Details in Collaborating and Developing our first game
We wanted to share our recent experience with collaborating on the game When Worlds Collide: http://www.kongregate.com/games/Blue...worlds-collide
We had done some game work in Java, and both of our real world development experience is in Java programming. When we started talking about Flash Gaming, we both wanted to work together on a project.
Our one basic requirement was to use only FREE tools and resources in order to keep our development cost down to $0. That's pretty sweet if you ask me.
So, here's a summary of how we got started:
This tutorial here http://www.brighthub.com/hubfolio/ma...ionscript.aspx by Matthew Casperson got us started.
It also links to other styles of games. We referenced it for ideas extensively.
We certainly did rely on this tutorial heavily for game concepts. Although a caveat is that it does use some non-conventional means for animations and screen drawing when applied to Flash. However, coming from a Java background these concepts made perfect sense to us and we were able to cross over to Flash much more easily.
But there are other good concepts we carried away from it, such as the ZOrdering, the ResourcePooling, and the old-school filmstrip style animations.
Our IDE (the tool we used to code and build the project) is FlashDevelop http://www.flashdevelop.org/wikidocs...itle=Main_Page.
This does require that you download the free Flex SDK from Adobe. Not FlexBuilder, but just the free opensource SDK found here: http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/dis...exsdk/Flex+SDK.
Just follow the Configuration guide for "ActionScript 3 Configuration" on the FlashDevelop site: http://www.flashdevelop.org/wikidocs..._configuration.
We both use GIMP to create all our graphics http://www.gimp.org/.
This includes buttons, backgrounds, and the planet animations for When Worlds Collide.
Most of the work done in GIMP was with various online GIMP tutorials. If you have any graphic need, a simple google search with "GIMP TUTORIAL" added should bring you a few quality tutorials to show you what you need.
Music was found on the site http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/. The files are of great quality and there's more then enough to get anyone started it seems on any genre of game. We did do a lot of editing to compress the music and trim it using tools like Audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ and
MP3 quality Modifier http://www.inspire-soft.net/?nav=sof...ualitymodifier.
Basically, we would trim the music in Audacity, then run it through MP3QualityModifier to compress the bitrate down to around 50/70 kbps. Any mp3 used in Flash has to maintain a sample frequency of 44100 HZ, so if you find your game doesn't load or the music is "broken" it probably isn't sampled correctly.
Another great resource we used to some degree was http://www.freesound.org. This is a great library of sound effects, recordings, and other audio snippets released under the Creative Commons license.
We found a few of our sound effects from here. It sure is easy to get sidetracked wandering through and listening to all of their great stuff!
I came up with the game idea and created a very simple and rudimentary sketch of the game board. I will spare myself any embarrassment by not including it in our post
Please understand that we in no way claim to have created a truly original game. Gameplay comes from our experience playing other Match 3 style games like Bejeweled. We simply added our own twists thanks to what I considered neat ideas. We imposed the quadrant idea, and we changed the Match 3 to not have to include all 3 planets in a straight line to get a match. Add in the space and planet theme and how the board is loaded, and you have our "1 off" game.
One of the single most important decisions we made was to use the site http://www.xp-dev.com for sharing code (since one of us lives in Michigan and the other in Colorado). Both of us have experience using the open source code repository and versioning control system called Subversion. That is why we chose xp-dev.com. They have an entirely free subscription plan that was sufficient for our needs. And with the Subversion features, you get wiki capability and a complete project management and bug tracking system. We both use Tortoise for SVN http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/ to pull our code and keep in sync. Only a few times late at night was the site down for some type of maintenance.
Even though we are both experienced Java developers, we do not claim to be expert game programmers with Flash. Basically everything we did with WWC involved learning Actionscript 3 from scratch. We wanted to keep the first attempt at a game simple so we could see it through to completion. And, of course with us both being developers, I think we did an "OK" job with graphics and what not, but we are not the most creative "artists" in the world by any means
Thanks for checking it out. And we certainly do welcome any comments and suggestions.
If anyone has any questions, we'll try and offer any input we can give.
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