It is finished!!!

Not App Store quality yet, not for mass distribution but nevertheless it is in a very playable state and most importantly: it is fun!

The video is not amazingly informative, so here goes the narration:

  • The player’s goal is to keep the ball on the disc for as long as possible
  • Bubbles that reach the bottom push the ball towards that color’s direction
  • Tap and hold a bubble to destroy it
  • Tap and release a bubble to speed it up (to make it count as fast as possible)
  • The game speeds up gradually

Next steps

  • Player feedback. The more the better.
  • Better graphics. I probably need a visual artist for that.
  • Audio. It feels somehow flat without sound.
  • Experiment with the layout. Maybe having the bubbles moving upwards?
  • Experiment with the scoring logic. Right now the score is incremented every time a bubble is generated. I think it should be incremented every time a bubble is applied to the disc.
  • Menu screen.
  • Briefly explain the gameplay. Right now, players find it difficult to relate the ball’s movement to the disc’s state to the bubbles.
  • Animations for more intuitiveness. An explanation text is not always ideal. A player should be able to figure out the relationship between the various gameplay elements with no explanation.
  • More dimensions of progression. Different discs (more and less numbers of colors), different bubbles (bigger/smaller, multi-colored, special ones).
  • Persist the high score. Right now there is no persistency, not even on the same device. It would be nice to keep the high score somewhere and maybe even implement Game Center leaderboards.
  • Release! Yes, at some point I think I should release it on the App Store.

What I learned

Swift is an enjoyable language. It mostly feels like C#. I will definitely go back to it in the future.

SpriteKit is a great and simple 2D game engine. It provides a lot of conveniences and usually behaves as expected. Compared to Unity, SpriteKit is a notch better than Unity’s 2D implementation which makes sense since Unity is 3D under the hood.

XCode is a tool I am not yet comfortable with. I will need to invest some time to get used to it. At work I use SublimeText and I constantly find myself trying and failing to use the same shortcuts. Even the interface and its capabilities are alien to me. I have some problems trying to distribute the game to friends to try it out, I have no idea how to do it. I will surely need to invest some time to learn this tool if I am going to be coding in it.

My process worked. Leaving only the last few days for coding the actual game was a good idea. Design before implementation, inspiration before design. I will keep this up and try to stick to it a little more.

Blogging every day didn’t work. I usually forget it and even when I remember it, it is usually the next day in the morning.

Now that the first prototype is done, it’s time to begin the second one. I will (hopefully) be blogging about the basic idea tonight.