Coba Games is a start-up indie games development company located in Canberra, Australia. In our day jobs, we work as software developers. But our real passion was in what we spent most of our time doing outside of work…playing games. It has always been a dream for us to merge the two worlds and kick-start a games development company. So, fast forward a few years later and with a new addition of our kickass graphic designer and a bit of blood sweat and tears….we are finally here! With our first manga styled puzzle action game in the works, we are excited with what the future holds. Please support us!
Developer: Here is an awesome idea, and since I am a great developer, lets make a system around this idea. Everyone will love it, it will be viral and we can make millions of $$ out of it. (this is me :))
YOU ARE DREAMING MR. DEVELOPER!
There can be few more questions like these. For me the dream system was the game I was developing. Lucky for me that I had realised that without marketing, it's almost impossible make even a single dollar out of any game (most of the times). Being a developer, working for companies and developing corporate system can make the brain work in a static way (not in a bad way). An illusion is created, "lets make that next facebook" (....please).
So I started looking for answers over the internet. I came across this blog in the Gamasutra web site: Building Buzz for Indie Games, brilliant article by Paul Taylor. I would recommend this to anyone looking for some tips in marketing. I have also found this awesome video on the YouTube, it has 800 odd views, but anyone who has no idea where to start, should watch this video. This video will give a fair bit of idea how to start the marketing journey.
I will be writing more and more on my marketing experiences and experiments. So please keep in touch and join me in my group here "social media marketing for indie game developers" where we can share our views and experiences on marketing.
…story continued from Road to cobagames part 3
David and I were looking for some great graphics to compliment our ninja game concept. Initial idea was as simple as having a static screen where ninja appears in the background and the player has to shoot shurikens to kill them and gain points. I started looking for sites where we could outsource the graphics. This is when I found "odesk" where I posted a job. Within couple of days I had received 20 applications. To get the best available graphic designer, I had requested every applicant (within our budget) to come up with a ninja avatar. We had a few responses, but one of the applicants caught my eyes.
I showed this sample image to David and he was impressed too. After few discussions, we made a decision to hire this designer. This was our main man, Eldridge Que. We decided on a time to get together for a skype meeting to explain to him our game concept. Eldridge was highly experienced in designing sprites for games and we considered ourselves lucky to hire him as a team member in our venture. It was very easy to explain to him what we wanted. The best part was, he used to come up with ideas we liked even better than what we thought about in the first place. After explaining the concept to him for the first time, he came up with a mockup. This was the first milestone as far as our game was concerned.
As we proceeded further, the concept of the game kept changing and obviously the current version does not look anything like the image displayed here :). Our game is still evolving as we speak.
As we proceed in this venture, I am going to share our experience on social media marketing. I have also created a group in the website indiedb.com, please join me here to listen and share the experience on making and marketing our games. Thanks for listening and good luck to all!
…story continued from Road to cobagames part 2
I had a (bookish) working knowledge of cocos2d framework, only thing I needed was the following:
One thing I had learned after reading all these motivational articles was, never try a start-up on your own, find a co-founder for your start-up who can compliment your work and dream. I approached a friend of mine (David Ly) who used to work with me couple of years ago. He is a gamer and has a creative brain. I told him about my vision to get into game development and how I have been learning this framework. Since he already had a passion for gaming, I did not had to work hard to persuade him. We started discussing about game concepts in a few weeks time and agreed on a concept of (some kind of) ninja game. The reason we reached this decision was that, we both loved to watch manga in our spare times. Now, we had a game concept and a co-founder. Next question in the queue was "which gaming platform are we going to use?". I am an apple fan, and the fact I chose cocos2d platform was it was based on Objective C. David had an Android (Samsung S3) phone he wanted to build a game we could deploy cross platform. This was our first conflict as co-founders. After few discussions I had to back down and the hunt for a cross platform framework was on.
Luckily we found "cocos2d-x" framework. Cocos2d-x guys had ported cocos2d platform from Objective C to C++. Good news was we settled on a platform, bad news was C++, yes I had to freshen up on another programming language in addition to Objective C :). While this was a big pain, this was the only logical path for us to move forward. I had a few challenges in-front of me, refresh my C++ memory and convert my cocos2d knowledge to cocos2d-x. This platform was fairly new and the only book I had found on this was "Learning cocos2d-x by examples". It took me a few weeks to get my head around this platform and create MVC design as mentioned in my previous post. Now that we were ready to roll, next hurdle was the major one, "Graphic Design" :). David had some basic knowledge on this, but we did not wanted to settle for anything less than perfect, knowing how important graphic design is in gaming. I will write more on how we got around this hurdle in my next post :)
continue reading Road to cobagames part 4…
...story continued from Road to cobagames part 1
We have sold a business (hunterhomes) and I have some idle time in hand (apart from full time day job) :). I had a working knowledge of Objective C and a live app in iTunes store. Next step was to learn games programming from scratch. All I knew was the term "OpenGL" is used for this. By all means, looks like I was never going to reach my goal ever. So I start Googling about game programming in Objective C. After searching for a while, I found a blog which described how to make array of sprites animate on the screen. Thanks to iCodeBlog I finally had an idea about how to make this happen. While this article was great to get the head around, I knew that there was a huge mountain to climb.
On searching further on the web, I came across an open source platform called "cocos2d for iPhone". This is where it all started. After reading about this platform, I realised that while the platform was great to start developing, in order to make a proper game of some kind, some (too much) reading is required. A book which can explain this platform in a proper framework sort of way. If we are getting into this business seriously, some kind of design and architecture is required around the development. Now the time was for Googling a bit further. After reading some posts and looking around, I came across this book called "Learning cocos2d". This is a highly recommended book for anyone who want their code to look pretty and designed properly using cocos2d platform. This book shows how to implement "MVC" (Model View Controller) pattern for cocos2d framework. This is where the interesting (and hard) bit started. Transition from web development to games programming was a journey I can never forget :)
What we have been up to so far...We have been busy working on our latest mobile game "Masato" which will encompass a unique mix of mind boggling puzzlers and heart thumping action all wrapped up in a captivating story and manga styled animation....sold yet? During the last few months we have been dusting the cob webs off of the old noggin and started to plan the stages, build up the story for our fateful hero "Masato" and produce a lot of graphics and code.We are excited with the progress of the game so far, and are currently working on stage one with the initial version near completion. Yatta! Go team.Stay tuned for more updates. We will also be adding regular dev blogs too for all the gun coders out there.
Being from the Microsoft development background, it was a steep learning curve once we made the decision to create a game for iOS platform. Yes, initially I did not even think of Android. So the decision back then was go native, which means learn Objective C. We could not see end of the road, game concept was not even a priority. I went ahead and bought "Programming in Objective C" and the journey started. I had a fairly good software development background and therefore after reading a few chapters and kicking my head against my Mac-book Pro, I was fairly confident to give it a go.
Few months later Aaron managed to crack a deal with Canberra's leading real estate web site All Homes Pty Ltd. We hit a major milestone, celebrations were on, a big chapter was closed. Now was the time to re visit our unnamed game app :)
continue reading Road to cobagames part 2...