Game Development: Part One
I’ve decided to make a game. The decision came to me many years ago when I used to modify code for the games my sisters and I played on DOS and Windows 3.1. It came to me again as I experienced the joy of countless hours of playing games. It reemerged with the launch of Full Screen Mario, which I made sure to grab off of GitHub. More recently I came across two games that you can play in your browser, both of which have you use your mobile phone as the controller. In Produck Hunt you aim your phone at the screen to shoot products listed on Product Hunt (get it?) and on Roll It, Google has you use your phone like a Wii controller to play a modern variation of the classic Skee ball arcade game.Screenshot of Produck Hunt
Screenshot of Rollit
Part of the issue is coming up a game that I want to make, which has to be one that I would want to play. I began thinking how some different games work. Some games, like Temple Run, don’t have an ending. You simply try to get a higher score every time, earning bonuses along the way. Other games, like Angry Birds, has a finite amount of levels, but also encourages you to replay levels by allowing you to beat a level on various skill ratings. Of course there are also games that are more complex and come complete with story lines and the like, but I’m not going to bother focusing on that level of complexity at the moment.
I grabbed Produck Hunt off of GitHub to see if I could hack up my own version of it. What’s available on GitHub is an uncompiled version of it. A few Gulp.js and npm tutorials later, I had a built copy and loaded it up to my server. Everything seemed functional except I couldn’t retrieve a code to get into the game. A glance through an un-minified version of the js files revealed that it’s running off a heroku server and is using Firebase.io for certain pieces of data. It seems like what is available on GitHub is the frontend of the game (where most of the magic happens) but ultimately there is some server-side code that I do not have. So I hit a wall.
The game I plan on making follows the Temple Run model in that there is no end – players aim to get a high score, but they can’t actually beat the game. It also will work best on mobile devices and won’t really be designed for desktop use, but it will run in a browser so any phone can play it without installing it.
You’ll have to wait for future posts to find out what it is and how I made it. Cheers.