My Fisrt Game – Introduction

Hi.

Now that EvenOrOdd is published I will write a series of articles explaining the process of my first game development. I will do it hoping to help anyone that like me wants to develop for the mobile platform and don’t know how to start.

I’m planning to split articles as follow:

  • Introduction (this post):
    • how did I decide which platform I would first develop
    • what framework I would use (if any)
  • what kind of game I would develop and its features.
  • how to hire a graphic artist.
  • monetization strategy.
  • marketing:
    • hot site.
    • twitter
    • forums
    • posts asking for beta testers
    • forum posts asking for reviews
    • post about the game

Please notice that content can change, articles may be posted in different order and I may mix contents of different posts.

Platform

How did I decided which platform I would first develop? There are many platforms you can develop for:

  • iOS (iPhone, iPad).
  • Android.
  • BlackBerry.
  • Symbian.
  • J2ME.
  • Windows Phone.
  • Bada.
  • WebOS.
  • others…

I took into consideration the following points:

  1. Which platform are most popular? The answer to this question reduced my options to iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and J2ME.
  2. What technologies did I want to learn? The answer to this question narrowed my options to iOS and Android.
  3. What are the costs involved?
    1. a mobile phone for tests purpose: iPhone 3: US$ 632.00 Xperia X8 (Android 2.2): US$ 312.72
    2. a computer for development MacMini (Intel Core 2 Duo 2,4GHz, 4GB RAM. No mouse, keyboard nor monitor): US$ 1,265.19 PC (Intel Core 2 Duo 2,4GHz, 4GB RAM. With one mouse, one keyboard and one 17″ monitor): US$ 0.00 (I already have one).Note: Prices in Brazil at the moment I’m writing. US$ 1.00 = R$ 1,58.
    3. Apple App Store fee: US$ 99.00. Android Market fee: US$ 25.00.

It’s easy to see why I chose develop for Android: to develop for Android is much cheaper (for me, let me say).

Moreover, I have some experience developing applications for developing (but not developing games).

Framework – To use or not to use?

Okay. Android is the platform. Should I use a framework or not? Definitely! I want to develop a game. I don’t want to expend my time with problems that are addressed by frameworks.

So, the next question is: which framework should I use? I’ve done some research and I found a bunch of frameworks. Some are commercial and some are free. I discarded commercial frameworks because they have an unreal price. I mean they are very expensive for indie developers and to say the truth I don’t think they worth the money.

Among the free frameworks I found two that catch my attention: LibGDX and AndEngine. I really had a hard time trying to figure out which one was the best choice for me.

LibGDX has the advantage that it has cross-platform API. It let me develop for Windows, Linux, OSX and Android.

AndEngine on the other hand is exclusive for Android. To say the truth even after many hours digging into the frameworks I couldn’t figure out which one was the best. So I took a scientific approach: I chose the one I liked more the syntax.

Well, maybe it’s not the best approach but I really could not figure out the best one. Both seemed so damn good. And it would be unfair to say one of them is best than the other. To say that I should have used both for some time.

I picked AndEngine up. I’m really happy with my choice. It’s easy to develop with it, its users community is very friendly, very active and always willing to help. As I wrote here a book about AndEngine will be released soon. It will easy our job. That’s it. In the next article I will talk about how I chose the first game I developed: EvenOrOdd.

Can you download it and give it a try? I’d love to hear your opinion about it.

Next post I will write about what kind of game I would develop and its features.

The second part of this post can be read here: My Fisrt Game – Choosing the game to be developed

Any comments are welcome. By the way, my English is too poor so you’re welcome to correct me to.

Please, try my games, play free on-line games on my site, tweet this post url and share it on facebook, google+ and other social medias.

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