Mobile Monday & Gelluloid: Micro War Strategy

28 Jan

Mobile Monday is an event held by ClujHUB every last Monday of every month. They invite everyone to join and even speak in these meet-ups, with one single rule: that the subject is mobile oriented.

This month's speakers were two game developers who worked on their game for more than two years. They explained the game, talked about the development process, what problems they encountered and gave us a sneak peek of what we should expect from them in the future.

But let's talk about their company first. They named themselves "Tractor, Set, GO! - An indie game development and interactive media company." They started working on games in their free time and now they've expanded and are full time game developers.

Their game, which was presented in this meet-up, is named Gelluloid and was released on iOS on this occasion. The Android version is live for quite a while now, so I've also got some market statistics to tell you.

The game is about cells that are either yours, neutral or the enemies', and your goal is to conquer the enemies' cells. Easier said than done, since both you and your enemies have the same goal. With a great AI, graphics, sound and complex levels, this game is one of the best strategic games I've played on a mobile device.

They used Cocos2D and C++ in their development, talked about their drawbacks and how they solved them. One of the issues they encountered was how to lower the memory usage. Having a lot of moving elements with each one having a different movement and design can easily exceed a mobile's memory. As they tried to make it available on all devices regardless of screen-size or specs, they had to optimise their game with all sorts of methods, like using sprites instead of images. Not needing to open another image every new action has reduced the animation to 10 movements/element.

Another thing that I applaud is that they made everything in-house. Meaning that the code, animations, drawings, sounds, level detail, achievements are made by them. They also did the beta testing, inviting friends over to see how they play the game.

After the game was finished, it made its appearance in the Play Store with no marketing beforehand. This had to be said, because the game blew off with IGN, Apps Zoom and Tested.com, receiving positive reviews. These gave the game a big helping hand and made the app be downloaded over 40,000 times from people all over the world.

Overall, Mobile Monday is a great way to get to hear stories and experiences from other people in the mobile world. I give it a 10 out of 10, would go again.


Some links relevant to the article:

Mobile Monday: http://www.meetup.com/Cluj-Mobile-Developers/

Tractor, Set, GO!: http://www.tractorsetgo.com/

Gelluloid: http://www.gelluloid.com/


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