When it comes to creating games or apps for mobile devices, we imagine it’s a tiring, lengthy process. However, that’s not always the case. A team of six interns from Päivölä, Finland spent six weeks at one of Nokia’s offices coming up with an idea for a game, creating, and then publishing it. What they created was Cosmos Conquest – downloadable now.
The challenge was to see if some semi-newbies to the app development scene could produce a fully functional and fun game from start to finish in six weeks.
Developing started last spring and continued into the summer between the hours of 9-to-5, Monday to Friday, taking a total of 30 workdays to produce.
The initial stages were focused on creating several (16, to be precise) prototypes. The team then needed to decide on which one game to focus their efforts on as to not waste time and resources.
Some of the game ideas were experimental, and sometimes slightly unconventional, but they decided on something they all knew and enjoyed – a space game, Cosmos Conquest.
While having developing experience would naturally help, Kimo Boissonnier, Project Manager at Nokia Student Innovation Lab explains that prior knowledge isn’t always essential:
The students had no experience in developing and publishing prior to joining our internship. Although some had coded before at school, they learnt everything they need to know about Windows Phone last spring with us.
As a project manager, Kimo’s role was to guide the students along the right paths to make sure that the team could focus on what was important – creating the game. In reality, Kimo tells us that this means dealing with all the “Boring, but necessary details” such as booking meeting rooms, chasing different team members for reports, and providing support at every step of the way. Although, he did manage to get his hands dirty and participate in game design on a couple of occasions.
Creating an app or a game doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy lots of expensive equipment. Instead, you can develop using freely available programs, such as Visual Studio – the interns actually used Visual Studio Express edition – that has everything you need, including a Windows Phone emulator.
However, there is a yearly fee if you want to publish content to Windows Phone Marketplace of about €100. This fee covers some advertising costs and development support should you need it.
We wanted to know if there were any problems or issues that they encountered during the whole development process. Kimo told us:
Honestly, no. Everything went according to plan. We created timeframes when things needed to be done and we were fortunate enough to stick to them.
And what now? After a successfully completed challenge, will the interns continue to develop?
“Once you create a game, you could stop there, but we don’t want to. We plan on continuing to develop Cosmos Conquest by adding more levels, more worlds, different environments, new enemies and possibly a new weapon. We want to keep it fresh and exciting.”
“We may even look at some of those prototype games we made last spring and put some life into them. We’ll see.”
Have you played Cosmos Conquest yet? It’s free and ad-free, too. Let us (and the interns) know what you think of it, using the comments section below.
Image credit: Chatirygirl