Guest Post: How my 7-year-old son and I created an awesome game with Corona SDK

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We’ve had a couple heartwarming instances where our users, have told us about how Corona SDK has become a family activity to spend some quality time with loved ones. And, seriously, how can we NOT love that? 🙂

Below, Philip Mckellow tells the story of how he and his 7-year-old son Tyler (not to be confused with this Tyler) went about creating the “physics puzzler,” Spud Gun.

This is the story behind how I created my first ever iPhone game with help from my young son and a lot of hard work which dates back over a year, and more importantly a lot of quality time with my little boy. Seeing my son so passionate about a particular subject and working with him on this project has made me extremely proud.

Towards the end of 2010 my son, who was 7 years old at the time, really started getting into computer games. It was obvious this was going to be his passion. It was mine when I was a kid, so i would never hold him back from playing games, unless of course it effected his school work. What was different though, was that it wasn’t just playing the games that he enjoyed, it was stuff like how the game was created, what made the game work, and what extra features could be added to the game.

He really wanted to create his own game, and he was just full of ideas of what he wanted his game to do and what kind of characters would be in the game and things like that.

Seeing him use his brain like this was great I thought, and this was something I wanted to make sure he took advantage of.

He started sketching down his ideas, and trying to explain to me how his drawings would work in a real game. What you need to remember is, that he was only 7 years old, and a lot of his drawings were typical 7-year-old’s drawings, and by that I mean if you looked at them without knowing what they were, then it would be very hard to decipher them. His main inspiration was his toy spud gun that he had, and he wanted his main character to have a “spud gun” as their main weapon, so thats where the title of the game came from. The game is called Spud Gun Attack.

So we would sit down together and I would get him to explain to me what his drawings meant and what he was trying to achieve, and most of the time I would fully understand what it was he was trying to put down onto paper and then they made sense.

This sort of thing went on for weeks, and after a while I just thought, whats the point of just having all this on paper. Why not just create a game? So thats what we did.

I’d never created an iPhone game before, so this was a learning curve for me. If I did know what I was doing from the start, then it probably wouldn’t have taken so long to create the game, but i’m not bothered about that. There was no rush. The game would be finished when it was ready. I began to do my own drawings, and tried to incorporate as many of Tyler’s ideas into the game as possible, and of course come up with my own ideas.

The idea behind the game was simple, you were the main character, “Spud”, and your weapon was a spud gun. The aim of the game was to point, aim and then fire your spud gun, and to make sure you hit the targets which of course becomes harder and harder throughout the game.

You could call it a “physics puzzler,” as I was using a physics-based algorithm to get the natural movements and explosions of the spud balls, and other objects such as boxes and walls would need to be blown around the screen in a natural manner, all of which added to the game and made it more of a challenge for you to complete your mission.

During the development, Tyler, my son would go into school telling all his mates he was creating his own new game and he thought that was great. Out of all this, the thing i enjoyed the most was seeing him take such a huge interest in something, and I know its a skill he can develop and use later on in life. Plus I got to spend loads of quality time with him, and play computer games which is always nice.

So over a year later, the game is finally complete, and i have been through the Apple App Store approval process and now it’s finally online and ready for sale. Our local newspaper here in the north east of England also ran a story on what we had achieved, which was great for the launch of the app.

The day after the app went live, my son went into school beaming and couldn’t wait to tell his teacher, and what I thought was a really nice touch, the school arranged for him to get a special certificate and all his classmates gave him a big round of applause. He was extremely happy.

The plan going forward is to add new features such as “Game Center” support and more levels and hope that the general public notice the game and start downloading it.

Spud Gun Attack is available on the App Store now!

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This entry has 4 replies

  1. It looks like the game fragger, and looks like a really fun game! Tell him nice work and keep it up! Both of you make a great team 🙂

  2. Andre says:

    Excellent! post. I wish you all the success you guys deserve

  3. NemOry says:

    I would want to get help making my levels from your son. )

  4. Jack Leonard says:

    I want to hire you’re son! 😉