Saturday, September 1, 2012

Commission Work


Apart from Unfinished Business, which I still occasionally work on, my first years as freelancer consisted of smaller scale jobs, mainly for the iOS platform. I would get my jobs from the Unity forums, do the job, and get paid either hourly or on a commission basis. Most of these jobs were prototypes and/or are still unfinished due to various reasons, hence the limited number of samples.

Technologies I Used

  • Unity Pro, iOS addon
  • iPhone, iPad
  • various plugins

Mobile Platforms

When I began freelancing, I had never worked on any mobile platform. I didn't even own a device that could run anything more complex than Snake. So I was pretty unprepared for working in such a limited environment. Suddenly, you couldn't just create and trash new objects all the time because that eats up CPU. You had to carefully consider the necessity of every little piece of graphics because of memory limitations. You jump through a number of hoops just to get your draw call count as low as humanly possible. Add to that Apple's convoluted provisioning system, Xcode's mystery errors and seemingly random crashes and performance fluctuations...

So it's a pain, but then again, there are few moments as nice as finally playing your game on your device, and it's running absolutely smoothly. And strangely enough, that usually does happen eventually. And even the optimization itself can be rewarding, as I've always enjoyed a good puzzle - the ruling out of each potential cause until only the answer remains.

It does have its plus sides too. I find the touching / accelerometer interface interesting and inspiring. I'd like to see more games that take full advantage of the accelerometer, where things always fall according to real gravity, for instance. A Lemmings style game where the puzzles are based on turning the device as much as assigning skills. Maybe one day I'll do something like that myself.

Example Games

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