Continuing from where we'd left. Its time to get into the typical process of mobile game development - lets call it 'Life of a mobile game'.
Day 0 - A game idea is born!
The starting point
Keeping all the things mentioned in Part I in mind, the starting point for a game is – your mind. The whole cycle begins from an idea that you get (while you were perhaps taking bath in cold water on a chilly Monday morning ;-). The first step would be to document this into a form that even a layman could understand and appreciate. If possible (if you can draw decently well), add mock up-screen shots as well.
Remember, a sketch is sometimes better than a thousand words. Present your concept to your colleagues/ friends and get their feedback on it. Obviously, one attitude a game designer must have is to be very open to criticism.
Documenting the concept
So now your concept document is ready. It’s time then to create the design document. The design document essentially connects the concept to the intended game play and takes into account the constraints that might be imposed by the target handsets. The design document should be treated as the main reference material for your game project. It would be a living document which grows with your project. The design document should capture the aim of the game; describe the characters, friendly objects, enemies, platforms, levels and how each of these
elements would interact with each other in simple words. It could also specify which keys are supposed to do what function in the game, the target handsets and the audience.
End of Month 1, still doesn't say ‘mama’
As a part of the design process, you must have also come up with a list of graphics assets that will be required in the game. The artwork is the skin and clothes for your game. It is what will be visible to the rest of the world. Make your artwork as snazzy as possible. The specialized art-form for mobile games is called pixel art. (It is a specialization skill in itself – google it out to know its wonders).
As to how exactly a tile-map and a tile-sheet (an image containing the set of tiles) can be used to render a background and thus design game levels is something we will investigate in the next article.
As an exercise, google out the terms mentioned in bold in this article and know more about them. For the more enterprising readers, do go ahead and make a tile drawing algorithm! And do post a comment if you need any help.