Making Frosty & Friends for Android/iOS with Max Rose

Lindsay Schardon (Zenva)

June 20, 2017 in Success Stories

Hi there everyone! Thank you for joining us again on another featured Student Success. This time around we feature a fellow Zenva Academy student Max Rose — creator of the mobile game Frosty & Friends.

Max is an experienced game developer, having been involved in the field for the past two years, but this is his first foray into fully publishing a game. In addition, this is the first time he completed development of a mobile game with a team.

Without further ado, read on as we delve into his experiences with mobile game development, working with a dedicated team, and the journey he embarked on from a solid idea to a full-fledged and published game for iOS and Android!

Quick Note: We’d like to congratulate Max and his team once more as they have won the Game Jam that they had entered with Frosty & Friends!

Hi Max! Great to have you with us, and congratulations on publishing Frosty & Friends. The game looks great and we really enjoy the penguin theme! What tools and technologies did you and your team use in developing this awesome game?

Hello, and thank you for having us here! For the development of the game, we used mainly Phaser, and for the procedurally generated levels in the online mode, there is an algorithm on our server that generates 120 new online levels every day.

All of our other levels were created using the Tiled framework. AdMob and other little plugins were incorporated using Cordova. For exporting the game to Android and iOS, we used Intel XDK.

For the artwork and graphics depicted in the game, we created it all using Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Animate, and Texture Packer. A funny thing to mention here is that we’ve made all the sounds you hear in the game ourselves! Even the “Lalala” you hear in the main game screen was made by us!

All in all, the game uses many concepts and techniques taught in Zenva’s Phaser courses.

Wow, thank you for providing us with all that insight! I’m sure that gives our readers a good idea of what technologies they may want to use in developing their own games. It’s great to hear you guys have made nearly everything in the game yourselves — from the graphics to the sound effects, and even the funny little intro music. Speaking of that, we know that the game was a team-based effort — what was that like? What did each person do?

Thanks Chris! We split the development effort of the game into three different parts:

  • Programming (my role, Max)
  • Graphic design and artwork (Ben)
  • Level design (Janine)

Janine and I found Ben on Twitter through an ongoing GameJam. The game here was created for the German “Game++ Community Challenge 10” by LetsGameDev.

In the end, I think that having split up the work made the development of the game much easier, because – for example – when I needed an asset, I would simply ask Ben for a prototype to be able to move forward with a section of the work.

On the other hand, Ben and Janine received the latest version of the game every time and were thus able to make suggestions. A result of this was the Boss Mode featured in the game, which was an idea from Ben, and I would never have thought about this.

Very interesting! We appreciate hearing your thoughts on teamwork, and the integral role it played in the development of your game! Given that you had a team with you throughout the development of the game, how long did it take to publish?

In total, the development took about three months given our division of efforts and the specific roles we each had in creating the game. I believe that publishing took about 2-3 weeks, but we never underestimated how long that part would take!

That’s a fairly short amount of time to go from inception to publishing a full-fledged title, such as Frosty & Friends. With your experiences from idea to publication and teamwork, what advice would you give to other Zenva students so that they could reach an achievement like this, such as you have?

I previously developed games alone with no real outside collaboration for the past two years, and every big project failed. So my tip for other Zenva students – take it from someone who knows – make small projects and finish them! One small completed game is so much more important than 10 large failed prototype games.

My, and our, next game should take 6 months to develop (Frost & Friends + 3 months). Set yourself a limit in days to finish your game.

In the end, motivation and staying strong are very important for succeeding!

I am sure our readers will greatly appreciate that advice! Tips and tricks from students just like you – who have gone from start to finish and successfully published their endeavors – can help anyone on their journey. Last question! How did the Zenva courses that you’ve taken help you in this endeavor?

Before my time with Zenva’s Phaser courses, I had programmed with Javascript for about 1.5 years. The course helped me incredibly because I was able to follow step-by-step on how to make a game, and the direction to take.

At the end of the course, there is a very helpful part where Pablo shows you how to publish your game, incorporate Ads, and how to implement in-app purchases.

I’m from Germany, and this was the first course I took in English. I could understand it very well so that also helped tremendously. 🙂 

All in all, this course definitely helped me create my first game for Android and iOS – which is a very good feeling 😀 – so I highly recommend it!

There we have it, folks! And thank you Max for taking the time to respond to our questions, even while tending to all of your ongoing projects and effort. We appreciate hearing about your experiences, both in publishing this awesome penguin-themed game, and in working with a team.

Be sure to check out Max and his team’s published game Frosty & Friends!

Interested in creating your own games? Check out the Phaser Mini-Degree!

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