Super Smith Bros: Development History

Created on 11 October 2012 Written by Steven Smith

Back in 2010 I heard about a development framework called XNA which word had it made game design somewhat easier, we’d toyed around with the idea of developing games since childhood but it always seemed like an impossible task never knowing where to start so XNA sounded interesting. I suggested to Graham that he should take a look since he had some background in web and graphic design. Two weeks later he had produced a basic top down shooter called Hamster Cannon built from various tutorials and starter kits, it wasn’t much more than a single screen of gameplay and basic menus but it was a working game and a start.

 

 

We didn’t really make much progress after Hamster Cannon with Graham and I both having work commitments and little time to invest. However, a year later Graham had lost his job and was struggling to find employment so thought he’d give it another go. A few weeks later we had a couple of basic demos including a platformer with a Chicken as the protagonist and a side scrolling shooter called ‘Steve’s Bat Game’. Each of the demos was aimed at learning a new aspect of game design such as menus, particle effects, saving and loading etc to give us a better idea of what making a full game would entail. One of these demos involved a stickman dodging saw blades which eventually became our first game ‘Obsessive Collecting Disorder’.

Our initial knowledge was very limited and to some extent still is, Graham had no understanding of game coding but had graphic and web design experience and I certainly hadn’t attempted any form of game design before. The focus was simply to develop something basic that had our own aesthetic and thematic style while playing well. Time and monetary constraints are also prevalent for small developers such as us but as this was our first game we were just finding our feet. Marketing can also be very difficult for an indie developer, without the usual media contacts it’s a matter of getting on various forms of social media and pushing your game so to that was a challenge.

I don’t know if we’d do anything differently as this was our first release and every aspect of that process has increased our understanding of getting a game out. It took 6 months to produce Obsessive Collecting Disorder and what we’ve learned in that time can only make things easier and better for us in the future. As for our next release that’s a little way off, we’ve started talking about a few concepts and one’s that will be in development far less than 6 months. We’ve also said no sequels to our games so we’ll always try and create something new….we’ll probably make a few more demos and see what becomes of them.

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