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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Android Game Development Tutorial in AndEngine - Part 1 - Introduction

Articles in this series of tutorials are intended for anyone who wants to make a game. I picked Android because it is quickly taking over the mobile market and it is by far the easiest platform to start making games.

This tutorial requires that you already have basic knowledge of Java up to a level when you are able to write, compile and run your own application.

You are reading this page because you want to make a game. Chances are you have already done your research and picked AndEngine, but let's start from the beginning.

How do I make a game? What is the best way to make a game?

This is probably the question that you already asked. Making a game (any game for any platform) requires a lot of work, patience and perseverance. It's certainly not easy! There is no simple answer to this question.

There are many ways how to make a game, and this tutorial shows you one way. The best way to make a game is to pick a game that you can finish and simply do it.

How long does it take to make a game?

I bet you have asked this one too. But again, a question without answer - it can take days in case of a very simple game, or years.

Why AndEngine?

AndEngine is one of the easiest engines to make a game with while giving you plenty freedom to use any resource that Android and Java offer. There are frameworks that give you even more freedom but you need to put more effort into the game developmnet, for example libgdx. And there are game-maker programmes that restrict your freedom, but making games is very simple. AndEngine is the happy medium.

So how do I start?

Start small! Even if you have a great idea for a game, and this is your first attempt, leave it for later. First take something really simple and try to make it into a game. Or make a clone of a classic game like Tic-Tac-Toe, Pong or Space Invader. Make something you can finish in few weeks.

Introducing Squong

We are going to make a variant of a classic game Pong. I call it Squong because it's a mix of Pong and Squash. I will guide you through the whole development process from making the idea, designing the game, writing the code, testing and publishing the game. I will also cover basics of promoting your game.

The game is already published, but only as beta version. If you want to follow this tutorial and see the game, you can join the beta test. I will explain later what are the benefits of the beta test phase.

Later I will publish the complete source code of the game and you will be permitted to use any part of the code in your games if you comply to its license.

First you need to join the following Google+ community. It's public, so anyone can join:

Next, visit the following link a click on Become A Tester button:

Afterwards you can proceed to download the game. When logged with the Google account you have used to sing up for beta test, you will see it in Play Store as if it was publicly available:

Next part

In the next part I will cover the concept of Squong. How did I get the idea and how did I started.

Further reading

I wrote a book about AndEngine. You can also see the list of books about Android Game Development for further reading.

Note: I had to take a break from writing this tutorial. The game is published in Google Play store now. You can still get the full source code of the final game for 99¢. Available on Sellfy, pay by PayPal:

Also here's one Box2D physics problem that is directly related to the Squong game. If you find a solution, let me know! 
Martin Varga is a Czech software developer who likes pygmy owls (hence Kulíš), running, ramen, travelling and living in foreign countries. He is also known as smartus or sm4 on the internet (read as smartass, but there are too many of them). He currently tries to make games in AndEngine like Mr. Dandelion's Adventures and hangs around a lot at the AndEngine forums.