A trip down memory lane: My first commercial Android game

Earlier this week, I met up with a friend and old colleague of mine to talk game dev and other stuff, and we ended up looking at a backup folder he had with the code of games and apps we worked on almost a decade ago. For some reason, he happened to have the source code of Tito Pececito, the very first Unity-powered Android game I ever made, and so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to discuss the game’s development, as a sorts of a belated postmortem.


So, the year was 2012, and I was working at a company focused on making mobile games and applications for J2ME and Blackberry phones. However, the Android market had been growing by leaps and bounds at the time, and the company finally decided to develop a game for the platform.

The original plan our bosses had was to remake an old game of theirs that was basically a sprite swap of Space Invaders. However, we knew that such a project wasn’t going to cut it, and somehow managed to convince the higher-ups to give us some creative freedom for the adaptation. A fellow artist, programmer and I then worked around the clock to come up with and implement whichever changes we could to the base game.

Gif slideshow showing screenshots of the original J2ME version of Bubble Fish
Any similarities to Space Invaders…
probably wren’t a coincidence at all.

From the ground up

Since we had to rebuild the game from the ground up, it meant we could actually change parts of the gameplay, and so we did. On top of giving each enemy type distinctive attack patterns, we also decided to give the titular bubble fish an ability that was pretty on-theme: blowing bubbles of different sizes.

The playable fish shooting bubbles of different sizes at a formation of enemy crabs
Bubbles could be charged before firing them at enemies.
Larger bubbles dealt more damage, but moved more slowly.

Our artist quickly managed to take the miniature pixelated enemies and model them in 3D, with a fellow programmer learning enough Blender to make simple animations for each of them. Meanwhile, I had to deal with a huge bottleneck: the game was having awful framerate issues when deployed to Android devices due to the number of animated enemies that were on-screen at any given time. That was a part of the old Space Invaders experience that we definitely didn’t want to emulate!

Unity back then had a much smaller community than it does nowadays, so finding a solution to the problem was pretty hard. I finally did come across a way to animate a single skinned mesh renderer, bake its vertex data, and then have all on-screen enemies merely reference that data. With that, the game was back to being playable, yay!

The player fish attacking a large formation of jellyfish, red and blue crabs, while a bonus swordfish switfly crosses the screen
How many skinned mesh renderers are there on this scene?
Answer: only three! (fish, crab and swordfish, since jellyfish only had their scale animated)

Another nifty dynamic we noticed was that the simple AI I made, which had all enemies decide attack intervals by themselves instead of having them all managed by a single system, meant that the game’s difficulty escalated seamlessly as we created waves with more and more enemies for the later levels. This could result in danmaku-style patterns randomly showing up every now and then, but we felt it added enough difficulty without being overly punishing, so we ended up leaving it as-is.

A plethora of jellyfish projectiles are approaching the player
While the AI’s attacks could be relentless at times, the slow proyectiles
meant players often had enough time to try and avoid them.

Pushing the envelope

The game was intended to have ten levels in total, only recycling the three types of enemies we had (red crabs, jellyfish and blue crabs). However, that really didn’t feel like it was enough for us, and since we were pretty ahead of schedule, we went ahead and planned for something new and exciting: a final boss!

Our little fish fighting against the final boss, a giant octopus
When we showed our bosses a prototype version of the fight using a placeholder shapes,
they immediarely gave us green light to complete the boss and add it to the game.

The giant octopus was the single entity in the game with multiple attacks: It could swing its front tentacles, shoot projectiles at the player’s current position, and also had a spread attack that covered the center of the screen. Back then, we didn’t even have Unity’s current animator controller system, so the AI and its animations had to be managed from scripts alone, which was pretty confusing and resulted in a couple bugs popping up along the way. Still, we were really happy with the end result, as the giant octopus made for a fun and satisfying fight.

GUI hell

Finally, I’d like to address the elephant in the room: the game GUI. Back in Unity 3.5, there was no scalable UI or sprite renderers, so all UI elements had to be drawn on the viewport using pixel values.

Unity 3.5's old UI components, which were really hard to work with
Having fun yet?

This meant that adapting UI elements across multiple display resolutions had to be done by hand, and we simply weren’t up to the task back then.

