Axel Paris - PhD Student in Computer Graphics

Home   Publications   Resume   Email   Twitter


March 10, 2018

Equilibrium is an arcade android video game I made with two other friends. The prototype was developed by all three and I continued the programming afterwards, getting help with the game design and the graphics part. The whole project took about two or three month to complete, from the first idea to the publication on the google store. We made a few updates after the launch and got 2000 downloads all together, then stopped working on it. This is post is a bit like a post mortem of the development and update process as well an advertising if you are looking for something to play.

I won’t go into details about how the game works - you can play it yourself in a matter of minutes. I am just going to try to get you a sense of how long it was to get the game published on the google store.

The Prototype

Me and my friends are very good at prototyping things, and I assume many people are as well. You sometimes see crazy things in progress on the internet that are being developped by talented people. In about three weeks, we had the whole gameplay done for Equilibrium. The next three months of development were spent doing polish work, graphics, adjustments and game design. It might seem a bit long for such a simple game, but the thing is games are complex, even the simplest ones, and it can take a LONG time to sort out just a menu, an animation or a mesh color.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any screenshot from the beginning of the project - but it would look almost the same as it looks now (at least the game scene, we didn’t have a menu at first). One could say 90% of the core work, the concept was done in 10% of the time, and it is mostly true for Equilibrium.
Screenshots of the current game available on the store

The other 10%

The other 10% took 90% of the time: bug fixing, polishing colors, making a menu, difficulty adjustments, creating the store pages, testing on various phones… Using Unity made the whole process a lot easier since exporting on Android is very easy. We also found the behavior very consistent on different phones, receiving very few complains about something not working. Fun fact: the game also worked on Chrome books because we let the key inputs we used for debugging the program inside the release build, which made one happy user at least.
The game menu which took multiple weeks to do - we couldn't agree on the design. The right figure shows the game store where you can 'buy' (with fictive ingame money) some goodies.

We also tried to make our own music - but we were not good enough to pull it through so we used the very good music done by Kevin Macleod. Altogether, it was a great experience to produce something, even a simple game from start to finish and I learned a lot in the process, and not just programming: preparing assets, screenshots, speech and store page were all things I never did before Equilibrium.

If you want to create something similar (I can’t say for bigger scope projects since I am struggling myself to finish one) my advice would be to find a simple core gameplay that can be prototyped quickly (a few weeks is good). Test it on some friends to see if they like it. After that, if you really want to publish it it’s just a matter of time and determination before it’s done.