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The Arbiter

Two-player puzzle and action game available on Apple Store

Back Story

My friend and I wanted to play a multiplayer game on his phone and all of the games we found required that both players should be sitting next to each other, and we were lazy to do so, he then suggested that I should develop the game by myself. At this time, I had been disconnected from my game development journey for around two years but hearing his suggestion actually motivated me to go back to the field, especially by starting with a fun and small project.

Game Idea and Implementation

The Arbiter is a multiplayer game in which you chill, play, and pass the phone to your opponent after finishing your turn. The original game had five minigames which were Tic Tac Toe, Rock Paper Scissors, Dots and Boxes, Match Memory, and Connect Four. With time, I started adding more minigames and during this project I was reminded of the joy of game development.

During the creation of the project, I mostly used the game engine Unity, but the fun experience was in the 2D art, as when it came to the game art, at first I planned to hire an artist to help me complete the project, as I have done so in my previous projects, however, I knew that this project was a playground and it would have not been a project that would return me a revenue that would breakeven the expenses of hiring an artist but I was pressuring myself as my past projects were developed with the help of fellow artists, thus, those arts done by me would have been a downgrade to my games. But after a while, I broke that wall, and I started doing the art by myself, including the user interface and any extra thing. Most of the art is done using Procreate, which is an application that I can carry on my iPad, allowing me to get the work done even without using my computer, it was a nice experience as I kept on finding myself working the game art in different places, exploring out new coffeeshops, and workplaces. Therefore, breaking the wall of having a certain standard of art for my projects allowed me to create this project cost-free, and improve my art skills.

Current Status of Game

Even though I have completed the project and I published it, I still find myself returning to the project from time to time. Having the ability to create small projects has become an escape for me from my bigger projects, whenever I feel burned out from my main projects, I develop a small project. Thus, I see this project as a sandbox, to add as many small projects as I desire, non-stop. Lately I added three mini games to the game, Color Connect, Spooky Escape and Hospitality to the game. The Hospitality mini game focused on reflecting the coffee etiquette for Arab's hospitality.

Furthermore, I added a single-player option to the game, and I connected the game to iOS Game Center, which was used to create a leaderboard system to motivate re-plays in single player. In conclusion, this project was a great way to fuel up my motivation for game development and I strive to continue using this project as a sandbox for any random idea I want to implement, or whenever I require an escape from my big projects.

The game is available on Apple store, if interested.


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