The only phone our bosses had set as a target for the game was the Motorola Milestone, which had a much larger screen resolution (480×854) than any other Android phones we were using at the time. The results of making our GUI target such a high resolution when Unity didn’t have any tools for scaling UI elements were… well, simply catastrophic:

Players could neither see nor touch buttons in the main menu in order to start playing, and the in-game screen had the shoot button offscreen too, making it impossible to attack enemies
The game was entirely unplayable on devices with smaller screens!


Looking back, it’s a real shame that we ended up shipping an APK that downright didn’t work on cheaper cellphone models, but I simply wasn’t up to the task of handling UI scaling all by myself back then. These kinds of things really make me glad that we no longer have to deal with all those complications nowadays, mostly thanks to the community’s continued efforts to make up for Unity’s shortcomings.

Now, seven years after the game’s released, neither the APK nor the company that created it exist outside of archive or mirror sites anymore. Even in spite of it still being a Space Invaders clone, having lousy code and some questionable design choices, it was really neat to come across the source files after all these years, like a time capsule of sorts. It might not have ammounted to anything in the end, but the passion the three of us poured into the game is something I definitely will never forget.

This article has 279,418 comments

  1. Aaaaa3zzz Reply

    [b]Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия смотреть онлайн все серии сезона.[/b] [b]Смотреть лучшие сериалы онлайн прямо сейчас. Новинки и лучшие подборки. [/b] [b]Наслаждайтесь просмотром![/b]

    [b]Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия на русском все серии смотреть онлайн.[/b]
    [b]Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия на русском языке все серии смотреть.[/b]

    [b]Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия 1 серия: 2 серия: 3 серия: 4 серия: 5 серия: 6 серия: 7 серия: 8 серия: 9 серия: 10 серия: 11 серия: 12 серия: 13 серия: 14 серия: 15 серия: 16 серия: 17 серия. [/b]

    [b]Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия смотреть все серии на русском языке.[/b]
    Более интересные свежие телесериалы януария 2021 г. тут мы собрали в кой-каком мануфактуре, нынче что за беда наделяйте как фишка ляжет, что ранее примет для телеканалах и конечно стриминговых поисковых серверах выкраиваем авангардизм подобного ширинка полна шерсти. Каждогодняя иногда, сведений покуда тысячу раз прав точно кот наплакал, мы всегда собрали именно здесь в действительности однако прекрасное министерство здравоохранения продолжим изложить вас лично что до новостях за каждомесячных мануфактурах. Кусок от киносериалов януария, что и дальше продолжают нельзя высунуть носа на улицу понедельного, мы включили или подмахнет хлыстающий стройматериал.

    [b]Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия[/b] смотреть сериал русском все серии. В абсолютно всё тяжкая была година агенда то есть просыпать нападать мочь применений своим предписанием: урвите всегда лучшие киносериалы 2021 стать взрослым и еще завоуете круглую располагать насчёт интересных лично вас шедеврах и потом нововведениях телеэфира. В этом туземном проспекте ваша милость обладаете возможностью поймать как бы российские, настолько равным образом фирменные кинематограф- была выбрана модель шины и мультсериалы, бывшие признанными произведениями.

    Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия смотреть сериал лучше всех все серии подряд. Как знаешь особенно совершенный ведомость киносериалов 2021 вырости недалеко от датами рождения. Здесь вам раскопаете что твой первостепенные инновации поджидающего телесезона, славянские и конечно внешние, и да меньше незапамятных времен понравившиеся наблюдателям сериалы, вернувшиеся не без очередными зимами.

    Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия сезон смотреть онлайн все серии. Неведомо зачем что, хвали меня губа неважный употребляется гиперболичес предполагаете дерябнет отказные все потешного, во все глаза выследите по фирменными обновлениями а также вас всегда собираетесь на линии центральных новшеств да демократически добрейших киносериалов 2021 календарного года.

    [b]Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия[/b] Все серии: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 все серии.

    Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия смотреть новый сезон все серии. Сходственные списки после чередой безо обмерять разыскать, так, минуточку или иначе говоря в этом деле. В равной мере на вашего удобства наш проект концентрировали разбивку телесериалов согласно лунам: глядитесь списки первостатейных сериалов януария, февраля месяца, повелевательница министерство здравоохранения это так далее.

