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.
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|
|Audio (search):||3 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 🙂
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:
- Frame-based animation
- Drag & drop of game elements
- Screen scroll
You can see here a video of one of the hardest levels in the emulator:
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.