A few days ago, we crowned Beachball Pop as our latest App of the Week.

Now, Steeve Monniere of Chinchilla Games describes the process of building the game in a matter of days, and even touches upon the crucial aspect that Corona SDK played in allowing him and his partners to start Chinchilla Games, as a sustainable gaming startup.


Steeve Monniere, Chinchilla Games

As a game developer, you soon realize that companies come and go. Contracts ends and, in this economy, you are never really assured where you are going to be or what you are going to do in the future. That is where we were 2 months ago when we started Chinchilla Games.

We all come from another game company that went bankrupt, and we were all looking for something to do. Something that would keep our programmer’s mind in shape, our artist’s creativity flow going, and maybe pay the rent and put some food in the fridge. ;-)

The idea that we could start our own company and work on projects we designed ourselves was always part of our dreams. However, as programmers, logical choices seems always to bring you back to the “no-risk” life of working for someone else. Well, being unemployed changed all that. Why not start our own company and start building fun and nice games on mobile? It is an opportunity we don’t have too often.

So there we were: A solid game startup with solid ideas.

First thing that comes to mind when you look at an iOS SDK is “OMG! What is that Objective-C they’re talking about? Is the C++ I used all my life is subjective or something?” Then, you look more into it and ask yourself “Why?” After that, you give up and start to look around for someone who could have done something to make development on iOS (and why not Android at the same time) a little less abrasive and a little more fun.

Good news is, there’s plenty of solutions for you. The problem is you have to learn a little about each of them to properly evaluate them and see if these solutions will actually help you achieve your goal — and that can take time!
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Still, we started to look into many things at first, Unity, Torque, GameSalad and many others. Each of these products had something to offer but never quite had what we needed. We wanted to have control over the code and not program with our mouse. We wanted something that would let us have animations, sounds, easy touch support. Something that would be easy to code with, would perform properly on the device and let us code the way we wanted. So we kept looking until we found Corona SDK!
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At first, Lua was not a language we really knew too much about — but it was more than easy enough to learn fast. Then, we started going trough the API and realized there’s a lot of stuff you can do with really short code. We built our first Beachball Pop playable prototype in only 3-4 days.
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As we were progressing through the balancing, the graphics and animations for the game, the guys at Ansca started talking about in-app purchase and Facebook integration. Wow, Facebook is something everyone know about these days. Even better, people like to compete over Facebook and brag about their achievements on their profile. What a great addition to the Corona SDK! Then, with the auto-scaling features, we were able to easily do an HD iPad version (just a couple days before universal builds went out).
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So, we launched our first game with all that — good graphics and a simple yet fun gameplay that everyone can play — all in a couple weeks. And still, I think most part of the second week was spent battling with the papers and all you need to actually publish on the App Store.
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We have received a lot of good comments and ideas for the next update. Lite version, in-app purchases unlocking features (already waiting for apple on this one), special Beachballs with new animations and sounds. And all that is pretty easy to add to the game thanks to Corona SDK.
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Thanks a lot to all our customers and to Ansca that published a great product.
Enjoy your Beachball Popping! :-)

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