Mobile Wars

by

Here comes our first mini-postmortem about the game which is the origin of CK7 Studios idea, Mobile Wars. This title is where I started to develop videogames, back to the times at university. With my inexperiencie it happened to be an impossible task and the project was dropped, but I learnt a lot from it. For more details, please continue reading below.

Aliens VS Humans

Summary

Game features

  • Statregy game with 3 races and many different units and game mechanics
  • Complex game rules, with cober zones, line of vision, leadership, …
  • Battles represented with fully animated actions scenes

Development challenges

  • Making a game with little software engineering knowledge
  • Trying to play with Warhammer 40K rules on a 128×128 display =D
  • Drawing lots of pixel-art animated sprites without any skill to do it

The bad things

This postmortem has such a few good things that I left them to the end. Let start with bad things then.

Programming skills

I developed the game when I was on the second year of the degree. As it is expectable, with really poor software engineering skills, the project couldn’t go so far. In addition, the complex and not clear game design made the coding work even harder.

Art skills

Without any art skill I tried to create pixel-art for the game using Gimp. Even more, I did’nt accept any sprite, they had to be perfect. Of course it was a terrible waste of time. Since then I promised myself not to draw any more pixel-art in my whole life.

Sprite de pixel-art, frames de 15x18

Design skills

As I said, I had big problems with game design. I made a too complex game for the target platform and for my exprience as a programmer. A strategy game, with map, units, buttons and game-info; everything on a 128×128 display ¡I was really crazy!

Lack of hardware

And why a 128×128 display? There were bigger displays right?… you may ask. Of course there were bigger ones, but I didn’t have one. So if I needed to test anything, I had to test it in such a small pixel rectangle, and that was no good.

Battle scene on original 128x128 screen

Lack of planning

As the game development was a hobbie, I didn’t fix some milestones on it. It made me waste so much time with just a few features that I designed, programmed, redesigned, reprogrammed, … ad infinitum. It’s mandatory to make a plan and to follow it.

The good things and conclusions

I’ll summarize both things in a whole point. I learnt many things. I learnt about what is needed to develop a videogame, let say programation, design, art, planning, … also that all of those tasks requiere a really hard work, no one is easy. And I learnt many useful things that one can only learn by making mistakes.

So if you are planning to make a complete game, remember all these things, find some partners that complement your skills, and work really hard on it!

Some other things

When I finally dropped the project, I didn’t have the great idea of moving the game code and content to a secure storage. The time has passed, and now I can only find an old version of the game which was stored on an old mail.

So remember to store all your projects in a secure place if you don’t want to lose them!

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