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Mobile Game Design Essentials

Book Description

A useful and detailed resource for designing games for mobile devices

  • Packed with the best practices in game development, and the methodologies and tricks to create fun, polished games Detailed descriptions of software and methodologies to create graphics and audio for video games References to the most popular programming and scripting languages and development kits

In Detail

The videogame industry is not affected by the economic crisis as the market expands each year. In addition to that, the mobile market offers the opportunity to small teams with limited budgets to create successful games that can compete with the big companies. This is a guide to help you take a share of this huge market.Mobile Game Design Essentials will teach you how to develop professional quality games for mobile platforms. You will learn how to take advantage of devices and their built-in technologies. Get to know the best software and programming languages to create videogames from scratch and detailed tutorials to get your hands dirty with the common practices of game development.Mobile Game Design Essentials introduces you to smartphones, their operating systems, and development environments. It describes in detail the roles required by an indie team of mobile developers, the most popular software to create graphics and audio for games, the most used programming languages, and the best game engines. It also provides several tutorials detailing efficient game development and prototyping.Starting with a description of the mobile platforms and the roles to cover when building up your own indie team, Mobile Game Design Essentials then provides a description of the techniques and software used to create graphics and audio for games and the coding languages and development environments used by programmers. It also aims to acquaint you with the best practices of mobile game design and development, by addressing the importance of the prototype-test-polish cycle and the analysis of the distinctive aspects of mobile game design. Finally, it concludes with a step-by-step guide to create the presentation document for your next mobile game.Mobile Game Design Essentials covers everything you need to know to get started in the mobile game industry; from collecting your team, recommendations on development software, to marketing and publication.

