Cavefish Swimmer now available on Google Play™

Discussion in 'Android Games Discussions' started by stoneworkgames, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. stoneworkgames

    stoneworkgames New Member

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    Google Play™ link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.StoneworkGames.CavefishSwimmer

    Greetings Droidforums,

    Cavefish Swimmer is my first published outing which is now available on the Play Store. To summarize its an aquatic platformer where you navigate a fish through an array of underwater caverns. Not exactly GOTY material but during your first at-bat you don't try to knock it out of the park you just try to hit the ball. Whether i did or not you can collectively be the judge. Rather than just shamelessly plug the game i wanted to take the time (since you're taking the time to read it) to share some of the highlights of the experience as a whole. It may prove useful to fellow developers or those that enjoy a 'behind the curtain' look.

    Starting out i had a good deal of experience with music (extremely helpful for SFX), rudimentary programming skills, and almost no graphical prowess whatsoever. That being the case the software that i settled on for each need was FL Studio, Game Maker Studio, and GIMP respectively. FL Studio comes chock-full with various oscillators, FM synthesizers, additive synths, etc. For the most part i just used standard wave forms and tweaked envelopes and ran then through some effects channels. For instance i used 45 seconds of white noise ran through an automated vocoder with a low pass filter to make underwater sounds. FL Studio can be a bit daunting for people that aren't otherwise familiar with music production or DAWs in general. Another piece of software i've used that is a bit more newbie friendly is Mixcraft. I decided to go with Game Maker Studio as all of my programming experience stems from the automation industry in which user interfaces aren't really a factor and the language is largely proprietary. Such being the case there was very little overlap into Java of which i have almost no knowledge. GMS allowed me to jump right in as the GML language is especially intuitive and well documented. Not to mention multi-format export from the same code base. If i had an idea i could do prototyping rather quickly (and one of those prototypes turned into Cavefish Swimmer). As mentioned previously i had no graphic development knowledge starting out and elected to go with GIMP as it seemed the de-facto free utility. From there it was just a matter of slogging through YouTube videos until i was somewhat competent. One thing that it did very well was make active / inactive buttons. You can make a flat button and then select 'add bevel' from the filters tab and voila, you have pressed / unpressed button states. In hindsight raster graphics aren't especially easy to work with as any kind of resizing severely compromises the image quality. On my next endeavor i'm contemplating using vector graphics a la Inkscape as scaling doesn't diminish the image quality.

    I started back in March and from the get-go i wanted to make sure that it could be played in an intuitive, almost gameboy-esque fashion so i elected to provide simple two button controls. The left and right buttons turn the player and both together causes the player to swim forward in whatever direction it happens to be facing. For me personally i enjoy mobile games less when i'm constantly having to shift my hands around (which in turn is why i largely didn't enjoy the FFVI droid port). If i were to compare it to something it almost plays like the water level in the original NES TMNT game except that there are some inertia physics at play. The game is rather challenging, but i took great pains to make sure everything is winnable and fair. To extend playtime a bit i added a 'Nighttime' effect that can be enabled on all levels. Anyone remember that level from Earthworm Jim where your a newt for some reason and swimming through caves with Mozart playing the in the background? It's something like that. At any rate that's it. Thanks for taking the time.


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