Monday, September 30, 2013

Game 2: +1 week

We've been traveling in Singapore the whole last week. I thought we would have plenty of time to work on the game, but Singapore is just too interesting to miss the opportunity to explore. So we're going to push off the release of game #2 until next Sunday. We are still keeping to 7 working days/game.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Game 2: "TV Slots"

Yesterday we started on our second game, - casino slots. As with the first game, our goal for now is to learn the various components of mobile games. The slots will be a freemium game, so I will need to figure out in-app purchasing and server side code. Also the animations and the math for slots are quite interesting.

The theme will be TV Slots. Slots inside TV, in a channel. Uhm, yes, something like that...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Game 1: "Hatch a Dragon" released!

It's Sunday, the first week is up, and our first game is done! It's match3 with the basic gameplay, animations, levels, sound, settings. Here is a video of the gameplay:

All in all I am amazed at how much of a game it's possible to create in just a week. On Monday I knew nothing about mobile app development, knew nothing about Corona SDK. Liza knew nothing about Illustrator and Flash. And just six days later we got a full featured game on our phones.

With this game, I focused on covering the full range on features that a game needs, instead of drilling into one. I also tried to write solid re-usable code, which brings me to the first major insight:

Lua is a trivial language to pick up, but a hard one to write good quality code. For me, coming from web dev with Ruby, Rails, MVC, Lua code is just a mess. I used two open source match3 projects for learning Corona and Lua:

Most of the samples I ran into are just a mess, - global variables, spaghetti code, all code in one file. Lua just naturally lends itself to messy code. Which means that anything beyond a simple game would be a problem to write and maintain. I tried hard to write well organized code, but it's still miles away from the cleanliness of Rails.

My second insight is just how different game event driven programming is from sequential web dev. I am still trying to wrap my head around it. I wish I could study a really well done source code for some Corona SDK game, but I haven't found any yet.

We are very excited about getting our first mobile game on our phones! Tomorrow the second week starts, and the second game. I wonder what genre are we going to choose...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hello World


After day and a half of downloading/installing/configuring, got my first app "Hello World! again" (but of course) on my Android phone. This is really exciting!

Liza meanwhile drew her first ever Flash drawing of a dragon hatchling for our game.

The rest should be easy... )

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Game 1: "Hatch a Dragon" >> Game Design

Let the game begin!

For the first game we picked a very simple genre - match-3. My goal for this week is to get my feet wet with Corona SDK, and Liza's goal is to draw something, anything really (lol, she's never done this before). So we picked a game with very simple design. But of course I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to learn more about game design, so our little match-3 game will have a twist to it, a dragon twist :)

This is our game design doc, done in a couple of hours in a coffee shop today.

The Beginning

I am contemplating spending a few years developing mobile games. Seems like a fun thing to do. Always have loved gaming...

I am going to start with a deep dive. Inspired by 180 websites in 180 days my plan is to make 14 mobile games in 3 months. That's one game a week. The games will span across several genres including a platformer, a point & click adventure, a physics puzzler, a tower defense, a farm, a casino, ...?

One of my goals is to sample and learn different technologies for making mobile games. Based on some preliminary research, I want to try out Corona, Flash, Unity and native code. I might try all four, or might stick with one, we shall see.

I am lucky to have my partner Liza join me in this adventure. She will handle the art and the sound for games. For her this is as much a novel experience as it is for me, if not more.

Our goal is to make a hit game with a 100 million downloads earning a cool $1,000,000 a day... ha ha... that would be a miracle of Divine intervention... Frankly, if someone told me they are attempting to make 14 games in 3 months, I would call them crazy! )