Learn Basics of Game Making Through Development of Balloon Master

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After publishing Eloquently on iOS, I decided to challenge myself to make a mobile game. Using a great game creation engine called GameSalad, I published a simple balloon popping game called Balloon Master, available for iOS (coming soon) and Android, in about one month.

Ideas

I knew that I could only create very simple game since I have very limited time and skills that is needed to create a large scale game. Also, I wanted to make sure that I get something out to the market rather earlier than later so that I can learn what it takes to publish the game app, as well as, learn the know-hows needed to possibly publishing a successful game app. Initially, idea started with more complex game but then came close to a puzzle game that feature a polar bear. But after sharing this idea with my close kins, they suggest that I should stick to simpler game like a balloon popping game. So the idea was born. Here is the in-depth account of the features built into the game:

Background

  • Optimized for iPhone 5 Portrait size since this is most popular size for both iOS and Android.
  • Background size of 1136×640 (twice the size used in GameSalad) and used resolution independence setting so that it scales down to smaller non retina displays.
  • Add clouds and move them with different speed to give parallax effect

Balloons

  • Optimum balloon size of height 194 with 196 canvas size
  • Make the balloon generate from bottom and gets destroyed once it disappears to top of the screen
  • Animate the balloon so that it shows moving from left and right
  • Add swerving effect so that the balloon moves randomly but naturally as it moves up
  • Pop when touched with animation and sound
  • Show points earned when popped
  • When balloons disappears to top, trigger game over
  • Add wall to left and right side of the off screen and when hit, balloons would bounce
  • Resize initial animals to 10%
  • Add purple balloon that is 100 point, when popped, shows smaller balloon that needs to be popped again. (Balloon size is 154px width)
  • Add green balloon as a bonus balloon that gives 250 points after 5 hits, that shows animal characters when popped
  • Add blue balloon that takes 3 hits but each hit moves the balloon randomly so that it is difficult to pop
  • Add boss balloons that takes a lot of pops (height 671 with canvas 675).
  • Boss balloon gives out smoke as it takes the hits

Balloon Factories

  • Each levels (scenes) has factories that generate/spawn different balloons of different speeds based on the time table, including the boss balloon.

Game Interface

  • Show and track score and high score
  • Make score numbers graphic based since GameSalad does not allow custom fonts
  • Implement sound on/off

Game/Level Setting

  • Add music per each level, including when boss balloon comes out
  • Create a table for each levels that has timed frequency of different balloon (of type and speed) spawning to control difficulty of the game
  • Create Main Menu and Game Over scenes

Publishing

  • Purchased GameSalad PRO subscription so that “Publish”, “Generating APK”, and “Signing APK” that exports the game into appropriate APK that is used to upload to Google Play.
  • For Android, you must create a keystore that requires signing of the APK file using JDK 1.6 instead of JDK 1.7 to make it compatible with older Android versions.
  • Make sure to publish to Amazon AppStore using unsigned APK so that you can push the app to another channel/market.

Possible Enhancements

Here are possible updates and features that can be built further to existing game:

  • Put farm background bottom, and show animals in the farm as they get rescued
  • Fix so that when you try to exit, it warns you or brings you back
  • Intermediate, score earned, press to continue, or level chooser screen
  • Allow three lives
  • Imitate explosion using either particle or actors
  • Yellow can give special power: freeze, one hit each balloon
  • One balloon becomes two balloons
  • Introduce obstacles or hinderance that will allow balloon to go faster
  • Collect all animals and game is over
  • Special animals have special power like freeze, bomb, swipe, etc that show up at the bottom that can be tapped and activated
  • Show the animal collection screen with collected animals
  • Mom earning enough score to unlock abc alphabet game for their kid
  • Interact with background or more physics like bird is flying
  • Randomize background
  • Swipe to pop all balloons
  • Trap balloons so that player can use bomb or swipe to get all points
  • Double pop or simultaneous pop earns more scoreweather
  • Introduce weather elements such as wind, rain, snow, falling leaves
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About Author

Philip Bae

An avid technologist, entrepreneur at heart, has the determination to make this world a better place by contributing the most useful articles to ThingsYouMustKnow.com, one article at a time.

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