Time for a retrospective

My game is now officially in BETA phase. The game is called WordSlinger and I have sent it to a bunch of friends who are so kind to help me testing the game.

It seems that there’s no good way of building a network of BETA testers or doing BETA. If you publish the game in Google Play then anyone can download it and play. I have understood that it’s possible to create a Google+ Group to which you can invite people and have them to test your application. I don’t have Google+ account and I didn’t feel I want to create it just for this. I solved the problem by creating a release build, signing it with my key and sending it via email to bunch of friends. I wonder how everyone else is doing this?

So, it took approximately a full month of time creating the game. I have done everything from scratch and by myself. I used FreeSFX library to find nice sound and that’s what they are credited for. Thank you FreeSFX. The month I refer here is full working time. In calendar time it’s a lot more but since I have a day job and other hobbies I was mostly working in the evenings and weekends.

I haven’t had any other costs if you don’t count the time. I am not sure if there was a developer fee for Google Play account but if there was it was quite small. If I would want to calculate the time spent as a cost then the cost is one man month. In Finland (where I live) the cost for average developer would probably vary between 3000 – 5000 euros / month. Having said that, you could get a similar game developed cheaper too. Specially because I spent a lot of time to learn things and building the engine, rather the game.

It goes without saying that if I would be doing this for money then I probably would never get even and definitely it would be much harder road to do this as for a living with these type of figures. But since my goal was to learn and have fun, not to make money, I am very happy. I am happy and I have learned a lot. I would like to turn things around and ask: Are these things (that I have learned) worth the time and possible cost of 3000 – 5000 euros ? I think they are…

I have learned:

  1. How to create an Android Activity
  2. How to run and debug it
  3. How to deploy it to emulator and real device
  4. How to utilize local database
  5. How to handle application life cycle
  6. How to draw on Canvas and to use Bitmap
  7. How to create Sounds
  8. How to read user input and gestures
  9. How AsyncTask and Threading works
  10. How Google AdMob adds can be used
  11. How Scoreloop social platform can be integrated
  12. How to draw simple buttons and logos with Gimp
  13. How to create a custom font and use it
  14. How to create a release build and sign it
  15. How to use Proguard and how to configure it
  16. How to calculate screen coordinates for different resolutions

And the list goes on. I have probably missed a lot of good points but this gives perspective. One of my goals was to learn something that I can utilize in my everyday work. If I would be doing something with Android all the stuff above WILL help me immensely. That is nice as well.

Anyways. Here are some screenshots from my game in BETA phase:

Screenshot_2013-11-10-23-13-41

Screenshot_2013-12-01-19-51-14

Screenshot_2013-12-01-19-51-51

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