Introducing ‘The History of Light’
The History of Light is a Lights Out-type of puzzle game: There is a grid of lights that are either on or off and your goal is to switch them all off. Clicking on a single tile will toggle it, and its adjacent tiles, on or off.
There are five worlds in The History of Light, each with 20 levels and a new unique mechanic. On the second world for example, the player is introduced to the concept of bombs. In addition, the last 8 levels of each world has a bigger grid.
The game was developed by me and Dimitris Xanthopoulos. Audio was provided (with permission) by Brandon Morris, Louis Hostos and various other artists found at OpenGameArt.org.
While the development of the game took us less than a week (what with Dimitris learning QML and me learning C++) I kept tweaking and refining it until I felt comfortable enough to release it. However, I spent most of the time on the interface rather than the level design which, I believe, will cost me a lot of downloads. I have already got some feedback from some friends and I plan on working on them in the next couple of weeks.
One of the biggest things that didn’t get to the release was music. The game has one track for the menu and one when playing a level. My initial design was one track for each world from the very talented people at OpenGameArt. Unfortunately, the size of the game leaped from 5MB to more than 15MB. I believe that 15MB is not an acceptable size for a mobile game, so I had to cut it down. I’m thinking of making a “Director’s cut” edition of the game with full audio. At least that way the player will have a choice of the size of download.
Finally, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: The Ovi Store. I know that, in this day and age, with iOS and Android being the center of everything, many will wonder why we chose the Ovi Store. iOS was an easy decision; the cost was simply too high: buying a Mac, an iPhone, creating an iOS account etc, etc. Android vs Ovi Store needed a little more thinking. I have a good background in Java but nothing in C++ while Dimitris has a good background in C++ but no Java. Both of us didn’t have any experience in Android Development or Symbian, so, as far as development time went, they where both the same. It all came down to competition: Android has A LOT of competition compared to Ovi. A friend of Dimitris had previously released a couple of Symbian apps and he provided some good insights on how his apps went. So we went for Ovi after that.
Developing for Symbian had many hiccups. Especially in the audio department. It took me about two weeks to figure out how to fade in/fade out the background music and play sound effects. I finally came with a work around, but I didn’t like it at all.
There is another platform out there that I would really like to work on: Windows Phone 7. Especially because I am already working on an XNA game which is supported (with some limitations) on the platform. We’ll see. For the mean time, have a look at the other project Dimitris has released on the Ovi Store: Galaxy Jump.
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