Medieval Steve was our first game in Unreal Engine (UE4), meaning a lot of the time developing was spent learning the engine and learning their visual scripting language – Blueprints. The total development time was just over four years. About 12 months of that was spent away from the game because we began dreaming about Blueprints!
The mission for this game was to learn Unreal Engine and to take a game from concept, through development and to completion. One of the biggest killers of games for indie developers is not finishing the game. It may sound silly considering how much time is invested but a lot, and we mean a LOT, of developers start a game and don’t finish. They can essentially waste years of time on a project that never sees the light of day.
Butty boy is an Android-based game on the Google Play Store. In the game, you are the delivery driver and you have to deliver sandwiches to the hungry masses, while avoiding obstacles and other vehicles. Butty Boy is an endless runner and your only task is to get the highest score you can and to see if you can make it onto the leader board.
If you do well, you will earn in-game currency which will allow you to unlock van skins and power-ups. There are seven skins available to choose from, including the A-Team van, the Mystery Machine and the Mutts Cutts van from Dumb and Dumber.
Butty Boy was created for two reasons: firstly, as a test to see if we could develop an app and deploy it onto the Google Play Store. Secondly, it was an homage to a friend. It’s a silly story really. However, a friend of ours makes the most incredible sandwiches. Not ‘run of the mill’ cheese butties, but, wonderful, varied, ‘I feel inadequate’ kind of sandwiches!
Due to his sandwich making abilities, we dubbed him ‘Butty Boy’ and that led us to the idea of creating a virtual world based around his sandwich-making empire, where he makes and delivers his own masterpieces. At JForth Designs, we’re definitely not afraid to use our imaginations and our sense of humour. Sometimes the silliest ideas turn out to be the best!
After playing for a while, you would earn enough in-game currency to purchase a new skin to play with. The skins are purely for aesthetic purposes and offer no abilities or enhancements in-game. We opted for this process as it gives the player a reason to continue playing and gives them an achievable goal.
While we do use in-game currency, we don’t ask for real money. There are no microtransactions. We strongly believe that free games should be free, with no hidden costs! Sure, we might have adverts in the top bar, but we will never ask for money from the player if our game is advertised as free.
With the experience of Medieval Steve under our belts, building Butty Boy specifically for Android was a much smoother and more logical process. You’d be surprised at how much of computer games development is trial, error and learned experience. So this time we had the relevant knowledge and skills needed to bring this mobile game to production.
Another valuable lesson from developing Butty Boy was the idea that you can take an admittedly goofy concept on paper and turn it into something brilliant. We created a highly playable and addictive video game. If someone tried to explain the concept of Mario Bros to you, you’d probably think they had issues! But often the wackiest ideas can produce really effective results – especially in games development.
If you’re looking for a game developer who combines design flair and coding skill, then JForth Designs offers the best of both worlds. Wherever you’re based in the UK or abroad, we can transform your ideas into beautiful, highly imaginative and supremely playable video games for just about any gaming platform.
Work with a freelance game developer who can deliver your video game project on time, on budget and to the highest possible standard. JForth Designs can help you to produce an indie game that you can be proud of.