iPad only, gamedev – week #4 – Game plans and prototype

What type of game are we going to build? How this should work? This week we will define and create a visual prototype to work on.

My focus on building games is "games easy to play and hard to beat". Challenging huh? There are a lot of games out there with this kind of philosophy and they are the most viciously types of casual games. We (you) could build a full featured game, sure, but this is not the goal of this series, as mentioned on the first week, I pretend to just show my experience using the iPad as main and only computer on developing a web game.

What could be more easy in a game than a player that moves by itself and you just need to help him in some way, maybe taping to jump or modifying the environment which he/she/it is dealing? We can start from here and sketch (on Sketchbook app) some ideas:

Keep as much sketches of ideas as you want because they can be useful at some point, even on future games, maybe by combining them ou simplifying them (even more).

My game will be about a ninja robot locked on a cage as a test for its next colored belt. Running side by side without stopping, it slashes the enemies automatically and we will help it by touching the screen to make it jump avoiding enemy attacks and traps of the level.

Once you are happy with your (crazy or not) idea, go to the Pixaki app and start drawing a few squares to be used on the prototype. Why squares? Because on this step of the development you must first experiment with your idea to be sure that it is fun enough to keep this way. If it is not good, you can simply go and try another idea.

My great art so far is defined as the green square being my hero, the blue represents the enemies, the black is the environment, the orange is some kind of trap and the gray is our hero and enemies swords. Each square has 16x16 pixels in size, the image canvas size can be whatever multiple of it that you want. You can export this image now as a PNG file and import it in the Koder app inside our game folder.

On the next week we’ll start to use these images to build our funcional game prototype, with a bunch of code to start making it already responsive. See you in a week!