Game Development Spotlight: The Alphabet Eater


Written By MrSun at 12:54 pm - Saturday, July 26th, 2008
Categories: Flash, Game Development, Spotlight

After Glowbricks, I decided that I still didn’t have the skill to tackle a more feature-filled game, so I decided to make The Alphabet Eater. This time, however, I made my game a bit more original. The Alphabet Eater was inspired by the game, Fishy, which I discovered many years ago and enjoyed playing very much. The only problem that I had with it was that you sometimes couldn’t tell which fish you could eat and which ones you couldn’t. I eliminated this problem in my game by replacing size with the alphabet, making it less frustrating and more fun (or at least that’s what I think).

This was my first game in which I didn’t use a glow theme for all of the graphics, so I didn’t really have any idea how to make good art in this game. So, I chose to use a gradient/monochrome theme. Now that I reflect on it, this was a pretty bad decision. The art is probably what kept most of the sponsors away from my game. A more colorful scheme and perhaps more “cartoonish” art would have been a better choice. But, just because the graphic art wasn’t the best didn’t mean it wasn’t a good game.

The programming for The Alphabet Eater was quite simple, but really introduced a few new concepts to me. The main skill that I honed from developing this game was randomization. Almost every part of this game was totally randomized: the color scheme of the main page, the place and direction that the letters came at the player, the actual letter that they were, their speed, and possibly a few more variables. As you can see, I had to use Math.random quite a bit.

The Alphabet Eater was also the first game that I seriously tried to get a sponsor. I must have emailed at least 10 different sponsors about my game, but only one of them responded. I don’t blame them, my game wasn’t what I would call sponsorship material. Anyway, after weeks of trying to get a sponsor, I decided simply to release it to the public, and release it I did. I submitted it to a bunch of sites and got useful feedback on it. Also, quite a few other game sites somehow were able to get my game and put it on their sites without my permission. However, I still gained a lot of traffic from them, so it was a win-win situation.

I had a great time programming The Alphabet Eater, which helped build my base knowledge for further game development.

Spotlight Statistics
Category Score
Fun Level 3
Learning Experience 3
Revenue 5 [$1000]
Game Feedback 4
Overall Experience 3
Spotlight Score 18
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