One game, in 30 days or less for the next 12 months. That’s my goal and I have no idea if I can even do it. I sure as hell am gonna try though and this is how I’m gonna approach it.
How do I personally reach this goal? Well, back when I was at Disney Online we were small group of programmers that used to plug out games almost on a weekly basis. Some were good, some bad and some were simply re-skins of existing games. The main tools were Director Shockwave and Java. I was the Director guy. Man, let me tell you, I had that app down. I could easily prototype a game in Lingo in hours and then spend the rest of the time working on polishing it up. But those days are gone and Director, though still alive and able to publish to iOS still needs some work before I can consider it a tool that will hopeful, once again, work for me.
So what do I use to code then? Since Lingo, I haven’t found a language that I truly enjoyed. ActionScript 3 came damn close but it took too long to mature from AS1 and AS2. By the time it did I moved on. I tried and for awhile loved Cocos2D. In fact most of my games are written using Cocos2D. Cocos2d is a fantastic library. I wish I had it in the early 2000′s. Since Apple release SpriteKit I’ve been using that lately and converting my games to SpriteKit. It’s very good but it needs a little work still. I’m not interested in any other tools like Unity or Corona.
I’m heavily leaning toward HTML5 using Phaser and TypeScript for games that will be published on the web, Android and Windows Phone. For iOS I think I’ll still use xCode and cocoa with SpriteKit unless I can find a simple way to wrap HTML5 code as an app. I know about PhoneGap and haven’t given it a decent trial yet so we’ll see. The plan is to write the first game in Cocoa and port it to TypeScript. The second game will be the reversed; code in TypeScript first then convert to Cocoa SpriteKit if I even need to.
How do I know what game to code? Well, I made a list! It consists of 27 game ideas with 11 games that I plan on writing. Although I might remove one because a very similar game was just published on the App Store. Bummer. My son is pissed too. He though it was a great idea.
My first game for this challenge is Hoppy the Penguin (formally Jumpy Penguin). I wanted to see how fast I could write a game and publish it before I committed to the 12 month challenge. It was first written in cocoa using SpriteKit and then ported to TypeScript and published to Windows Phone 8 in just a couple of days. I still need to find a path to Android. I’m thinking Intel’s XDK might be the way to go. I didn’t even know of Intel’s efforts until I stumbled on it by searching for tools using Bing! Seriously, it’s buried in the search results or I suck at searching.
My Achilles’s heal is art. It takes way to long for me to do anything for games. I’d love to hire an artist on a per project basis but it’s difficult for me to find one. So, if you’re an artist and want to make games in different styles; pixel art, hand drawn, vector art, cutouts, etc ping me via the contact form or via Twitter at @MarkAndrade
Subscribe to my rss feed to follow my progress. This should be a interesting ride.