Ricardo Vieira just published its first Android Game “Happy Sheep” on the Google Play Store and entertained our editorial staff with a game, that’s both cute and funny. We’re looking forward to see the future developments by “Apps2Ppl” and we also very glad to speak with Ricardo himself, here we go!
Interview by Frederik Schrader.
10 Questions for Ricardo Vieira / Apps2Ppl
1. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Ricardo Vieira, I’m a 31 years old, Portuguese, freelancer software consultant, with over 7 years of Java developing experience, and with a hobby that is Android. A little less than 1 year ago me and a friend, Nuno Ferreira, also a software developer, decided to create a brand, Apps2Ppl, to launch our android apps, each one would make an app and release it, and a few months ago I decided I wanted to go in the gaming industry.
2. What made you want to be a game developer?
It was always one of my dreams when I was a child, but unfortunately in Portugal there aren’t many videogame software houses, so I went into Business Software after university. But now with the Android framework I can do both, and being a freelancer I can make time to develop my games.
3. What platforms do you develop games for and why?
For now, just Android, using AndEngine, an open source game engine for Android. If one of the games picks up, I’ll port it to other platforms, but first I’ll need to learn their languages, since I’m not to fond of those frameworks that port automatically to different platforms. I prefer to know and understand well what I’m working on and releasing to the public.
4. What are your experiences in porting games between two platforms?
For now, none, like I said above.
5. How do you get inspiration for a game?
For this game, my first one, Happy Sheep, I got my inspiration from my nieces, they were my first beta-testers, I thought if they liked it, so would other kids.
For other games I want to make, I get my inspiration from lots of sources, mainly those old games from the early 90’s, that I spent hours and hours playing, those were the best games ever.
6. How long does it take for you to write a game from start to finish?
My main problem is getting the time for it, since I have clients and other projects, sometimes I only get a couple of hours at night to spend on the game, and there are days that not even that, so putting all together and adding the time I needed to learn AndEngine, I’m guessing about 3 months for this first game. And it’s a simple game, but now I’m releasing another one, same gameplay different story and design, that only took a couple of weeks for the design, which isn’t mine. Since I dont have the talent for that, I work with a very talented designer friend, Tânia Vieira, same last name, but no family ties.
7. What are the biggest technical challenges when you develop a game?
The biggest challenge in developing a game for Android is the amount of different devices and resolution screens there are out there, as much as we try, it’s really hard to maintain the same aspect visually in all, there will be always some device that won’t be as good as it should be, since I can’t own them all. Another challenge for me is the openGL part, the visual part, I’m still learning, it’s a lot different programming that i’m used to work, but I like learning new things, and I hope I get better and better in this.
8. What do you think the future of gaming will look like?
Gaming always was a great part of the evolution in computer hardware. Since the 80’s the hardware makers have been trying to create faster and stronger devices to support the games that kept coming out and pushing that hardware to the limit, and finding new devices to put games on. So I’m guessing the future of gaming will be everything people can imagine to be, there is no limit.
9. What is your favorite game at the moment and why?
At the moment, I have to say Happy Sheep, lol, cause its mine. Seriously, I play a lot of Games for Android, mostly research to see whats out there, but the one that I keep playing is a card game, triple stack, I’m addicted to it.
10. What is your advice for new developers?
If you have an idea, make it happen, dont give up, dont try and make it perfect, there is no perfection in software there is always room for improvement. So just make the best that you can, released it and wait for the users comments. If it doesn’t get popular, make another one, but create games for yourself or for someone you care about, dont make it just for the money, cause if you do, you’ll fail right from the start.