What I learnt from publishing my First Mobile Game
I have a dream — one day I am going to build my own mobile solutions/gaming empire. A mobile technological startup that surpass Rovio (creator of Angry Bird) or Carousell. On 28 December 2015, I published my first android mobile game on the Google Play store available for mobile gamers all around the world. Of course to many professional mobile programmer, this may seem insignificant. However, it meant a lot to me in the sense that it’s my first baby step into the industry. My understanding is that many have the aspiration to break into the mobile game industry but do not have the patience to work through the problems until the end. I am glad I did not give up halfway.
I had a rough start and I say that because I knew what I wanted but I didn't know how to achieve it. At the beginning, I was contemplating whether to make a productivity app or a mobile game. Productivity app? — no concrete idea of how my app would bring benefit to others. You know you need the strong instinct that “this app will work” to be sure of what you are doing. I scrapped the idea then. Mobile game, is challenging to develop because I may need a graphics designer for my characters, background and other miscellaneous objects. After all, attractive graphics win the hearts of many adolescent as well as adults. I am just ‘me’, and how is it possible for me to handle graphics and programming of the game at the same time? That was my initial thought but nonetheless I proceeded on to develop my first game.
Train of Thought
I was greatly inspired by other indie games like Crossy Road, it has such simple control yet packing novelty. I decided to develop a game with a similar concept — simple yet engaging. I listed down the main features in my game —
- One Touch Control
- Suitable for all ages
- Competitive, score based
With these pointers in mind, I began my journey of developing my game.
Challenges I faced
- Scripts could not compile (Main big issue)
- Ran out of ideas for my game character
- Graphics designing is a tedious work given no design background
- Running out of patience
All of the aforementioned challenges put me into a mental test, I was struggling to make sense out of my codes while juggling the problem of lack of resources. Regardless of time or money, I was left with little options. The only sensible thing left to do was to persevere and finish what I started. Along the way, I sought help from the online programming community which allows you to post your coding questions and hope that someone with relevant expertise comes to your rescue. Fortunately, few kind souls appropriately provided me with the necessary help, alleviating me from the mental torture. (despite saying this, I still enjoy programming) I wasn't always that lucky because not all my questions are being answered and therefore I had to research on similar issues and derive the solution to my own problem. Starting something new is never that easy.
Advice for amateurs with the same dream as me
Road ahead is treacherous. Be ready for it. Prepare for the worst scenario, what I mean is you may need to spend more money than I did to build your first mobile application. Many adults out there spent thousands of dollars to outsource professionals to get the foundation of their apps done.
Never give up. If creating mobile apps is your passion, stay focused and always remind yourself of what you want. Along the way I am sure that you will face the same problems as me, but it is normal. You just need to be a little bit more meticulous and check through your work once more and I am sure you will be able to debug your program. It is easy to start a business but hard to keep it going for a long time. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.