It’s uploading time – the making of a Starsceptre Part I

812 days @ 3.5hrs per day • 1,421 hours • 85,260 minutes • 5,115,600 seconds

That’s how long it’s taken to make #Starsceptre – my first ever #shmup or rather a #tiltnshmup as I venture into a new way of playing games on your mobile device.

That’s a long time to spend making something. Luckily, people have seen it as I’ve been making it since day one and that has spurred me to make it happen.

A plan so crazy it might just work…

So it all started with an idea: how can I make an app using only my spare time? 

The type of app was easy – I’m a #retrogamer having played 8bit and 16bit games all during my childhood in the 80s and 90s. I was good at pixelart and not bad at coding, just nothing too complex. 

So how was I gonna develop this game in my spare time? I didn’t want to carry a laptop around with me all the time and great tools like Unity doesn’t exist yet on mobile devices. 

I love it when a plan comes together…

I already had an iPad, and a quick search led me to find an app called Codea. Codea is an app that lets you code on the go and export an Xcode file which Apple needs to create Apps on their AppStore. It uses a simple programming language called Lua which is akin to Basic and JavaScript and has the most awesome network of developers and users who share code and help you make awesome things on it. 

When it came to my spare time, I have a family so it’s hard to be a dad and try to make something this challenging so I had to be smart about how I use my spare time. 

For the graphics and design, I would use the late evenings on my laptop at home to create assets to code later, usually when everyone was asleep. 

For the code I have a 90 minute commute to work each way, where I can spend 50mins coding on my iPad on one train, and then if I get a seat, another 30 mins coding on the London Underground. 

So each day I could commit almost 3 hours of coding when I was just sitting on the train. Not bad huh? 
So with all this in mind I set to work, but things were about to get a lot harder…

You’ll have to wait for the next part 😂🙌🏼🎮✍🏻

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