Tower Postmortem

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
August 20th, 2008 6:06 pm

Here’s the postmortum I promised last week.  I haven’t read the comments on my entry yet and I wanted to get my thoughts down before I did.

THis LD48 was my third, if you don’t count the two that I intended to enter and never did.  My number one goal was to finish, and the number two goal was to do something fun.  I’m happy that I completed goal number one, but failed on goal number two.

Technically, I didn’t really even submit a game.  There is no real end condition or repeatable system that goes until you fail.  I never got a chance to actually implement the “monster at the gates” scenario, as I fought with a stupid bug at the end brought on by stupid changes on my stupid part.

What did I do wrong in the LD12?  I didn’t spend enough time on it.  I should have squeezed three or four more quality hours in.  My mother-in-law was visiting, and that led to the normal distractions as she visited with us and our newborn.  I probably could have completed something that resembled a game with a little more time, and I know that the time existed.  I just didn’t use it well.

I didn’t get any real animation done with the monsters or the dude.  It would have been nice, but time didn’t allow it.  I also used some sound, and while it wasn’t nearly to the level that I wanted it, I thought it was neat to hear the monsters gargle when they died and the arrow whisp away from the dude on the tower. 

I think my usage of the angle/power aiming mechanism was a bad idea.  I think I should have gone with the “point-and-click” method, which would have been easier for the user and fits better with the action oriented design.  The arrow was made up of separate graphics rotated to the closest 15 degree mark.  I could have implemented a rotation transformation, but that would have taken longer and probably been more CPU intensive.   

So what did I do right?

I met the theme of the Tower by simply having a tower in which the dude fired from.  I didn’t stop there, and created a middle floor from him to fire from and also made the doors at the bottom open and close.  The tower isn’t just a pretty graphic.  It’s functional and strategic.

The part I liked the most about my entry was the graphics.  Most of them were sketches from my initial game idea sheet.  I scanned it into the computer and photoshopped color into it and cut it into separate parts and images.  I think it gave my entry a unique style that I’d like to use again in a future competition.  I’m not a great artist, but I think if I don’t try to make everything perfect, it comes off better.  Reminds me a little of the original South Park or other ‘construction paper’ style.

Another thing that I really think I did well was keeping the coding distractions to a minimum.  By this, I mean that I didn’t get sidetracked coding something that wasn’t important ‘right now.’  In the past, I will start to code something that may come in handy later, but doesn’t really help me too much in completing more important foundation pieces.

So all in all, I think I did ok.  I can see that I learned some things from the last time around and I really look forward to taking the things I learned here for LD13 in December.  Same goals, but I will try to think through the game for a little while before coding to make sure that it is actually a game and hopefully fun. 

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