libGDX and feelings
On the occasion of the release of my first mobile application (I think the name makes it clear that this is a game written with the help of LibGDX) I decided to write a small article in which I will describe the path from the idea (the idea of my friend) to the release of the game in google play.
How we created the game
I am from Moldova. It would seem to what it is? Just now I'm 17 and I am in the 12th grade (that's what). My classmate and a pretty good friend found out that I was interested in mobile development and doing very simple mobile apps. Then he told me: "we must make the game together." He himself was pretty good at drawing and writing stories, that is, we distributed the roles right away: he was engaged in graphics and plot, and I was in implementation and mechanics. I always wanted to work at least in some team, because before that I worked absolutely alone on my applications.
The idea and the first beginnings
Around March 2018, my classmate (or simply Kohl) proposed the following idea: to take as a basis the mechanics of ordinary alchemy, that is, the mixing of elements to produce new elements (example: water + fire = steam). But instead of ordinary substances and chemical elements in our game there will be human emotions. Also, over time, he dragged a rather interesting plot to this idea. The first and unchanging name of the game: Alchemy of feelings.
Just recently, I read an article about a game made on libGDX and wanted it the same way. Up to this point I have not worked with such libraries, so everything was new and unfamiliar. But after reading the tutorial on githaba and finding its Russian versionI began to delve into. I started with the most banal examples and making the most banal mistakes, I was able to develop the main menu and a simple working area in which there were 8 icons of feelings that could even be moved (though sometimes they flew away incomprehensibly :)). This system was gradually being developed both from my side (fixing bugs, adding features), and from Kolya (new ideas, new icons). The whole process slowed down a bit because of my inexperience and slowed down a lot due to the tight training schedule, but the more I learned about the possibilities of libGDX, the more I liked working.
Main development phase
After 3 months a stable template was ready, but in general it seemed to us that we had done too little during this period. But the holidays came and we began to work with a vengeance. Almost every day I worked half a day on our game. The beginnings of the plot and ideas about how to present this plot to the player began to appear.
Over time, the project has acquired new features. There was a button "Write to us", a shop, new panels and buttons that seemed to us suitable. Kohl began to create simple music in FLStudio. The introduction of levels was a serious step, as a separate large structure appeared, which followed the player's progress and had to work logically with the store and the development of the plot.
Getting a new feeling (you can skip the animation)
Special attention is given to the idea with the time of day. The bottom line is that there is a window in the main background of the game, so it was decided to add mechanics at which day, evening, night and morning appeared in the game (day and night for half an hour; evening and morning for 10 minutes). Depending on the time of day, the color of the screen changed: the evening and night gave a bit to blue, and the morning slightly to red. Depending on the time of day, the images in the window change. There was also the idea that at certain times of the day one can receive certain feelings, but it has not yet been realized.
For 3 months of summer, I fixed a huge number of bugs that got out in different parts and at different times. I have not yet mastered testing, but I didn’t think about architecture for a long time (but more on that later). By the end of August, almost everything was ready and tested by hand.
I felt that during this summer I did 10 times more work than in the past 3 months. And both in terms of volume and complexity.
At some point, we thought about what we can earn on our game. The store has hints, the ability to buy 1 feeling or a few at a better price. The implementation was quite simple and there were no financial issues regarding Google. It was much more interesting to deal with advertising. Initially, we were looking for a service with the smallest minimum withdrawal amount, because we expected to show not a lot of advertising. I quickly realized that this is not the best strategy. I figured out the difference between CPA, CPM, CPC and CPI (and found the sitewhere you can find advertising service). Having understood what eCPM and CTR are and having tried several services, we chose the most suitable one. Despite the slight difficulties in the work of advertising and the framework, as well as a rare display of advertising due to an unpopular region, in the end we added a banner and pop-up advertising (the so-called Interstitial) to the game. We thought beforehand that it was not intrusive and did not show up too often.
Release and Outcome
In the last month before the release, I corrected minor roughness, once again I checked everything (I promised myself that after this project I would master testing) and figured out how to upload the application. Then we thought about ways to promote our application, but there wasn’t much money, so we twisted as much as we could. Initially flooded our app on w3bsit3-dns.com. Gathered reviews, criticism and suggestions. On w3bsit3-dns.com we have about 90 downloads. Also visited the gamedev meetingin our city and presented their game there. The developers were pretty good at our idea, they said it was good, but it was worth working on. We clearly saw the value of such meetings and we are thinking of going to such meetings in the future. We wrote about our applications in open public in VC and on sites where news is laid out, tried to attract as much attention as possible.
Now about the release itself. Initially, I understood the versions (Alpha, Beta, and release versions) and how to implement updates. Later, I created a paid version, in which the gameplay was a bit easier, and there were also a few extra buns. Connecting Google services, screenshots, icons, descriptions and other required points did not take much time. It was necessary to make and attach a bank card, but it was also not difficult. So, on the evening of September 30, the first version of the game “Alchemy of the Sense” was available in google play. It was a small victory. All months of hard work were not in vain, because the game is ready and available for download in 12 countries of the world. A couple of years ago, downloading games, I didn’t even suspect that my game would be in this store once. You can not say anything - a pleasant feeling. In the future, of course, we will translate the game into English,
In the future, it is planned to add animations, sounds to the game (there is only music in the game now) and the opportunity to get hints for watching videos.