WeatherTower post-mortem

Posted by
August 12th, 2008 6:31 pm


So I feel fairly recovered from the weekend.  I’ve played and reviewed a handful of the entries, and I’m pretty impressed by a lot of them.  So, here are my postmortem thoughts on the whole deal.

The General Could-Do-Better’s:

I had spent about a week in the month prior to the compo dusting off my aging C skills in preparation.  I should have spent more; once I got past doing the familiar my speed dropped considerably, and I lost a lot of Sunday to frustration.

Better sleep strategy.  I got a decent 7 hours friday night, but saturday night was only about 6.  Since I was extra-tired from coding all day, that 6 hours was not enough.  Next time I should try for a little less sleep friday night, and MORE sleep saturday night, to refresh.

I had no food on-hand.  Although most food places are very near the apartment, it still ate up two hours or so over the course of the weekend.  I was planning on going to the store before the compo, but didn’t get the chance.

Game CDB’s:

I didn’t have a clear goal for my game.  I knew what elements I wanted to incorporate, but not to what purpose.  I was aware of this the whole time, but I did not get to a point where I decided it was definitely a problem until it was too late to go with my backup plan.  The result was an unfortunate deviation from my personal goal of Keep It Simple.

Sound.  I lost a lot of motivation by sunday and just didn’t have the desire to add sound or music.  I made a few effects that even shipped with the package, but are unused.  Next time I’ll put some more early focus on this.

More Feedback.
I spent time making different states of decay for the towns, but not stages of growth/decay for forests, farms, barrens and clouds.  This would not have taken much extra time, and is a complete product of my laziness.

General Feel-Pretty-Good’s:

I had a lot of good prep-work done beforehand.  I had a project backup system in place, a framework for the basic allegro system, Makefiles prepared, etc.  This helped me focus on the GAME at the start rather than the tedious bookkeeping stuff.

I did manage to stay very focused for the majority of Saturday, which I’m proud of.  Watching my timelapse I realize how few breaks I took during that first 24 hours.  A+

I Actually Finished.  This is big.

Game FPG’s:

My graphics came out a lot better than I was expecting.  They had a definite old-school PC RPG feel to them, like Ultima4 or 5.  My Tower graphic is pretty rawkin’, and a definite highlight IMO.

After taking a day away from it and playing it again today, I feel that the overall concept has potential, if I get more concrete on goals.  I actually had some fun playing it and trying to protect a town for as long as possible.  I may revisit this concept in some form down the road.

All in all, an enjoyable experience.  It definitely gave me the urge to make another game.  That’s pretty cool!


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