Table of Contents

  1. Mobile Game Design Essentials
    1. Table of Contents
    2. Mobile Game Design Essentials
    3. Credits
    4. About the Authors
    5. About the Reviewers
    6. www.PacktPub.com
      1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers and more
        1. Why Subscribe?
        2. Free Access for Packt account holders
    7. Preface
      1. What this book covers
      2. What you need for this book
      3. Who this book is for
      4. Conventions
      5. Reader feedback
      6. Customer support
      7. Downloading the color images of this book
        1. Errata
        2. Piracy
        3. Questions
    8. 1. Operating Systems – Mobile and Otherwise
      1. Operating systems
      2. Mobile operating systems
        1. Android
          1. Google Play and Amazon Appstore
          2. App development
          3. Games for Android
          4. Eclipse versus Intellij
        2. iOS
          1. The App Store
          2. Development on iOS
          3. Xcode
          4. Using Xcode
        3. Windows Phone
          1. Windows Phone Store
          2. Developing apps with Windows Phone
          3. Developing a game for Windows Phone with XNA
        4. Java ME
          1. Developing games with Java ME
          2. NetBeans
        5. BlackBerry
          1. The BlackBerry App World
          2. Developing games for BlackBerry
      3. Summary
    9. 2. The Mobile Indie Team
      1. A matter of size
      2. Key roles in a successful team
      3. What it takes
        1. Commitment
        2. Cohesion
        3. Software development methodologies
        4. Discipline
        5. Professional training
        6. Passion for games
      4. The roles in an indie mobile team
        1. The game designer
          1. Designer at work
          2. Designer tools
          3. The practices of game design
          4. Academic formation and personality
        2. No game is ever done!
      5. The game artist
        1. Brushes and canvas
        2. Forms of art
        3. 2D graphic assets
        4. 3D graphic assets
        5. Art schools and creative types
      6. The programmer
        1. The programmer's kit
        2. Coding departments
        3. Learning to be a programmer
      7. The game tester
        1. The tools of deconstruction
        2. Aspects of game testing
      8. Skills of a professional player
      9. University of Gamestop
      10. The game producer
        1. Keeping things organized
        2. Key questions of a producer
        3. Skills for all!
        4. Who is the producer?
      11. The sound designer
        1. Creating music and sound fx
        2. Audio skills and tasks
          1. Schools of sound production
        3. Audio personality
      12. Summary
    10. 3. Graphics for Mobile
      1. Pixels and vectors
        1. Pixels
        2. Vectors
      2. The graphic file formats
        1. Raster graphics
        2. Vector graphics
        3. Videos in videogames
      3. Software to create game graphics
      4. Resolution issues with mobile games
      5. 2D graphic assets
        1. Sprites
        2. Backgrounds
        3. Tiles
        4. The parallax motion
        5. Masking
      6. 3D graphic assets
        1. 3D models
        2. Texturing
        3. Materials
        4. UV Mapping
        5. More on textures
        6. Baking
        7. Animations
      7. Designing a character for mobile
        1. The character design process
        2. Silhouettes
      8. Colors for mobile
      9. The user interface and HUD
      10. Summary
    11. 4. Audio for Mobile
      1. Digital sound technology
        1. Analog versus digital
        2. Recording and playback
          1. Recording
            1. The sample rate
            2. The word length
            3. Compression
              1. Uncompressed
              2. Lossless compression
              3. Lossy compression
        3. Playback
      2. Types of game sounds
        1. Dynamic audio
          1. Adaptive audio
          2. Interactive audio
        2. Non-Dynamic linear sounds and music
        3. Diegetic sounds
          1. Adaptive
          2. Interactive
          3. Non-Dynamic
        4. Non-Diegetic sounds
          1. Adaptive
          2. Interactive
        5. Kinetic gestural interaction
      3. The audio editing software
        1. Avid Pro Tools
        2. Sound Forge/Sonic Foundry
        3. Audacity
        4. Ableton Live
      4. Designing audio for mobile games
        1. Planning the audio in advance
        2. Hardware limitations for mobile games audio
        3. The role of audio in mobile games
        4. Listening conditions for mobile games
      5. Best practices for mobile games audio design
        1. Scripting skills for a mobile audio designer
        2. File compression
        3. Looping background music
        4. To learn more
        5. Final advice
      6. Summary
    12. 5. Coding Games
      1. Main features of programming languages
        1. Libraries
        2. Abstraction
        3. Implementation
        4. Usage
      2. Game programming
      3. C++
        1. Memory management
        2. Objects
        3. Complaints about C++
      4. Java
        1. Memory management
        2. Syntax
        3. Java for mobile – Java ME
        4. Objective-C
          1. Cocoa
          2. Cocoa Touch
        5. Xcode
          1. Working with objects
          2. Extending classes with categories
          3. Protocols define messaging contracts
          4. Values and collections
          5. Blocks
          6. Objective-C conventions
          7. Getting started
        6. HTML5
          1. Canvas
          2. HTML5 and Flash
          3. Issues with HTML5
          4. HTML5 games
        7. Conclusions
      5. Scripting languages
      6. Structure of a game program
