Introducing Egg Savior

As my regular readers already know, I’ve been busy these last two months developing an Android game. This game already has a name: Egg Savior. My goal with this project is to learn a bit about game development on this platform, similar to my goal with OTempo, but focused to a different audience.

Production

Because of this purpose, I defined a clear rule: the only budget of this project is my own free time. This means that I had to do coding, graphics, animation, game design, and even marketing. Of course, I asked for help to my friends, and I have to thank all of them for the great support that I received, specially during the latest stages of development. An exception was the sound, because I have not enough knowledge to create my own music or effects. But even on this case, I searched for free CC music at ccmixter and free CC sounds at freesound, both of them excelent sources that I recommend.

Being a software engineer with limited art and graphics knowledge (not to mention good taste), I had to set a limit on visual quality. In fact, my first attempts were quite a bit over-limited:

I have to thank Diego F. Goberna for his help with art an graphics, because he pointed me to the right direction with lots of advices and even a paintover that helped me turn the previous abomination into this:

Find the differences? 😉

This has been a very inspiring project that besides knowledge, has given me confidence and has brought me forward to continue with more ambitious projects. I will not lie, this was a very time consuming project. I spent an average of 3 hours a day during these months (including weekends), trying to meet my own deadline, and working after my full-time job. I will not go into depth about the benefits of a deadline, but I want to make clear that it is essential for a personal project like this to come to an end.

And talking about times, I would like to share the time that I have needed to get to the first beta version, just in the case that others want to do something similar.

Coding (engine): 90 hours
Art/Graphics: 40 hours
Audio (search): 3 hours
Marketing: 10 hours

I created the marketing category just for things like filling the android market form, chosing nice screenshots, or telling the world about this game (like this post). Silvia Izquierdo helped a lot with these tasks, putting her marketing and advertising skills at my disposal.

Take these times with a pill, because no one has nearly the same productivity when working 8 hours a day for someone else’s project than when working 3 for his own project… Not to mention that my arguments with the director (myself) are solved really fast 🙂

Gameplay

Ok, enough of production details. What is this game about? Well, I have to put some context before introducing the game idea: How did I came to this idea?

Ignoring the usual recommendations when doing something barely related to art (I mean, start with the idea), I started by setting the technical requirements of the game. Why? Because I wanted to learn, and I wanted to set a minimum set of skills to earn on the process. So, the game idea should include:

  • Sound
  • Frame-based animation
  • Drag & drop of game elements
  • Screen scroll
As you see, these were not very ambitious requirements, but they were enough for me. I specifically wanted to avoid device button interaction, because many devices are quite limited on this.
The original idea was that the user should build a bridge to carry the main character from one point to another of the screen. This bridge would be built from pieces by dragging and dropping them. The character would enter from one gate and exit from another. 
This idea evolved when I put face and body to this character: a chicken. Why a chicken?, you may ask. Because it is funny. So what is the purpose of this chicken? Why would the user bother helping it? Because there is a thief in the farm, trying to steal eggs, and if you do not help the chicken to reach the eggs and hide them by pretending to hatch, the thief will succeed on his evil plans, and this will be the end of the farm as we know it!
The game is composed of a set of levels, increasing in difficulty, or introducing new game elements, with a common objective: take the chicken to the egg.

You can see here a video of one of the hardest levels in the emulator:
http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/2Ohlh5Iy_gk?fs=1&hl=es_ES&rel=0

Beta

At this moment, the game is in beta. First of all, I sent it to all my friends who have an android phone. After this, I have relased it to just two countries: New Zealand and Switzerland, to contain the amount of users that may not understand what beta means. Users from these countries are experiencing the first 5 levels of the game, and after I can fix any bug that may arise during this phase, I will publish Egg Savior worldwide with more levels.

Blender

All the game graphics were rendered with Blender. This is a great tool for 3D graphics, and it is quite easy to build a comfortable pipeline based on this software even for 2D games like Egg Savior. I will write a bit more about using this tool for 2D graphics in a future article. Stay tuned!

So this is the result of my hard work. I will write further articles about the technical details as soon as I get more time, but feel free to ask any question related to this game and I will do my best to answer it.

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Acerca de Rubén L.

Software Engineer
Esta entrada fue publicada en android, English y etiquetada , , , . Guarda el enlace permanente.

3 respuestas a Introducing Egg Savior

  1. Thanks Diego. I hope we can cooperate more “officially” in future (and more ambitious) projects.

  2. Pingback: Learning to design video games | Rubén López

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