Funny and sad stories about the development of computer games

    Only through laughter can you tell how the fruits of long and hard work are spreading across all computers in the country, but they do not bring a drop of income. Only a smile will help to accept a good, honest offer of profit distribution 1 to 12, where to 1 developer and the rest to the aggregator. And it's hard not to get a little sad, listening to that amazing time of an absolutely empty mobile gaming market and almost gambling enthusiasm of developers. And, probably, only Vadim Bashurov ( PapaBubaDiop ) has such a long way and an incredible experience in order to have in stock a lot of nonsense funny and sad stories.

    So lucky that on the occasion of the thirty-year anniversary of his first game, Vadim came to  Apps Conf. Yes, when the most popular game of that time came out, many of us were not born yet, and now the respected Head of mobile walked under the table. But everyone who saw a computer at the beginning of the 90s saw the “Field of Miracles” game and wondered what Arzamas was.

    The story of “Field of Miracles” is, of course, amazing. She charges and inspires to take up the pet project soon, in fact, it was also a project for her own entertainment and development.

    The development of history gives even more enthusiasm. The time of MS-DOS has passed, mobile phones have appeared, and Vadim enthusiastically exchanged Pascal for Java ME and started making games under Symbian. Ten years later, the era of iPhones began and Vadim managed to release the hit again.

    Maybe this speech violates the rules of “good” reports and contains “bad advice”, but this is definitely what you need to postpone plans for the evening and still write a prototype of a long-thought-out attachment. And then how it will go - if you have caught fire with the idea, then there will be both the 25th and the 26th hour in a day.

    And by the way, Vadim believes that now there is the same free niche with relatively affordable input, which was the development of the game for Nokia 20 years ago, and for the IPhone in 2009.

    And the fact that progress obeys the "law of George W. Bush" (just three laws: frequency, screen size, palette) allows us to interpolate and begin to mentally prepare for some supernatural devices.

    If for some reason you haven’t clicked on watching the video report, then below is the chronology, devoid of the speaker’s charisma, and some spoilers.

    Access to a modern and powerful computer in 1988, Vadim was at work - in a secret nuclear center. The appearance of this computer is comparable to a trip to the sea - after the gray city suddenly the sun, blue sky and blue water. Programming on the IBM PC was amazing, the developer had full access to the processor, he could even rewrite the OS. And Vadim began to rivet new games every month. These were simple games that are played in school notebooks, and card games: king, deberts, three sticks, Japanese fool, etc. Suddenly popular was the “Sea Battle”, in the sense that it was shown in the “Time” program and they said that it kindles ... According to the screenshot, of course, you would not think of such a thing, but why not think of it on television.

    Creating games was enjoyable, but you could not even dream about making money from it. The games were stolen right there, and it was impossible to defend oneself - everyone has full control over the processor, anything can be returned to any check.

    MS-DOS. Field of Dreams

    The fate of the well-known “Field of Miracles” predetermined three facts on the final game screen. There was listed:

    • Vadim's address, i.e. secret nuclear center;
    • home phone;
    • the address of the editors of the TV show of the same name, in which to apply for the win

    One day, this home phone was called and asked for permission to place the game on a popular site, with which mass distribution began.

    And the fact that the current address of the editorial office was written, as it turned out much later, was more than avenged for disrupting the sale of rights to the game. This address naturally received a lot of letters. Well, they came, they came, but according to the rules of central television, all these letters were stored for two years!

    A deal, if you look, did not take place because of the tanks that fired at the White House. In the summer of 1993, the game gained popularity, its purchase promised to be profitable. With the leadership of the editorial board, everything was already agreed, but the signing of the contract was delayed. And then September came and the tanks, and the entire buying side left away from Moscow. They returned after three months, but there was no one to sell the game. The “Field of Miracles” was already on almost all computers in the post-Soviet space and, if desired, its author could open any doors with a kick.

    I write such games so that I myself would be interested in playing them, they are getting harder and harder. There was a level in the Towers that was played by 30 people. The last one plays only five, the rest cannot.

    After that, Vadim programmed in the Windows system, switched to three-dimensional games, even worked at Intel on 3DR / 3DG / 3DW engines - analogues of DirectX. But in Windows, as well as in MS-DOS, it was impossible to make money.

    Nokia. Sarov towers

    Exactly 20 years ago, Vadim was presented with a Nokia phone with the words: “Tyzhprogrammist, make a toy”.

    And it all started again. The programming paradigm has changed, there were event handlers for pressing keys, but still the execution of the code was strictly sequential, the commands were executed one after the other and did not conflict.

    Games for Nokia were developed in Java ME and saved to files with the jar extension. He also stole instantly, and it was unclear how to make money, until the very "Send SMS to short number XXXX" appeared.

    There was a daily rating in the Towers to get into it and you had to send SMS for 3 rubles. Of these, 2 rubles were received by the service integrator, 75 kopecks - a telecom operator, 25 kopecks - developers, everything is fair! We agreed with the integrator, laid out the game in the store and waited 25 kopecks.

    Profit, oddly enough, came as soon as it came, but from a very unexpected country - East Timor (why from there, see the  report ). Crazy earnings of $ 5000, and by today's standards for an indie developer, not bad, but then it added a good motivation to continue developing games. New success has come to the next era.

    Game developers are degrading in terms of space. First, you strive for realism, create three-dimensional, four-dimensional games. And then you realize that this is not the point, and you can easily get by with the simplest graphics and text. If there were one-dimensional games, I would switch to them, but I haven’t yet come up with a suitable storyline.

    iOS. Six towers

    Ten years later, the first iPhone appeared, the world became color again. The development for the iPhone was more convenient than under the Simbian, the device is less buggy, and the monetization is simple - laid out in the Store and then sold. The market in 2009 was empty.

    For 2009, Vadim wrote 10 games, and wrote about everything on Habré . With Habra and help came, I found a partner who, for 50% of the income, was ready to withdraw any one game in the TOP-25. 50% was much more profitable than 25 kopecks per sms and it went. The game "Six Towers" has already brought a very decent amount, which Vadim does not hesitate to call.

    200,000 people bought the ad-free version. Crazy people! I can't play at all without advertising, it entertains.

    Interesting projects of varying degrees of commercial success continue. Each of them brings invaluable experience. This is what we need to learn - to be passionate about programming, to improve our level in any situation and not to forget about the value of any experience. Games are perfect for this, because they are captivating by themselves, but in fact everything that is interesting to you personally - dare!

    On the  Apps Conf had many different uses for mobile developers - all as planned. Soon we will open the video on the  youtube channel and prepare articles on the best reports. And in the  newsletter we will talk about the preparations for Apps Conf 2019, which we have already begun.

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