Illogika

Frog puzzle : Developing a video game on your own

By Guillaume

March 26 2021

When I'm not working on a project at iLLOGIKA, I like developing mobile games on my own. This allows me to consolidate my achievements but also explore areas that I do not know well. I had already developed a few games before arriving at my current position including a game called Frog Puzzle, but it was yet to be completed. With the experience gained on various projects during my work, I was able to get back to it in 2019 and put some love to give it a second life.

I started working on the interface in its entirety which made me progress on Gimp for the creation of 2D assets and on the use of DOTween in Unity to animate the menus and each element of the UI.

The next step was more ambitious because I wanted to develop the community aspect of the game, allowing players to easily add their puzzles, rate the puzzles created by other players and sort / filter the puzzles. After some research, I decided to use Firebase which offers an online authentication and database service but had to learn to use it. I wrote some scripts in javascript, imagined the data structure, the security rules and programmed all the logic on the Unity side. It was successful and there are now over 2000 puzzles in the game...but I have also learned from the mistakes I made in that first attempt.

Indeed…! I wanted to personally filter the puzzles that were added to the game, the reason being that I had received puzzles in the past (via a QR code system) that were not at all interesting and had no place in the game. I wanted players to see only good puzzles in the game so they didn't waste time sorting them out themselves. Unfortunately I received (via Firebase then) so many more puzzles than expected that it had become unmanageable! I had to decide to remove the possibility of sending puzzles. Even though the game is not that much impacted by this decision since it offers over 2000 puzzles, it's still a bit sad.

The second mistake I made was to not save the date the puzzles were added in my data recording...resulting in puzzles being presented in bulk. For example, I could have rankings for the best puzzles of the week, or be able to put aside the oldest puzzles etc.

All of this can be fixed and I plan to do it in the next game I am developing (still a puzzle game!). I am planning to develop a system which allows players to sort the puzzles themselves without the good ones being drowned in the middle of the bad ones, and also improve the way they are presented, organized and used.

If all goes well with my next game then I will probably come back to Frog Puzzle to set up a similar system there, and then maybe even on my previous game Fantasy Tactics in which there is not even a puzzle editor yet.

Ultimately everything I learn by making games on my own is useful in my work, and what I learn at work allows me to improve my games. It is a virtuous circle that I hope to continue to maintain in the years to come!

 

Would you like to play? Download the game here:

Android : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.giyomu.frogtactics

iOS : https://apps.apple.com/us/app/frog-puzzle/id1485651048