        1. Initialization
        2. The game loop
        3. Termination
        4. Conclusion
      7. Summary
    13. 6. Mobile Game Controls
      1. Input technology
      2. Touchscreens
      3. Keypads
      4. Touchscreen gestures
        1. Single–tap
        2. Double–tap
        3. Long press
        4. Scroll
        5. Spread and pinch
        6. Pan
        7. Flick
        8. Multifinger tap
        9. Multifinger scroll
        10. Rotate
      5. Input interfaces for mobile games
      6. Built-in devices
        1. GPS
        2. Accelerometer
        3. Camera
        4. Microphone
        5. External controllers
          1. Gamepads
          2. Analog sticks
          3. Touch-enabled cases
          4. Grip
          5. Cabinets
          6. Headphones
      7. Future technologies
        1. Eye tracking
        2. Brainwave readers
      8. Summary
    14. 7. Interface Design for Mobile Games
      1. The role of the user interface
      2. Approaching user interface design
        1. UI in videogames
      3. Designing the UI
        1. Aesthetics
        2. More on vectors and rasters
        3. Designing icons
      4. Best practices in UI design
        1. Search for references
        2. The screen flow
        3. Functionality
        4. Wireframes
        5. The button size
        6. The main screen
        7. Test and iterate
        8. Evergreen options
          1. Multiple save slots
          2. Screen rotation
          3. Calibrations and reconfigurations
          4. Challenges
          5. Experiment
      5. Summary
    15. 8. Mobile Game Engines
      1. What engines can do
      2. What engines can't do
      3. Game engines
        1. 2D game engines
          1. Torque 2D
          2. Cocos2D
          3. Corona SDK
        2. 3D game engines
          1. Shiva 3D
          2. Unity 3D
        3. Top-quality engines
          1. Unreal/UDK
        4. Educational engines
          1. GameMaker
          2. GameSalad
      4. Unity3D Tutorial – part 1
        1. Tutorial part 1A – importing 3D models
        2. Tutorial part 1B – setting up the scene
      5. Summary
    16. 9. Prototyping
      1. Steps in the prototyping process
        1. Defining the prototype
        2. Building the prototype
        3. Testing the prototype
        4. Fixing the prototype
      2. Prototyping styles
        1. Horizontal prototype
        2. Vertical prototype
      3. Types of prototyping
        1. Disposable code
          1. Your imagination
          2. Pencil and paper
          3. Visual prototypes
          4. Interactive prototypes
          5. Reusable code
      4. Why prototype?
      5. What to avoid
      6. Tools
        1. Tools for rapid prototyping
      7. Unity3D tutorial – part 2
        1. The player's ship
        2. The aliens
        3. Firing
      8. Summary
    17. 10. Balancing, Tuning, and Polishing Mobile Games
      1. Balancing
        1. Symmetry
        2. Randomization
        3. Feedback loops
        4. Game director
        5. Statistics
      2. Tuning
        1. Tuning strategies
      3. Difficulty settings
        1. Global difficulty
      4. Unity 3D tutorial – part 3
        1. The barriers
        2. The player's ship reprise
        3. Refining the details
        4. Adding a GUI
        5. Adding audio effects
        6. Particle system effects
        7. Unity 3D tutorial summary
      5. Summary
    18. 11. Mobile Game Design
      1. The basic game design process
      2. The dos and don'ts of game design
        1. Dos
        2. Don'ts
      3. Designing mobile games
        1. Hardware limitations
          1. Screen size
          2. Game controls
          3. Audio output
          4. File size
          5. Processing power
        2. Mobile design constraints
          1. Play time
          2. Game depth
          3. Mobile environment
          4. Smartphones
          5. Single player versus multiplayer
      4. The mobile market
      5. Mobile gamers
      6. Business models
        1. Premium
        2. Freemium
        3. Ad supported
        4. Hybrid
        5. Choosing the right business model
      7. What makes games fun
        1. The four keys to fun – the game mechanics that drive play
          1. Hard fun – emotions from meaningful challenges, strategies, and puzzles
          2. Easy fun – grab attention with ambiguity, incompleteness, and detail
          3. The people factor – create opportunities for player competition, cooperation, performance, and spectacle
        2. Raph Koster and Roger Caillois
      8. Summary
    19. 12. Pitching a Mobile Game
      1. The pitch document
        1. Importance of pitching
      2. Game concept
        1. References
        2. Prototypes
        3. Stuck?
        4. Genre
        5. Target audience
        6. Key features
        7. Target platform and competitors
      3. Game mechanics
        1. Control scheme and interface
        2. Scoring system and achievements
        3. A gameplay example
        4. Screen flow and screens relationship
        5. Game flow
      4. Tech
        1. Screenshot
        2. Team/Designer resume
      5. Lilypads pitch document
        1. Concept
        2. Genre
        3. References
        4. Target
        5. Platform
        6. Competitors
        7. Key features
      6. Character design
      7. Game mechanics
        1. Score
        2. Virtual currency
        3. IAP (In-App Purchase)
        4. Achievements and leaderboards
        5. Additional game elements
        6. Screen flow
        7. Game flow
      8. Tech
        1. Game features
        2. Platform
          1. The iPhone 4
        3. Game screen study
        4. A list of assets
          1. Graphics
          2. Audio
          3. Software
          4. Schedule and budget
      9. Summary
    20. Index