Hi again, I’m gonna continue with the game development process, and using free tools!
We talked about Libre Office for writing the game things, about ArgoUML to design the game, and about Bitbucket to have our code versioned.
So we’re gonna continue with step 3:
4. CHOSING A GAME ENGINE
Since I’m talking about free and open source software, I chosed Android plataform to write my game, and since I don’t own a Mac neither an iPhone/iPad (I own a Nexus One), that was my only option 😀
So once I have the plataform I’m going to write the game for, I have to start developing the game itself, the first thing a game needs is a Game Engine, something that can handle the drawings of the elements, the update, the button touch etc..
As you may imagine it is a really hard work, so I needed an opensource and free engine to use with my game, and for android the best game engine available now is ANDENGINE.
Andegine uses openGL and has almost all the functionalities you can need for developing any kind of game, it comes with a box2d extension so it is perfect for doing physics games (like Kill the zombies) or a simple run and jump game (like escape from husband)
The first versions of andengine were hosted at google code, using mercurial dcvs so thats why I chosed mercurial at bitbucket, now andengine switched to git so maybe next time I use git too. When working alone there almost no pain in any dcvs so you can choose whichever you want.
5. DEVELOPING THE GAME
We have the game engine, the dcvs, the game story, the game design so next step is starting developing the games, sometimes is better that before developing the game, we have all the graphics and sounds, but in my case, I allways start coding to see that what I want to do is possible, and that I can finish the work (the main problem for indie developers is that we never finish our projects :D).
So even I still don’t have the graphics/sounds, I start coding to see that is possible, what do I use for this? the well know developing application called ECLIPSE. Long time ago I hated eclipse, it used to take a lot of memory (and still does) and it was really slow, but now that I have a new machine I love it, I don’t know how could I develop all gloobus-preview, covergloobus and gloobus-flow just using gedit!!!!!! With eclipse I would saved a lot of time, cause it has an live compiler, so as you type, it checks that i will compile, it tells you the warnings, errors… and it doesn’t let you try to compile if he knows it will fail, I must assume it is really worth it!!!
So you people out there, give eclipse a chance I’m sure you will love it too. There are a lot of plugins for eclipse for doing any kind of development, web, c, c#, java, python I think there is no language that is not supported by eclipse.
Another thing I have installed in eclipse is the Mercurial plugin, this is really handy since I can commit, pull, push directly from right clicking in the eclipse project. What a wonderful world!
6. TURNING POINT
All the development I did for myself had a Turning Point, I’m pretty sure this happened to everyone almost once when doing a self-project.
What’s the turning point?
The turning point is when you see that your project can be done, but that you’ve already done the hard part, the thinking part, when you see that what’s left is a lot of work to end the project in a good way, with quality, that you now have a kind of prototype, but really far from finished.
At this point, something can happen, you get bored and your project lies in your computer forever, or, (and here comes the good part) you find something that gives you power to continue the project, and you’re excited in finishing it!
In Gloobus-Preview, the turning point was when I have a first version working, and I published it to the world, what made me keep working on that is that the people liked it, and that the people used it! it was a really nice! Gloobus-preview was used by more that a million of people and that made me very happy!!
In my current game (kill the zombies) the turning point was Jay S, I had the prototype but there was a lot of work to be done yet (weapons, effects, levels, upgrades, sounds, art) and I hadn’t as much time as I would like to work on the game, then I found Jay S at andengine forums (I spended a lot of time there to find solutions to my development problems :P) and he joined the team! He started helping me, but then he was a really important part in development, thanks to him the game kept going and now it is at two weeks from release!!
So my advice here, if you get stuck with your project, do something diferent to get you excited again about it!
Thats all for today, I’ll keep with this series in part 3, talking about graphics and sounds! I hope you enjoy it!