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:
- How to create an Android Activity
- How to run and debug it
- How to deploy it to emulator and real device
- How to utilize local database
- How to handle application life cycle
- How to draw on Canvas and to use Bitmap
- How to create Sounds
- How to read user input and gestures
- How AsyncTask and Threading works
- How Google AdMob adds can be used
- How Scoreloop social platform can be integrated
- How to draw simple buttons and logos with Gimp
- How to create a custom font and use it
- How to create a release build and sign it
- How to use Proguard and how to configure it
- 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: