If you ever played any casino like card game you know they are really cool. I’ve planned to create a card game using that theme, so I did some research for tools and assets to estimate development cost.

I will report my development progress, so stay tuned. For now let me introduce my action plan.

Step #1: the mechanics

The first step is choose the gameplay mechanics. I’ve found some casino sites, such as PartyCasino, and Blackjack is a good way to go. It is simple to understand and easy to implement.

Step #2: it’s all about the assets

I thought it would be easy to find some royalty-free card packs out there, but that was no true. Google shows several links, but most of the assets related to cards are for non-commercial use or licensed under very restritive terms.

After some time crawling the web, I could find two graphically acceptable packs that I will use.

So I went after some green table background and coins. I found a pretty one (the image on the right) that will cost me $ 51, but it is very nice.

Step #3: the tools

The first thing I did was search for “card” on As3GameGears itself and I found As3Cards. It provides a skinnable card engine for creating playing card games. It is an old project (last update was in 2007), so it may not be a bleeding-edge tool, but it can be a good start point.

If you are a “do it yourself” guy, you can code your own card system using any good engine out there, such as Minko and Papervision3D for 3D, or Flixel and Axel for 2D. I think I will end up implementing my own code, it’s way more challenging.

Step #4: break the silence

The next step was the SFX quest. The first place I went after sound effects was Flashkit and I did find some effects, but I don’t believe I will be able to use them. I may have to buy some high-quality SFX from already know partners.

Let’s assume I will buy some sounds, I think the final cost will be something close to $ 100.

Step #5: polishing and enhancing

I will target the mobile market, specially tablet users. I will use the ANE-Game-Center on iOS to create an integrated game experience; I will also use Scoreoid for all platforms.

Costs estimation

It’s time to count how much it will cost me, so let’s see the numbers:

  • $0.00       – Card assets.
  • $51.00     – Background and some pretty details.
  • $100.00   – Sound effects and music.
  • $0.00       – Marketing (let’s hope for the best=).
  • $151.00   – Total development cost.

That’s a very rough estimation and it all depends on the amount of “financial effort” you want to use to improve graphical and SFX quality. My estimation may be very low, but it can be beyond some indie developers budget, so let’s keep it below the AAA “game of the year” line.

My next step is the code itself. Let the party begin!

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