You have a few dozen apps on your smartphones – probably also some games among them. But do you also know ChePalle? Raffaele Marcello, former IT Responsible of AEGEE-Roma, created this game for Android smartphones a couple of months ago. “Developing games is fight, challenge – a gorgeous, breathtaking and rewarding process”, he told the Golden Times. Check the interview and find out how AEGEE helped Raffaele both in his personal development and also his career as software engineer.

ChePalleGT: You create smartphone games. How did you get the idea to do so?
Raffaele Marcello: I love experimenting and creating new concepts. Game development is the best way to put in practice what I learn every day. To make a game is like writing a poem: every time the user plays it, you feel that your ideas are becoming alive. Developing is fight, challenge – a gorgeous, breathtaking and rewarding process.

GT: Which games have you created so far?
Raffaele: The first game was PowerFifteen, my primary step in development. The second one is an original game with the provocative name ChePalle. I introduced a new principle of ball-crash.

GT: On which platforms are they available?
Raffaele: At this moment ChePalle is available on Android – and you can download it from the following link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rmarcello.chepalle. For now I develop the game further to make it available on other platforms.

GT: How many times have they been downloaded so far?
Raffaele: Since late December I registered around 200 downloads and the trend is positive. The most surprising is that some users are from countries like Brazil. My goal is to raise the number dramatically, up to more than 1000 in the next two months.

RaffaeleMarcelloGT: Can you explain how ChePalle works? What do players have to do?
Raffaele: There are four cannons at the angle of the screen and a wheel in the center. Each cannon fires a coloured ball to the centre of the screen where the balls land on. The player can rotate the wheel and try to accumulate as many balls of the same colour as he can. The game consists of 12 Levels, all with a different colour, speed and complexity.

GT: What does mean the name ChePalle? And why you decided to use it?
Raffaele: The name is a typical Italian exclamation, translated word for word as: “What balls!” It’s the short and sweet equivalent to “What a pain in the ass!” It is used at the end of any annoying activity for added emphasis: “We have to climb all those stairs? Che palle!” I decided to use this because it is a funny expression in Italian and the player can play this application when he or she is bored, waiting for the bus or friends.

GT: How difficult is it to create a game like ChePalle? What kind of skills and tools do you need for it?
Raffaele: To start making game samples is not complicated, everyone could start from applying the basic knowledge of game graphics and basics of programming language like Java or C++. But to make a really qualitative game is more difficult, because the mobile market is highly competitive with a high number of sophisticated apps on it. Application development is my true passion; it was born in my heart during school days and continued to fire my soul at the university. At present, I am an IT engineer and a software developer. I started from Android technologies due to the tools’ availability. The development community is enormously big, so it’s simple to find the professional literature and examples.

GT: How many hours did you work on it?
Raffaele: The fundament was created during three or four days, but the prevalent amount of work was performed within the two months up to now. I pay the focused attention on the players’ feedback and continuously change particular aspects.

RaffaeleMarcello moskow_cannonGT: What kind of feedback did you get about the games?
Raffaele: The most important feedback that I received is that it’s very hard to satisfy everyone at one time due to diverse interests and backgrounds. One day I received a message where the user was comparing my game with the one made by an internationally acknowledged company. That, honestly, made me very happy and even more motivated for endless growth and perfection.

GT: What’s the key to success in making such a game?
Raffaele: In my opinion, experiments and the absence of fear to new is the core part of success. We don’t learn it at our universities, we perceive unique and challenging things in practice. This is something that I dare to advise to all my brothers and sisters in AEGEE. Youngsters have an amazing opportunity to work together, sharing their ideas, energy and knowledge in their first projects, they fight, they fall, they stand up and go on higher. It’s motivating, isn’t it? This experience eventually takes them to career success in real companies.

GT: What’s the next game you want to create? Do you already have some ideas?
Raffaelle: Yes. I am going to develop a new game based on logics and problem solving. Something that needs a little interaction with the screen but at the same time is very complicated to figure out. I have already several ideas on graphics and base technologies that will help me in the development process.

GT: Do you later want to work fulltime for a computer game company?
Raffaele: Why not?  I would love to transform my little dream and passion to something bigger. For example I could create my own company to develop new ideas fulltime.

GT: Some personal questions: how old are you, where do you live, what do you study?
Raffaele: I am 31. I live in Rome. I graduated as a master in IT six years ago. Now I am working as a software developer.

GT: You are member of AEGEE-Roma. How did you join the antenna?
Raffaele: When I moved to Rome, I met a friend who introduced me to this wonderful AEGEE world. I wanted to travel, to improve my English and quickly after I discovered that it was a thousand times more than only travelling. Since the beginning I loved the energy and the power of the network. The AEGEE spirit is something that goes beyond the traditional understanding of the concept. I am thankful for everything this organization gave to me. It also helped me a lot in my working life.

GT: What have you done so far in AEGEE?
Raffaele: I was IT Responsible of my antenna for several years. Till now I’m always available to help other antennae to fix their IT problems.

GT: What are your AEGEE plans for this year?
Raffaele: I would like to join the upcoming Agora Bergamo!

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