We are Rivers Games, a Brazilian indie game studio, composed by one game designer/programmer (me, Carlos Rios Jr.) and a game designer/graphics designer (Renan Nucci). We both have day jobs, not related to gaming or programming, so game development is a hobby that we are taking seriously. Also, my wife, Andréia Rios, handles the admin tasks. She takes cares of iOS publishing too and has designed some games herself.
We started Super Casual Soccer development in April 2017. Than, due some personal problems, we had to stop. We resumed development in November 18 and released the game for iOS on March 03, 2019. The Android version was released on March 06, 2019.
Soccer has a strong role in Brazilian culture, so we decide to create a casual game with this theme, with simple mechanics, lots of characters and very challenging gameplay. The drawings and animations was inspired by “Prison Architect” game art style. We are strong fans of minimalistic art.
We used Cocos2d-x 3.17.
First of all, it’s open source. We only used open source tools to build our games. Second, it’s lightweighter than Unity and Unreal Engine, while it’s much more functional than SDL, because it’s very easy to deploy to Android and iPhone after coding once. Finally, Cocos2d-x has a incredible community, which is always willing to help the devs.
What features did the engine offer you that made development easy? What do you wish the engine did better?
- very good documentation
- outstanding code engineering, built on top of its Node pattern
- very easy to deploy to multiple platforms
- command line tool that makes very easy to build, compile and test games
- it’s very easy to develop on Linux using Netbeans IDE
- incredible community as already said
We did use Cocos Studio for animations, UI design and texture packing. We know it’s deprecated but works very well, despite some bugs. We managed to install Cocos Studio on Ubuntu and it works very well. The main development was done on Ubuntu, using Netbeans IDE.
No 3rd party libraries was needed. Cocos2d-x has everything.
Yes, we did. I did the UI interface and Renan made the drawings and animations. We used Inkscape to make all graphics assets.
No, we gathered free music and sound effects from the internet. Almost all was from freesound.com
Definitely yes, we plan to release at least 3 more games in 2019.
Yes, we used SDKBox. We used these plugins: Share, Review, Appodeal, SDKBox Play, IAP and Firebase. We hope that the SDKBox team continues to improve the plugins and the integration process.
I see game development as a combination of engineering and art skills. Sometimes it’s hard to combine these two factors to generate a real life game. Also, game development takes time, so it’s very important to test the feedback of real players as soon as possible, during the development, to avoid to release a game that nobody understands or wants to play. That’s why design thinking principles are very important in game development. Super Casual Soccer, for instance, ended up very different from its initial idea. I guess the rule of thumb here is to fail fast and fail cheap. Another thing to consider in the process is the marketing stuff, which we are still learning. It’s becoming very hard to promote a new game these days, due to a variety of new releases every day in both mobile platforms (besides, any suggestion on this will be very welcomed).
Follow Rivers Games on Twitter: @rivers_games.