Creating Games the Easy Way in Hong Kong: A Beginner’s Guide to Buildbox Game Prototyping

18 August 2019

​Mobile applications are prolific right now, and they do not seem to be going away anytime soon.

Creating a mobile app, especially an engaging mobile game, can be a huge money maker for anybody willing to put in the time. Unfortunately, programming an appealing mobile application or game requires in-depth knowledge of mobile programming language.If you have an idea for a mobile game, it can be time-consuming learning to program it - while outsourcing to a game developer can another option worth looking into.

​When you really want to get the most value out from a development company, like GreyLoud, being able to show them a working prototype can save you a bundle of bills. ​

​There are programs available that allow you to create and rapidly prototype mobile games without complete knowledge of the necessary programming languages, but most of them require that you have at least some programming knowledge.

That's where Buildbox comes in because Buildbox​ is as easy to use as your word processing software.

​Getting to Know Buildbox for Prototyping Your Mobile Game

​Buildbox is simple to use while remaining robust enough to prototype the game of your dreams. 

It requires no programming knowledge. You just need to import any images that you want to use, give them your desired behaviors, and add your finishing touches.

Buildbox comes with several presets that can help you get started, and it even allows you to see how your game will look, in real time.

​Taking Your First Steps towards Your First Working Mobile Game Prototype

​Before you even open Buildbox, you will need to come up with a game design. When you go into the program without a plan, you are going to become quickly overwhelmed. 

There are tons details to consider while getting ready to prototype your game: 

  • ​Which way the player will need to hold their phone (horizontally or vertically)?
  • ​What the primary objective of the game will be?
  • ​How the player will interact with their character and the world around them?
  • What the storyline and art style will be?

Trying to map all of these decisions out in Buildbox is not recommended; the variety of options can cause you to freeze up.You may want to take this opportunity to create your game assets as well.

Game assets include any artwork that you will need: 

  1. characters
  2. backgrounds
  3. objects

Buildbox comes with many assets and makes even more available for purchase, but if you want custom graphics, get these designed before delving into the program.

​Getting Into Buildbox

​With your game designed, it is finally time to open up Buildbox. Upon doing so, begin a new project.

​In the resulting dialogue screen, you are presented with a series of options to help get you started.

You can choose which phone orientation the game is meant to be played in, how players will score, and how the gameplay will operate.

You will also need to choose what the levels will look like in your game (see game level tricks and tips here), and how gameplay comes to an end if it does.When you have dialed in these initial settings and clicked "create," then Buildbox will take you to its main interface.

Clicking the "Preview" button will show you what the options you selected have created. From here, you will need to import all of your desired elements and play with their properties.

Click through each of your components directly on the simulated screen to make them appear as desired.

​Starting to Run Your Game Prototype

​Now that you have taken your first few steps, it is time to hit the ground running. To make a great game, you are going to need to get into things more complicated than menu making and element implementation.

Luckily, Buildbox has a great community, from which you can learn how to do just about anything you need to do within the program.

The documentation provided by Buildbox is another excellent, detailed resource that can help you use some of the more "advanced" features that the program has to offer.

​Make it Yours

​Possibly the most challenging part of using Buildbox is animating the objects.

It takes a bit of finesse to get things to move in a "natural" way, especially if you have no experience with animation. That is not to say it is impossible; the great community surrounding Buildbox has many tutorials that can help you to get it right.Buildbox is simple to use, but it has a nearly infinite number of options. You can adjust everything about every element of your game.

That can be overwhelming, so make sure to modify the properties one at a time until you know what you want.

Buildbox Prototyping Video Example

​Watch the build of an Apple Featured Jump Game, Dragonlings, ​using Buildbox.

​Menu Planning

​One especially helpful feature of Buildbox is the robust menu customization feature.

For example, you can implement a consistent overlay that is displayed no matter what part of the game a user is in. That is useful for adding a mute button.

​Exporting Your Game

​What good is a mobile game if you do not release it for public download? After you have polished your game to completion, it is time to export it.

Buildbox makes this typically difficult process extremely easy. On the top right corner of the program, there is a settings button which will bring up three forms that you need to fill out before exporting.

You will also need to set an icon for your game. With all of your information filled out, you can go to "File" and then click the export option.

After saving your export file, you are all set to upload your brand new game to the platform of your choice.

​Hints and Tricks

​Buildbox offers a 10-step video series and many tutorials that go into greater depth and helps new users explore all of the available features in the program. Going through this set is essential to creating the game you have imagined.If you have never taken a game theory class, you may wish to do so to better understand what mechanics need to go into a game to make it fun to play.

Game level design Tips, Tricks & Ideas. Overcoming creative block

Make sure to test out every aspect of your game on an actual mobile phone before releasing it to the public.

That will help you to find any glitches or anything that you may have forgotten to implement. Go through all of your menu options and levels to make sure that your game operates as you intended.Creating a mobile game with Buildbox is quick and easy. The only thing that you are limited by is your imagination.

Are You Ready to Up Your Game?

Going from Prototype to Professional Game

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