Try it out and see if you can top the charts!
One thing that every respectable game on the Google Play Store seems to have is a video. Now, as Fallur is a very respectable game, I of course had to make one as well.
Now the game is even more respectable I guess 🙂
Now, the game Fallur was released a bit early, just to be out in time for christmas (and the reason for that being that I had invested 30 minutes into making christmas graphics for the game). Now it’s time to make the game good enough to be playable for the rest of the year.
The graphics in the 1.0 version of the game where all photography based, and the game ran in 360×540 resolution with 48×48 sprites. This is a quite nice resolution to work in when using that kind of graphics, but if the graphics is to be hand-drawn it puts quite a lot of pressure on the artist.
For the 2.0 version I decided to lower the resolution quite a lot (4x) to hide the fact that I can’t draw at all, and also that the added resolution really didn’t add anything at all to the game play.
The rest of the graphics is just scale down of the higher resolution images used in 1.0 except for the background that I simply removed in favour of a simple gradient that makes the game more playable.
Making music is one of my greatest passions in life. I am always playing my guitar and coming up with a new song. It’s like breathing. I have to do it. So making music for a game should be simple, shouldn’t it? Not really.
I make rock music mostly. I have once in a while made these “chip/synth”-kinds of tunes, but they are much more effort to make than a guitar based rock tune. So, I made this:
This is an early draft of music that could be added to the game, but I am not sure right now as it can’t be compressed below 2Mb of size without sounding really bad. I got it down to 1.5Mb by removing most high-frequency sounds in the song and then compressing to 80kbit. That will have to do for now..
The original gameplay was very simple. Hit all things that fall down (at varying speeds) but don’t hit the ghosts. Then of course the difficulty increased by increasing the number of things falling down as well as the speed.
The result was a game that was completely unplayable after level 20. It was simply to difficult. My analytics data proved the point by showing that most people failed early (or thought the game was boring and quit).
Change to the gameplay is now that there are 6 personalities with different behavioural patterns. For the first 10 levels only one, quite simple one is available. Then another, a little bit harder comes into the game and so on. The game is now playable for 60-70 levels for those who fancy this kind of super simple game. It will be interesting to see on the analytics if anyone has the patience or interest to go that far or if people just drop the game after a few levels due to bordom.
The 2.0 version of the game is now live on google play. It has a bit more evolved gameplay than the 1.0 version and a rock soundtrack of quite low quality.
Now I will keep my eyes on my analytics to see if this appeals to anyone at all, fix issues and enhance if needed. Who knows, there might even be an iOS version of there is enough of people playing it on Android. But the goal with the game is the same as before. I do this for learning.
There will be updates. Possibly the music will be changed, the Facebook integration is very rudimentary, perhaps a google play integration would be a good thing, overlay screen showing when a new monster has been unlocked should be made, sound effects added and so on.
But now, let’s see if anyone plays the game.
After I made Lovur I experimented with some HTML5 frameworks for game development. I have always liked writing games but I’ve normally got stuck somewhere in sprite-handling routines and level editors but with these tools it was amazingly simple to prototype games.
Using the MellonJs HTML5 engine I prototyped two simple games in a few hours. That’s two playable games. I was intrigued by the efficiency of developing and of course I tried the games using Cordova on a recent Android phone and I got disappointed.
As nice and fast it was to develop in this environment the results on smartphone were quite bad.
I tried both games both using Cordova and also using crosswalk and CocoonJS for greater speed. I also tried re-implementing both games using Phaser (remember that I’m still writing about small prototypes of games).
To sum it up. Both games where jerky as normal Cordova builds, not reaching anywhere near 60 fps. With Crosswalk and CocoonJS they were playable, but at a high cost in file size and then just barely playable. I figured that if I would add any logic the playability would suffer. So I tried LibGDX.
I implemented both prototypes in LibGDX, this time taking a bit longer time than the HTML5 variants of course but with more control. The results where really smooth (I only tried on Android) and the development environment quite nice so I decided to continue working on the games a bit. After all, I have a few game ideas I would like to implement, but before I can do that I have to learn. Fallur is a place for me to learn.
I released it before christmas 2014, a bit ahead of time. The game isn’t ready, but it is playable (well, up to level 20, then it gets a bit too hard.. and perhaps a bit boring). I rushed it out since I had made a christmas theme for the game. The game will be re-themed later on and the game play will evolve.
As I am only doing this for my own sake and for learning I have no problem releasing an unfinished product on the world like this. Also, that is the reason the game is only available on Android. I will be updating it and that is simple and fast on Google Play. Also, as I will be evolving the game play and graphics (experimenting) I don’t have time to maintain different versions for different platforms even if the very nice LibGDX would make that possible.
Anyhow, I hope someone is enjoying the game despite it being in the state it is 🙂