A Breakdown on How to Develop a Card Game App [03.27.14]
- Charlotte Walker
There are few things as addictive and fun as a good card game. Developing a mechanically solid card game is usually a fairly simple process, and it's an excellent starter project for those new in the app development and gaming industry. Card games don't require the extensive media that other games do, making it an ideal project for a solo or small development team.
For the following walkthrough, let's assume we're developing a premium poker application. Remember: you need to have polish and professionalism in your final work; the market is extremely competitive in this field.
Sort out your dev kit
No one wants to reinvent the wheel. Card games are simple enough that you can usually use a dev kit rather than building everything from the ground up -- unless, of course, you're intentionally trying to do so. With a card game, you may want to get a dev kit that compiles out to both iOS and Android. Smaller applications thrive on volume, which can only be obtained through cross-platform capabilities. App Game Kit is an example of a very simple dev kit that offers cross platform capabilities, whereas Unity 3D is significantly more advanced.
AppGameKit is a great option for easy development.
Create a storyboard of the application's flow
The beginning of any program is a storyboard. A storyboard is a sequence of images showing exactly how the application should work, from launch to game completion. The storyboard should be as detailed as possible and include notes. Many programmers love working on index cards because it allows them to create a visual mockup on one side and notes regarding implementation on the other. After your storyboard has been created, run through it many times. Your storyboard is the foundation of your program, and you will run into developmental issues if you don't take your time at this juncture.
Plan out the process before you begin developing the game.
Bring together your art and sound assets
Many developers -- especially first-time developers -- make the mistake of bringing their art and sound assets into development too late. For a card game, your art assets are going to be fairly simple: some interface designs, a few packs of cards and perhaps some rotating backdrops. Outsourcing or purchasing these art assets from the beginning allows you to integrate them with a higher level of polish, and polish is where many independent game developers actually fail. A game needs to look clean and professional if it is to actually sell.