I enjoy playing games and wanted to create one myself. My studies are in engineering so I had not created a game before but have programming knowledge from it. I first decided that I wanted to make a game for the mobile platform. I wanted to create for the mobile platform because it is new and I felt that it would be more accessible to a developer working on his own. I started to think about what the mobile platform offered that was unique and wanted to incorporate those things into the game. I was reading about innovative mobile games and saw augmented reality games as really amazing. They utilize the camera and phone orientation sensors to bring the game into the real world. So ColonyBorn started out as an augmented reality game. Here is a video of how it looked:
I showed this video online and did some beta testing but did not get a strong response. I myself did not have too much fun playing the game I created so I felt it was time to change things up. In the augmented reality game, the player stayed in one spot while the enemies fly around. I wanted the player to be able to move in the game too. However in augmented reality there is no way to tell that the player is moving. The player could maybe move in the real world but phones are not yet able to track lateral movement very well in the real world. So I decided I needed to give up on using the camera and make an environment for the player to move in. It still kept the augmented reality controls though. So when you point the phone north in the real world you are now pointing to the north side of the level. After creating the first level I was having a lot of fun! I would stand up and be moving around and pointing in all directions to direct and fly the ship and it was great!! Playing the game in a swivel office chair was also fun too. And some beta testers really liked this too so I knew I was on the right track.
The last major change that I made, that makes it into the game that it is now, was adding controls where one does not need to move around. As I was developing and testing the game I needed controls that I could use to test the game without having to spin around so I could develop and test more easily. I also thought these new controls will be better for more serious and competitive play. So now the player has the option to play both types of controls.