First prototype, Design and UI — Mobile Game Development Guide #2

The game takes place in a fictional world of anthropomorphic animals in a frigid country much like Russia controlled by a fascist Leader by the name Big Pig. Some can say it is a current review of our crazy political happenings, or even a reference to George Orwell’s Animal Farm or even 1984. For those who have not read the first story yet, here’s the beginning. After all, “Big Pig is Watching You”…

The story of the game is cool. However, we realize that it’s just one step in creating a game. Now let’s see realistic part of developing a game on mobile.It is not as simple as playing games from our phones. Hence, it scares us a little. Will we be able to complete a whole game within our time limit?

Of course we would be intimidated by creating this game. But through communicating well between team members we were able to evenly distribute tasks among ourselves that best suited our strengths. In this story, we will share first tangible results and the visuals which we have done in 5 weeks. Then each of us will share most challenging part of the topic that we had faced. If you have any comments or suggestions about these challenges, please do not hesitate to write a comment 🙂

User Interface

Art design and main menu is ready. We’re so excited sharing first UI images.

“The biggest challenge for creating the User Interface for the game was capturing the essence of this cartoony spy thriller. It was important that the game look fun and interesting, even when rolling through our various menus. I really hope our players enjoy the light hearted design that helps downplay the seriousness of the underlying theme for the game. “ James

Environment Design

The world layout and environment of the playground is carried out by Lisa and Carmen. While Lisa is handling the brunt of the exterior layouts Carmen has done some of the Interior levels. Here are their first results:

“The biggest issue so far was getting good level flow, we want the player to feel eased into more difficult areas rather than shoved into an environment they’re not prepared for. The best way to get over this and to adjust our level flow is through play-testing and feedback.” Carmen

Character Design

We would like to share our main character, Fox Protagonist. Also, you can see the chickens who are scientists and will be rescued by the player. In addition to these there will be a Dog (melee based enemy) and a Pig (long range enemy).

“The challenge about character design was going through many revisions and making the model. It was a bit of a different experience making a model that had more appendages, like having a tail and ears. It was something fun to rig and animate, though.” Moises

Technical Developments

The most exciting part of last week, we saw the game on a phone. Here’s the video of the first gameplay:

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FBNjv6UG95PM%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DBNjv6UG95PM&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FBNjv6UG95PM%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=d04bfffea46d4aeda930ec88cc64b87c&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

“The biggest challenge in creating this game from a programming standpoint was moving from computer-based developing to a mobile specific platforms. Working with getting swipe and pinch inputs can be a challenge when you normally make player movements with the mouse, but it can be rewarding when you see the game start coming together and you actually play the game in your hands.

Some of the other problems I’ve come across: the player’s point of view and building culling. In mobile games you want the player to be close enough to see details on the characters but not too far so as they lose immersion and detail. This can be a simple fix but making sure that it matches the team’s vision is a challenge. We are adjusting and fine tuning this based on gameplay tests.

Also, making the buildings fade as they move in front of the camera was an issue. Based on feedback from play testing, I will work on using scripts to make the buildings fade when they are moved in front of the camera. Getting the camera to smoothly follow the player was brought up early on in development but using some simple scripts and even some standard Unity assets can both give you the results you are looking for overall. ” Keith

Marketing

We figured out what we could do before launching the game and also prepared a weekly marketing plan. This plan lists all our ideas and the actions we need to take in the development process. We share the link of our weekly marketing plan at the end of the article.

Mustafa says that working on marketing activities before launching game is a kind of difficult because we cannot reach our target users and convince them to follow us without a game. However, we have a plan to create a website which let users see all details of the game and maybe let them play/watch a demo online. Therefore, we can reach our target users and show them that our game will be ad-free and worth to play.

Also, we would like to share some platforms that we currently share our project: Unity Connect, Quora and forums: Gamasutra, Indie Gamer, and Unity Forum.

We have a game design document and art guide in order to advance each of our works in a certain harmony with the visuals created by our own perspectives and approaches. You can also find these links at the end of the article.

As you may have noticed, we did not spend much time on a logo, social media account or website so far. Instead of spending too much efforts in the middle of the project, we use all our energy to optimize the game and finish our tasks on time. These requirements will be done while finishing the game development.

By the way, we have a new team-mate who will be responsible with audio. Now, we are 10. (As of week 6)

Greetings from Austin, Texas / Photo by Cosmic Time Traveler, unsplash.com

We intend to create a comprehensive resource and guide for game developers via 4 articles during the project, with the deadline being April 5th. We hope that what we share in this story series will be useful for everyone who has an interest in mobile gaming. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to comment here or send us an email. We are open to seeing you in a meeting if you are around Austin, Texas.

If you like what you see here, please feel free to join our email list and receive notifications for when post the next story. Also we will let you know if you would like to join us during the play-testing phase.

Open Source

Here you can find the links of all documents mentioned in the story:


First prototype, Design and UI — Mobile Game Development Guide #2 was originally published in Austin Startups on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

#URLinkedUp AustinStartup https://austinstartups.com/first-prototype-design-and-ui-mobile-game-development-guide-2-d7e9982d2875?source=rss—-9504c035b990—4

#Austin Check out URLinkedUp > http://www.urlinkedup.com

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