This past weekend, Ansca Mobile was a sponsor of the Bay Area Start Up Camp, organized by startup incubators Semantic Seed. This particular event had an extra emphasis on mobile startups, so you know we couldn’t miss out! ;-)

The event kicked off on Friday, with Ansca co-founder Carlos Icaza being asked to talk about the mobile space, a successful startup mentality, and the inevitable questions about Bubble Ball.

Carlos Icaza addresses the audience at Semantic Seed's Start Up Camp.

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Also in attendance were Jon and Biffy Beebe of Beebe Games, who teamed up with video game producer Peter Dassenko to bring his idea to life using Corona SDK.  Peter had a crazy (in a good way!) idea for War To Go, a multiplayer location-based game modeled after the classic board game Risk. After Peter pitched his idea to the floor, he and the Beebes decided to form a small but highly skilled team to create a working demo of the game — in one weekend!

Needless to say, insanity ensued…  (again, in a good way!)

Peter already had a 15-page concept written for the game before Start Up Camp, and was able to fully brief the Beebes in only a couple hours. After the game plan was effectively transferred from sketchbook to white board, it was time for Jon and Biffy to make the thing!

Peter Dassenko's game concept (in book)

From there, Biffy drew away on her touchpad to create the War To Go interface and in-game artwork; Jon coded away with Corona, aiming to build the core mechanics of the game before time ran out.

Jon and Biffy Beebe of Beebe Games, creating a game in one weekend at Semantic Seed's Start Up Camp.

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Using Corona’s MapView API, the Beebes were able to easily implement the real world “game board” that Peter had prescribed in his game concept (remember, it’s location-based Risk using real world locations!).

The multiplayer function was a little more difficult, as Jon had never implemented such a feature in any of his games. However, since Corona allows for quick on-device prototyping, Jon was able to fine-tune the game’s multiplayer support through trial-and-error in only a couple hours.

Jon Beebe creates a multiplayer game in a matter of hours at Semantic Seed's Start Up Camp.

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From there, the team put the final touches on War To Go (explosions, sound effects, etc.) and the subsequent presentation (slides and stuff), and showed off a demo Sunday evening to their fellow Start Up Campers.

All in all, Peter was floored by the short amount of time that it took to bring his vision to life, and the Beebes were equally surprised by how well they were able to effectively turn around a game of this ambition. Plus, since both sides were able to work so efficiently, they were able to create their working demo while still maintaining a comfortable pace of work.

Since Peter is a pro game producer and the Beebes have sold over 300,000 copies of their mobile games, we think they should keep in touch to build out the rest of  War To Go and make it the next big cultural phenomenon! :-)

Random dude (nobody we know!) crashing in a room at Semantic Seed's Start Up Camp.

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If you still would like to read more about Peter and the Beebes’ Start Up Camp shenanigans, check out Jon Beebe’s blogpost chronicling the weekend. Also, be sure to follow @PeterDassenko and @BeebeGames on Twitter.

Lastly, and if you’ll be utilizing Corona like this at an event, let us know — we’d love to come and document it too, just like we did here with War To Go! :-)

  1. Wait a sec..
    If they’re using the MapView API to create a real world gameboard.. in the second image from the bottom, how can they overlay images to the MapView?
    Do they take a screenshot of the MapView api and then use it as a standard image (so the map is static?), or is that some awesome feature on a secret daily build that I absolutely need???

  2. Hi everyone, thanks for your questions! The event was a really great experience for all of us.

    @Ruben: For the demo, it was screenshot of the map view and the main “base” was centered on the screen (since the MapView can center items). No secret daily build stuff, but I think improvements to the MapView API are coming and will include things like that (where you can associate points on the map with points on the screen properly).

    @Amigoni: For the demo, I had a basic HTTP web server set up on my laptop with PHP/MySQL installed. The app made requests to the server to store AND retrieve information and that’s how things were synchronized between multiple devices.

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