Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm making a game with AndEngine

I'm very excited to announce a new project of mine that I've always wanted to do, but I've never had enough time or a good enough idea. Well, it so happens, that I only do some freelancing now and I have some time to spare. I also came up with an idea that seems pretty simple, but decent and fun. But let's start from the beginning.

For a long long time, I've been reading blogs of indie game developers, being jealous about their work and lifestyle. I wanted to make a game myself, but I never really knew where to start. To be quite honest, I made some attempts - I created a couple of board games ages ago and played around with OpenGL, but none of this ever saw the light, so I guess it doesn't count. Now, with more experience and the Google Play Store letting me publish my work, I'm finally ready to give it a try.

I decided to use AndEngine because of its good reviews on the Android Game Engines site, as well as the interviews that I made with other developers. Even though some people said, that libGDX might be more flexible, when I checked out the AndEndine Examples app, it seemed to me that it had everything that I needed. We'll see if I was wrong later on, but I'm pretty sure it's going to turn out positively. AndEngine is open source and free to use, so I won't have to spend a dime to create whatever I want. The only real worry I have is that its documentation is not that solid, but having the source code of all the examples at my disposal as well as a fully functional forum, I should be all right. Oh, I should probably mention that I've never used it before, but I'll be learning as I go.

The game that I want to create is a clone of Blobby Volley. You can get the free version from Google Play or just watch some YouTube videos, to get a grasp of what it's all about. In a nutshell, you play beach voleyball by controlling one of two blobs. Perhaps it doesn't sound that exciting, but play it for 10 minutes and I guarantee that you'll get addicted. You can play against AI or real people, which makes it even more fun. As a matter of fact, there are official leagues and tournaments organized by some crazy individuals. It happens that there is only one Android implementation of this game with between 1 and 5 million installs. I have to admit that it's pretty decent, but I can think of plenty of adjustments to make it even more fun and steal some of its users.

So here's what I'm going to do. The plan is to spend between 10h and 20h a week learning AndEngine and implementing the game, while sharing all the work details with you in a weekly post. I want to see how soon I can teach myself how to code games and finish my first full-fledged product. I want to document all my problems and struggles, so that next time I'll be aware of them. I also want you to be able to follow the whole process, learn from my mistakes and perhaps create something by yourself one day. I'm excited to see the first results, play the game and maybe make it my most popular app.

If you feel like helping me, let me know what enhancements in the original game you'd like to see. I've already come up with some ideas myself: I want to add more backgrounds and customization options (e.g. player colors), wind, perhaps 2 vs. 2 games, 2 balls, and other new game modes. I'll need beta testers as well, so if you want to play my game, write me an email at: bartas.wesolowski [at] with the name of the device that you own. You'll be one of the chosen people on the planet who get to have fun with it before the official release date.

Did I choose the engine and game type well? Can I do it? How long will it take me? What will I have the most problems with? Make a guess and comment or just wait for my first report next weekend.