We’ve released our full version on the market today! To celebrate, here are some screenshots and links:
At some point we thought the game was pretty close to what we wanted for the release, we just had one really important step ahead: User Testing.
Not that it was the first time we handed family and friends our phone and let them play, but that was more a “look what we’re working on”-event. This time we told them to look at the game as a complete game and tell us their experience. We got a lot of useful feedback.
When working on a game for a while you tend to begin overlook a lot of little issues. You know exactly why it works this way and accept it pretty quickly if it seems reasonable. We found a lot of issues that are indeed a little annoying and shouldn’t have gone unnoticed, but while we knew they were there we didn’t find them to be annoying because we knew too much about the game. A few examples:
- Start button at the end of the tutorial doesn’t start the game
- Customers walking to the treasury chest are still selectable, resulting in unnessecary misselections
- Delete button in profiles can’t delete last profile but is not ‘grayed out’
- Occupied indicator flashes shortly on the treasure chest when a customer pays
- Paying is instant (no animation)
- We tried using the emulator, it turned out to be really slow when it comes to OpenGL.
- We tried capturing a Android-phone running our game with a camera, but that didn’t turn out very pretty.
- We then experimented with making screenshots really fast, that too wasn’t really an option because it slowed the framerate to a griding halt.
At the end of it all we just made some screenshots and decided to use those and feel bad about not having a video. Or did we?
Turns out it was a bit of a hassle to get the gameplay-footage in good quality, weve got a blogpost about the process soon.
First of all: We haven’t blogged much since February because as it turns out making games is rather hard.
From February till the end of March we’ve been working very hard to finish the game in time for our original assignment. Now, the original plan was to release that version to the Android market.
We finished the project and got graded a 10 (the highest grade ) and were very happy with that, but didn’t have the feeling the game was ready to be released just yet. It had full gameplay but lacked levels, everything was random and geared towards showing off the gameplay. It also didn’t support the new Android-phones with bigger displays, since they didn’t exist yet when we started building the game.
So we decided we wanted some extra features:
- Support new screen resolutions
- Multiple (5+) levels
- Per-level hiscores
- Usertesting-driven improvements
With the setting and aim of the game solidified (a pirate-themed time management game), Roy set to work building our engine and framework, while I began looking into the mood and atmosphere of our game.
Android is a pretty new platform for me. I’d like to share how I learned about the platform and began developing for it.
Understanding the platform
I think google has done a good job explaining Android in the first part of the developers guide. The What is Android? page gives a short overview targeted at developers. On the Application Fundamentals page you can find an overview of the core concepts that make up an Android application. It’s a long page, but I really recommend reading it completely, as every important concept is presented and explained.
We’re currently in week five of our project! But before we start updating this blog with our findings, progress and hurdles, allow me to explain exactly what we’re doing here.
As explained before, we’re two Dutch students developing a game for the Android OS. This project, dubbed Firedroid for now, will count towards our Minor Credits. So this is no mere hobby project, but something enabling us to get our degree in Multimedia. That said, we’ve got five glorious months to make the most kick-ass game we can imagine with very little previous experience. Be sure, we’ve made games before in Java and Flash, but they’re hard to compare to the scale of the game we plan to crank out this time.
So, what have we got planned? Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to our blog! We’re two Dutch students making a game for the Android platform in 5 months.