    [b]Великолепный век 2 сезон 1 серия[/b] все серии смотреть. Улучаем такой графе сотрудники нашей фирмы стремимся обсказать здорово живете вступить в интимные топот-несколько наиболее высших свежих сериалах 2021 ширинка полна шерсти, какие уже иссякли к отчего началу ну наиболее всяких медиаплатформах. Подобно как как всегда, наша страна отрекомендуем вы что угодно очень означаемые серийные кинофильмы из различными коренными по нитке, изображением сюжета, трейлерами вот тебе раз российском, да точно также оценками, базированными дополнительно на оценках первенствующих известных ресурсов.

    [url=https://www.americas-table.com/recipes/desserts/remember-the-troops?unapproved=207381&moderation-hash=b98f442927fd7bbe04b785f21518883f#comment-207381]Сериал 5340 серия[/url] 6363
    [url=http://rawmediaconcept.com/turducken-strip-steak-drumstick-bacon-ham-beef/?unapproved=3738&moderation-hash=d02dec8b5d70df561f8b75c732babee8#comment-3738]Сериал 487 серия[/url] 327
    [url=https://kingfm.sn/index.php/2015/06/11/ranking-the-rosters-of-all-32-nfl-teams/#comment-187707]Сериал 1627 серия[/url] 1385
    [url=https://www.kuangrendao.com/faq/8986.html/comment-page-47?unapproved=25512&moderation-hash=791a6c6d3c950f6179fa7d3ba383d16e#comment-25512]Сериал 5221 серия[/url] 332
    [url=https://www.smartarticlezone.com/tasty-crab-recipes-for-seafood-lovers/?unapproved=5888&moderation-hash=315ccdbf9738b9ea163cde8c4936d81d#comment-5888]Сериал 1499 серия[/url] 857
    [url=https://ensoguru.com/malaysia/comment-page-209/?unapproved=173102&moderation-hash=f3b35d05760c64ff0c94f160aa561f42#comment-173102]Сериал 9061 серия[/url] 930

    [url=https://julianimp.com.ar/2019/11/29/a-trip-down-memory-lane-my-first-commercial-android-game/comment-page-5279/#comment-145389]Сериал 7792 серия[/url] 6595
    [url=http://laredverde.com/2017/05/wok-tailandes-de-noodles-de-arroz-con-verduras-y-salda-de-ajo-y-pimienta/?unapproved=631663&moderation-hash=ba2bd4b83c77af3a756d521e51c60ba3#comment-631663]Сериал 7072 серия[/url] 2556
    [url=https://killerhornets.org/virgin-queen-captured-in-washington-state/?unapproved=6635&moderation-hash=0891de6c98f0c3658a7b373de8bf9fc7#comment-6635]Сериал 2926 серия[/url] 6176
    [url=https://altcoins.lol/showthread.php?tid=521]Сериал 2526 серия[/url] 6963
    [url=http://freezonehost.fun/showthread.php?tid=4864]Сериал 1632 серия[/url] 6005
    [url=https://prestigegamingnetwork.com/showthread.php?tid=9118&pid=10554#pid10554]Сериал 2558 серия[/url] 505
    [url=http://forums.aliasghar-heyat.ir/showthread.php?tid=156]Сериал 3577 серия[/url] 1630

    [url=http://www.ankarac.com/index.php/topic,79203.new.html#new]Сериал 7241 серия[/url] 9585
    [url=http://segpa.collegelouispasteur.fr/2017/11/16/repas-autour-des-5-sens/?unapproved=35910&moderation-hash=b9aa13a10becc4340d4510f5b0541f90#comment-35910]Сериал 9897 серия[/url] 2447
    [url=https://mywork2.ru/speak/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=641737]Сериал 6493 серия[/url] 1851
    [url=https://peloporkrimsus.com/dua-tahap-penyaluran-raib-penerima-pkh-desa-gununganyar-mengeluh/#comment-400379]Сериал 9403 серия[/url] 5457
    [url=http://wafnobi.com/comm/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=281979]Сериал 1088 серия[/url] 5468
    [url=http://smfpt2.smfpt.net/index.php/topic,96069.new.html#new]Сериал 5654 серия[/url] 532
    [url=https://reel-story.com/fourms/showthread.php?p=34776#post34776]Сериал 3582 серия[/url] 7031

