP! 2 DX remained as the best selling game for Midnight Ryder Technologies for a number of years, until finally being retired in 2007. In 2009, Boulder Panic! 2 DX was re-released at a new price point: $1.99! Why? People still emailed about purchasing copies of the game!
What’s the future of the Boulder Panic! series? At the moment, unknown – there’s been discussion of bringing it back with a new modernized version for the Mac and PC, and possibly an iPhone version. There’s also been a number of ‘dev test’ versions – interesting variations on the game that add new twists to the gameplay, though none of them have become a definitive path for future development.
The noises for Boulder Panic! 2 DX were created in a single recording session – eggs, buckets, bottles, and other miscellaneous items were smacked, pounded, slammed to the ground, and crushed to produce the game sounds.
If searched for online, Boulder Panic! 2 DX sometimes shows up as being developed by GLIPS Entertainment, Inc. – it wasn’t. GLIPS was given permission to market Boulder Panic! 2 DX (and a few other games), yet managed to sell less copies than Midnight Ryder Technologies could in the same time period. Permission to distribute Boulder Panic! 2 DX (and the other games) was revoked, and distribution rights went back to Midnight Ryder Technologies.