• Monstar Lab PH

Game Development with Little Experience and a Small Budget

Updated: Feb 13, 2019


Game development is hard!


As a programmer that develops mostly web applications for a living, I find developing games much difficult, but it's the kind of hardship that I enjoy. From the mathematics on how a projectile should move, to the character aesthetic choices, to the intricate level designs, and to the subtle game design that players won't notice but adds to the overall enjoyment. These parts of game development challenge my logical and artistic skills that I can't find anywhere else on the software development spectrum.


But recently, I've learned one of the more important things in game development, and that is knowing the constraints of our project. For us, it's the small team with little experience on it, and the budget that only covers the basic necessities (time, code repository and learning materials).


In order to facilitate these constraints, we've decided to build a game within the scope of our skills, and the use of free tools to create the game assets.


The first thing is the scope.


It's easy to get lost with all the excitement when throwing ideas around, especially on our first game. Features that aren't necessary to the core gameplay should be dropped and build something from what we know and have instead. If a core feature is a bit complicated for us, we break it down to its basic form. Keeping things small and simple makes developing a game easier and faster. The goal for our first game is to create something playable.


The second are the tools we are using.


Open-source softwares are great, and most of them are free. They're great alternatives to proprietary software if you don't have the budget for it. The availability of free open-source software for different kinds of applications covers the necessary processes of game development. We use Libgdx as our framework, GIMP for graphics, LMMS for sound and music production, Openshot for video editing and if we start with 3D graphics there's Blender. These top-notch tools are enough for us to develop a complete game.


These are the challenges we've encountered since we started our game development group and we'll be expecting more along the way.


Try one of the games we have developed (courtesy of our very own Marvin Bables). It’s simple but is a lot of fun. Check it out! Download the game. (currently for android devices only, sorry iOS guys!)



Article Contributor(s):

Leand Ching

Java Developer 2


Mobile Game:

Marvin Bables

Java Developer 1



Here at Monstar Lab Philippines, we encourage our engineers, developers, and practically every team member to share technicals skills, hacks, and knowledge to the entire family. We conduct regular Tech Talk Tuesdays (or Thursdays) more popularly known as T3 Sessions.


This helps us keep our minds sharp and always up to date with the latest in software development, mobile development and emerging technology.


Monstar Lab Philippines can help you develop your own game or whatever digital solution your business needs. Feel free to send us a message anytime and we’ll help you out.