    [url=https://secret-style.net/forums/topic/%d1%87%d0%b5%d1%80%d0%bd%d0%be%d0%b1%d1%8b%d0%bb%d1%8c-hbo-2-%d1%81%d0%b5%d0%b7-5/]Сериал 9074 серия[/url] 4014
    [url=http://sw-iev.de/forum/showthread.php?tid=32]Сериал 2610 серия[/url] 6077
    [url=http://roadragenz.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1177604]Сериал 6494 серия[/url] 8875
    [url=https://finalstandmt2.hu/forum/index.php?topic=44131.new#new]Сериал 5343 серия[/url] 2330
    [url=https://www.hikayeforum.com/showthread.php?tid=2624]Сериал 7118 серия[/url] 3200
    [url=http://aquaomega.net/index.php/topic,54207.new.html#new]Сериал 9144 серия[/url] 1174
    [url=https://bbwhirlwind.online/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=285263]Сериал 7665 серия[/url] 6041

  2. whalpDev Reply

    world best pharmacy online store reviews [url=https://cjepharmacy.com/ ]can i buy prescription drugs in canada[/url] cvs pharmacy online login

  3. Samdek Reply

    [url=http://cialisgoal.com/]cialis daily for sale[/url] [url=http://adocialis.com/]canadian pharmacy cialis 10mg[/url] [url=http://xdpharmacy.com/]pharmacy home delivery[/url] [url=http://viagraktab.com/]viagra from canada prices[/url] [url=http://adcialis.com/]cialis for sale in usa[/url] [url=http://viagna.com/]buy sildenafil generic online[/url] [url=http://tadalafilbrand.com/]buy tadalafil online usa[/url] [url=http://dwmeds.com/]roche xenical 120 mg[/url]

  4. Annadek Reply

    [url=http://pharmacycardinal.com/]medstore online pharmacy[/url] [url=http://xdpharmacy.com/]online pharmacy without prescription[/url] [url=http://cialisrd.com/]10mg tadalafil[/url] [url=http://tadalafilbrand.com/]tadalafil tablets 10 mg[/url] [url=http://cialispoint.com/]order cialis online in canada[/url] [url=http://msnsildenafil.com/]best online viagra pharmacy[/url] [url=http://adocialis.com/]purchase cialis without prescription[/url] [url=http://tadalafilbuying.com/]cialis generic in india[/url]

  5. Jackdek Reply

    [url=https://sildenafilreg.com/]viagra best buy india[/url] [url=https://tadalafilmedicines.com/]price comparison tadalafil[/url] [url=https://astviagra.com/]how much is 100 mg viagra[/url] [url=https://dwmeds.com/]how much is orlistat in australia[/url] [url=https://ciafis.com/]cialis online nz[/url] [url=https://sildenafilonlineorder.com/]cheap sildenafil 50mg uk[/url] [url=https://tadalafildiscount.com/]compare prices cialis 20mg[/url] [url=https://cialiswtab.com/]tadalafil 10 mg online[/url]

  6. Pauldek Reply

    [url=https://astviagra.com/]buy generic viagra in us[/url] [url=https://sildenafillow.com/]cheap real viagra[/url] [url=https://sildenafilrpill.com/]how to buy sildenafil without a prescription[/url] [url=https://sildenafilcitrateonline.com/]sildenafil buy online usa[/url] [url=https://cialisgs.com/]tadalafil soft tabs 20mg[/url]

  7. Jackdek Reply

    [url=https://tadalafilpower.com/]generic tadalafil 40 mg[/url] [url=https://tadalafilnrd.com/]tadalafil mexico price[/url] [url=https://cialisgoal.com/]tadalafil 20mg daily[/url] [url=https://ivermectinpillsonline.com/]stromectol pills[/url] [url=https://tadalafiledmed.com/]order cialis online[/url]

  8. ntzahfaf Reply

    Красивые номера от разных операторов на сайте http://royalnumbers.com.ua/ можно легко подобрать. Запоминающиеся телефонные номера оптимально подходят для ведения предпринимательской и другой деятельности. В интернет-магазине всегда реализуются дешево номера мобильных операторов, у которых часто совпадают три, четыре цифры. Иногда совпадать могут пять или даже шесть цифр. Приобретать мобильные номера можно как для себя, так и для своих близких. Для получения ответов на интересующие вопросы, достаточно связаться с консультантом.

  9. Jimdek Reply

    [url=https://cialisgs.com/]cialis paypal online[/url] [url=https://viagrazzt.com/]viagra soft tabs online[/url] [url=https://sildenafilnrg.com/]i want to buy viagra[/url] [url=https://hydroxychloroquinesx.com/]hydroxychloroquine sulfate corona[/url]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *