Guest post by Vasudeva Thumati
Nautilus Mobile founder Nicolas Beuvin saw a new world of gaming evolve with the rise of smartphones. For mobile gaming, existing PC games were being adopted and new gameplay was explored to completely immerse the user into the game.
A lifelong fan of role playing games, Nicolas saw BlackBerry’s user base as a good fit for Nautilus Mobile’s first game, Song of Swords. Although the game is not as complex as traditional RPG games, it required some finesse in the settings and in the strategy. Nicolas and his team set out to create a game that would be one of a kind in BlackBerry World.
Here’s how Nicolas and his team set out to make the game:
Cocos2dX is powerful enough to render any 3D model format, with some changes in the rendering code. We have done some really great animations with the method, which we should be well received by everyone who plays the game.
The issues, which were all common with developing a game like this, were Z-fighting issues and flickering; Cocos2dx has no inbuilt support for Z values. We were able to overcome the issue by implementing a separate Frame Buffer. Though we had to do everything from the scratch, we choose Cocos2dX for its flexibility, giving us the choice to try everything they wanted to do.
Another issue we found as we continued to develop the game was how to incorporate the special effects. We were fortunate to discover that Cocos-2dX was very dynamic in supporting flash animations. We have used a couple of third-party tools like Texture Packer and SuperAnimator. With Cocos3d on its way, we believe it will enable us to explore further.
The gameplay is completely devoted to the in-game action. We had to use some innovation concerning the animation to see our vision come to life. By using a 2D looking mesh in a 3D software, we had to focus on bringing more smoothness and fluidity to the characters. We are excited that no other 2D RPG has reached this level of smoothness on mobile platforms. Unlike most mobile RPG’s, the game play is 100% drag and drop; there are no menus or sub-menus during flights.
QNX IDE was incredibly beneficial in bringing a simple to use Native C++ environment and we’re excited to see Blackberry make future enhancements. We had a lot of help profiling the app with QNX IDE as well as easy deployment and debugging. Being a startup, we were not blessed with many devices, so it was great to have a BB10 Emulator closely replicating the device environment (except for a few shader results).
“Built For Blackberry” is an incredibly important program for startups like us who need help gaining visibility in the marketplace. While gaining certification we took a closer look at data sizes, lags, crashes and UI designs. We were able to cover it all in a short span of time due the structure and manner in which the code was written from the outset.
We wish Nautilus Mobile success on its first game, and welcome to the BlackBerry family!