The folks over at SENSPARK talk with us about developing Gold Miner, their newest title. SENSPARK is a small indie game studio based in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, founded 2011. Their titles have been downloaded over 10 million times! Let’s chat with them:
Tell us where you came up with the idea for this game. What were your inspirations?
We started developing Gold Miner game at the early 2013. After we failed launching a puzzle game, we wanted to develop a game that suitable to casual users. Besides, there was no good enough Gold Miner game in the market for users. So we decided to develop this game and we could not imagine that the game would get nearly 5 million downloads to date.
We used to use a lot of version of Cocos2d-x engine such as v2.2.3, v2.2.6, v3.2, v3.6, v3.7 but now We are using Cocos2d-x v3.8.1 and we will continue updating Cocos2d-x version in order to get more useful features and bugs fixes.
How did you decide to use cocos2d-x instead of Unity, Unreal Engine or SDL?
In the time we started making the first version of Gold Miner, there were some popular free mobile game frameworks such as AndEngine, LibGDX, cocos2d-x… but Unity & UnReal were not. We did not heard any thing about mobile supporting from SDL either. After looking inside these free mobile game frameworks, we found that cocos2d-x was the best suit for our needs because of its cross-platform, easy to use and good performance. Beside, a lot of ready to use supporting tools for it such as Cocos Builder, Particle Designer, Texture Packer v.v… make making game easier than ever. We also paid attention to the Cocos2dx community too, which was very active and grew quickly. So we were very happy because any question could be addressed promptly. At this moment, we keep using Cocos2dx because we don’t want to change if there are not any serious problems. Cocos2dx is still okay now and more and more useful plugins come up with it. And we hope its pace of development can catch up Unity or UnReal in the near future.
What features did the engine offer you that made development easy? What do you wish the engine did better?
Cocos2d-x is a game development platform with: powerful but lightweight game engines, super easy-to-use APIs, intuitive tools, open-source code base and an enthusiastic community. Cocos2d-x is a complete toolchain for developing multi-platform games. It’s starting with rapid prototyping all the way to a highly polished, well performing games. Therein, I’m pretty impressed with Cross-platform feature which helps me to save tons of time when developing in other platforms. But it still have a lot of difficulties when developing android. I hope you guys will make it easier for developers to make conversation between C++ to Java and vice versa.
What tools did you use besides the engine?
Besides Cocos2d-x engine, I’m using a lot of tools to help me easier to develop games such as: XCode, CocosBuilder, TexturePacker, AndroidStudio, Eclipse, VertexHelper Pro, Spine, Particle Designer … and most of them are very easy to integrate with Cocos2d-x.
Did you create the art yourself? What tools?
We have 2 in-house artists work in our company, design games from concept to production. We use Spine to do animations.
Did you create the music yourself? What tools?
Will you continue to make games in the future?
Of course, we will continue making games in the future, continue going deeply into the vast gaming market. Currently we are doing the puzzle game Eat Roll And we said at the beginning, and we believe this time we will succeed.
Lastly, any advice for those also making games on how to get to a release point?
To be able to bring the game to market, you need to determine the game matching the capabilities of your team. This will help you make the complete and more competitive with other games on the market
Gold Miner is available for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile