Dev Diary: Not that one, either

All of the games I’ve made so far have used software called GameMaker, which I got cheap licences for on Humble Bundle ages ago. There’s been a new version out for quite some time, but it costs more than I’m willing to spend on a hobby, so I’ve never upgraded, which means I’ve never been able to try making a mobile game, since the old version of GameMaker doesn’t produce Android games in a format that the Play Store will accept.

Over the most recent lockdown in Auckland, I started playing around with Godot, a different tool that’s free and exports to Android just fine. I’d had an idea for a mobile game for ages – I wanted a game where you tapped the screen to make explosions, which would send balls (or something) flying around the screen in a pleasingly chaotic way. Once I got to grips with Godot (it seems to assume a lot more developer knowledge than I have, so it’s not super intuitive), I whipped up a wee prototype and then started trying to turn it into an actual game.

My first thoughts were to make some sort of a Breakout game where you’re blasting balls into bricks to destroy them, but I couldn’t figure out how to make that work – either you lose when a ball goes out the bottom of the screen like in normal Breakout, which would make the game annoying and difficult; or you don’t, in which case it’d be impossible to lose. So then I thought “what if the idea is to blast the balls into targets of some kind, like getting pool balls into pockets?” And without processing the idea any further than that, I went and made EXPLODOPOOL:

Getting it onto the Google Play Store was relatively easy (and cost the princely sum of $25 to sign up for a developer account) – you can find it there now:

Explodopool on the Play Store

(I’ve been asked about an iOS version – while exporting to iOS from Godot would be trickier, but not impossible, it turns out that signing up for an Apple developer account costs $150. Per year. So I won’t be doing that.)

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