It’s been about 3 months since I left my job at a digital marketing agency. In that time, I spent about a month taking online courses in Godot Engine, following along, and making my own prototypes. I picked it up pretty quick. After that, I tried a few ideas that had come to me during the process, and eventually I stumbled onto an idea that I really, really liked. That’s when I decided I had the idea that would lead to my first game. I had found an idea that was ‘game-worthy’.
I chose this idea to run with because of it’s narrow scope. It didn’t need fancy graphics, it didn’t need particle effects. It was a very simple puzzle/board-game, in 2D. Also the game kind of lends itself to the touch interface, something about the motion of moving the coins with touch swipes is really fun (At-least that’s what I find).
I could go on, and on, about Fat Stack – how I came up with it, how I approach the architecture of the game, what issues and surprises I ran into, and what ways I think I can make the game even better. Maybe I will write that stuff up, but this is not that post. Right now I want to stay a bit higher level.
In short, I came up with a simple (yet surprisingly complex) ‘peg board’-like game while fiddling with a chessboard and poker chips, and I created an Android game out of it. It took a bit less than 2 months, all-in. In typical software fashion, I had 80% of the problem solved within the first week, but man did that last 20% reveal itself to be more tricky than I expected.
I used the Godot Engine to make the game, which had it’s pros and cons, but overall I highly recommend Godot for newer game devs – but those who have some programming experience. It’s basically like making a game in Python, that’s how close the GDScript syntax is to Python. Godot can be used for basically all platforms, not just Android, but yeah – I made a mobile game for Android.
Free, but with ads, no IAP
I’m going to be putting it on the Google Play store within the next couple days, for free, and it will be ad-supported. I don’t love the idea of putting ads on top of the game I worked very hard to make, but I think ads are the most likely way I can try to monetize a free game on mobile. Especially when I have no intentions of going the ‘in-app purchase’ route when that path has been so abused by some game makers.
I can feel the relief already
I’m very excited to be able to say ‘this is done, its a complete thing’. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what should, and shouldn’t, be in the game. Some things I thought were core to the game ended up becoming superfluous, and other functionality would be focused on as it became clearer what the best points of the game were and how to support them with the feature-set. I would say that making this game taught me a ton about real ‘game making’, more than I expected. It’s easy to think going in that the barrier to entry is programming ability, but really that part is not that difficult. What is difficult is coming up with a unique and comprehensive game, that makes sense intuitively, and is fun to play over and over. That is quite difficult. I think I pulled it off for Fat Stack, for the right audience that is. If you are not into puzzles or logic games then this game likely wont be of interest to you, but I hope that fans of the genre will get many hours of enjoyment out of it. I know I plan on keeping it on my phone for all those times you have 5 minutes to spare and could really go for a brain stimulating puzzle game.
When the game is live, on the Play store, I’ll put a link to download Fat Stack for Android here
EDIT: IT IS NOW LIVE! LINK TO PLAY STORE ABOVE, LEARN ABOUT FAT STACK HERE
For now, I must work on marketing collateral to put together the Play store listing!