Making Indie iOS Games

indie ios games by J.E.Moores

On November 24, 2018 I gave myself a winter challenge. I wanted to learn how to create video games for Android and iOS. I subscribed to Buildbox and began working on a Wiggly Loaf game. I followed all the Buildbox video tutorials on YouTube, and bit by bit I built my game. I got geeky with it. I wanted the Wiggly Loaf game to look like it was animated on a chalkboard. I discovered a program called Doodly that filters my ink drawings of Wiggly Loaf into a blackboard chalk version. Even though the program is intended for other things, I painstakingly screen capped each instance of the Wiggly Loaf animation through the Doodly program to create all the chalkboard sprites of the game.

Making sprites took several long days. I found myself working 16 or more hours a day, crashing, waking up thinking about the mechanics of the game, and getting back on the computer. My desk was cluttered with energy bars and the much needed bottle of water to keep me going. I became a game making curmudgeon.

Knowing what I wanted the game to do and figuring out how to get Buildbox to do it was part of the fun for me. The game of making games is what I’m into. There is a delight to trying different settings until you find what you want or discover something you didn’t know was possible. It can be very exciting for a geek like me. So many parameters to tweak, and you know how I love to tweak parameters.

Luckily I married a very geeky girl. I asked my sweet wife to research creating apps on Xcode and uploading games to iOS store while I blitzkrieg the game into shape. I don’t think my brain would have the capacity to learn how to make and publish my own game in the time frame I wanted. I had been looking for a project she and I could do together and we became a team figuring it out.

I worked every day, often 18 hours with only snack breaks. By the time I was near done I was delirious and haggard. It was awesome. I love that feeling of giving my all and getting remarkable results. Wiggly Loaf was coming together and I was psyched!

By December 19, we were in the race to get the Wiggly Loaf app in for approval before the Official Apple App Approvers all went on their week long holiday break. By the skin of our teeth we got Wiggly Loaf on the iOS app store before Christmas. We did this clever promotion where we asked Wiggly Loaf Fans to submit Shout Outs to friends to be published on the walls of the chalkboard in the game. We updated the game with the personal shout outs by New Years, and they shared the app with friends and family who in turn found a shout out in the game just for them! What a sweet gift for the world and a huge success for learning how to make my first game.

So it’s possible to go from knowin’ damn near nothing to a self published indie game developer in under one month. My Buildbox subscription is $199/year. The developer fee at iOS is $99. I put about 240 hours in to make my first game. My games are already on their way to ROI due to the Google ads I placed in the free games.

While learning to make Wiggly, I started a few ideas for other games. I worked them to completion and have been able to publish a game about every month since I began making indie games. So if you have ever wanted to learn how to program video games of your very own, I believe you can do it. You’re only about 300 hours and 300 dollars away from creating your first game. I say, let nothing stop you.

Now after a few days battling with Android Studio Eclipse I can now export my games to the Google Play store for Android. It’s the gift that keeps giving!

Indie Video Games by J.E.Moores: iOS – Android

Andy’s Lard Quest

Andy's Lard Quest

Andy's Lard Quest for Android

Andy’s Lard Quest Rules

The game opens to a menu of heads you can unlock by collecting chickens. The price of each head is under the head. You must play the Egg Man until you collect enough chickens to unlock the other heads. The other heads have different super powers that add to game play.

To play, click play. The interface is simple. Tap to make the character drop. You bounce your head through the platform levels avoiding enemies.

Collect chicken and cans of lard. If you collect 9 cans of lard in one session without dying, you will enter the most awesome Lard Wars level and battle giant kaiju cats for a whole lotta chicken. Once you crash and die, your lard count returns to zero and you return to the head menu with all the chickens you gathered.

Hot dogs make you invincible. When you eat a hot dog, you turn into an indestructible hamburger. You can smash anything. It feels really good too.

Society the cat tosses some very useful cat balls. When hit, cat balls kill all enemies in sight, but each cat ball you use cost 25 chickens. That’s a lot of chickens! Use cat balls sparingly or you could lose all your chickens.

Avoid everything else because it’s EVIL! If you touch it, it will kill you. Here’s a tip, if it shoots a pink laser beam at you, you must try to let the laser beam touch you. The laser beam powers you up and turns you into an indestructible fish bowl for 3 seconds, and you can beat the beast by smashing it to smithereens.

While you are playing, notice the can of lard in the top right corner. To its right you see a count of how many lard you have collected during your session. If you click the lard can it will bring you to the head menu if you want to unlock or switch to a different head to play.

At the bottom of the heads menu you will see Little Andy flipping out. Once you have enough chickens you can unlock the Bonus Level. Just click Little Andy to get there.

The goal is to unlock all 20+ heads and Little Andy’s bonus level.

About Andy’s Lard Quest

So I wanted to make a weird indie game from the strange stuff here at my house. First up is Andy, a duct tape voodoo doll my daughter made when she was just a wee one. Now a teen, I told her I was using Andy in my game, and she cringed. So far, so good.

There is Cosmo my dog, and Society my cat. There is a scary stick I found on the ground last summer. I thought it looked like a kaiju monster, so I glued googly eyes on his face and named him Xerxes. Now he’s flying around causing all kinds of mayhem in this game! There’s a floating rubber glove guy, a tons of ants, and rubber chickens are the currency you collect to unlock everything.

You start out as a fragile egg, and as you collect rubber chickens, you can trade them in for other fancy new heads that have all new super powers and moves.

Once you collect enough rubber chickens you can unlock the Bonus Level where the shrimp are running like mad! With 20+ different heads to unlock and play, and a bonus level to unlock, this insane game will have your friends wondering what the hell you’re doing. If they ask, just tell ’em you’re on a LARD QUEST!

Game music, To Town I Go by mopehead & Tony Iuppa from: Hauntscapes.com
Andy and other duct tape art by Malaya from: DesignCutie.com
Nature sounds from: Yellowstone National Park Sound Library
Cosmo the wonder dog courtesy of: TimeBrats.com

Andy's Lard Quest for Android