Writing Mobile Games for Fun! (and Profit?)

Category: Articles Published: Tuesday, 05 July 2016 Written by James Durie

Two years ago Troy and I were chatting about Flappy Bird.

"It's a shit game," he said.
"It's made a lot of money," I said.
"We could come up with something better," he said.

So we hashed out an idea for a game called "Space Miner Rescue", a game about piloting a drop ship down mineshafts in asteroids to rescue miners. I never took it that seriously but Troy took the idea and wrote it up and started coding it. That idea morphed in to our first game "The Shaft". So we started developing the game for Android in our spare time outside of work and published it a few months later.


Since then we have spent our time coding the games. Setting up admob accounts and adsense accounts and UnityAds accounts and so on. Defining games in the google developer console. Creating morphing and spinning logos. Making sound effects. Finding music tracks (free ones). Learning how to draw in "The GIMP" and "Inkscape". We even did an evening class "Drawing and Painting for Beginners". It can be a little exhausting.


Now 2 years later we have just released our 4th game "Bangy Dots!" and we have learnt a lot in those 2 years. We learnt that game dev is fun and incredibly rewarding, seeing people from all over the world play our games. Primarily, we have learnt that making money from game development is something of a crap shoot. Yes, you can make money if you get lucky, but most likely you wont (at least not much). The other major thing we learnt "Marketing is hard". Now you may disagree here but you are not us. We are developers. We do not have marketing experience. We don't have a massive list of contacts in the press that we can email our latest press release to. Hell, we didn't even have press releases until recently.


We're still going though. Still making games. Still cheering every install. Still grimacing at every uninstall.
Troy is writing a new core library that all of our future games will use and it is awesome. The demo game he has written is only a small amount of code and yet achieves so much. I am busy "marketing" Bangy Dots and trying not to tear my hair out and adding JellyFish to our silly "Lifestyle" app Happiness.

We may get there we may not but we will have fun along the way.


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