Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Making of Trouser Trouble

The game has already been out on Android Market for two months now but I figured I might as well do little write-up about the project, since I've taken up the blog again.

It all started back in january. I was having lunch with a friend and we were talking about work and stuff and how nice it would be to make money without working. He casually suggested that I should start making games for Android. Having just returned to work at M&D and being generally uninterested in mobile phones I was rather dismissive of the idea and jokingly said that I would much rather keep working on my 3d pants removal technology. The words had hardly left my mouth before a brilliant idea struck me; to my combine pants removal tech with Androids touch screen interface and make game were you pull down people's pants.

That very same evening I downloaded the Android SDK and set to work, convinced this idea would make me rich (well maybe not really). I started porting my engine to Java, rewriting it file by file. It wasn't until a week later that someone told me about the ndk, and that it was actually possible to code in C++ for Android. By that time I had nearly gotten it running, and the official documentation pretty much advised against using the NDK anyway so I kept at it. I was willing to give Java the benefit of the doubt despite my extreme prejudice gainst all interpreted languages. After another week I had everything running in java on the platform. However, it was ridiculously slow. I installed the NDK, tried moving some of he most expensive functions to c++, and the difference in speed was almost silly. So then I started from scatch, and after a few days I had everything running smoothly in c++ and my hatred of java confirmed.

Then it was onto making the actual game. I didn't really have much of a plan for the gameplay but I figured it didn't meed much gameplay. A lot of people were weighing in and having a lot of different ideas, about different gamemodes and different types of clothes to remove and different thing to do to people once their clothes were off, but I wanted something fairly simple. I felt it was best to keep it to just pulling down pants. Partly because it was easier make that look good (as detailed in the post about the cloting deformations), but also because pulling down someones pants is less violent than forcibly tearing of their shirt in the middle of a street. It feels more like a simple practical joke, rather than attempted rape; and regardless what you might think I didn't really want to make a very offensive game. Also there is something inherently silly about people walking around with their pants around their ankles. As I realised that I wouldn't be able to make very sexy people with the hardware limitations and with my limited artistic skills, I though it better to aim for some mild sillyness than for sexual arousal.

In the end the gameplay wasn't really that interesting. I realized from the start that there would be a risk of the game becoming more of a onetime joke than something you play over and over, and therefore wouldn't be spread very much or get a high rating. I added a few different types of challenges and a combo system to encourage people to get a good highscore, but nothing really groundberaking. At this point I was getting a bit tired of spending all my free time working on the game and just wanted to get it over with. So I made a handful of characters, clothes and background, whipped up some rather ugly menues and released it as fast as possible.

The total development time was about two months. It was released on Android Market on the 2nd of March 2011. It has not made me rich... yet...

Unemployed again

It turned out that going back to Might and Delight may not have been such a great idea, so I have now left the company again; most likely for good this time. The commute got a bit too much for me in the end. Also my train card ran out this month. So in order to keep working there I would have to give another 40 000 kronor to SJ for a new train card or move to Stockholm. Neither option seemed very temping; especially considering that the company's financial future is still very uncertain.

I'm not quite sure what happens now though. I have been looking forward to being unemployed and to work on my own projects, but I happened to accept a job offer the other day. I still don't know if anything will come of it though. So I guess I'll just try to enjoy my unemployement while it lasts and see what happens. If I do get started on an epic project I'll try to keep the blog updated.