contact lost post mortem

Posted by
August 31st, 2009 8:22 pm

So! I didn’t finish my entry. I submitted it, but it wasn’t finished and I can’t help but feel a little defeated. The levels needed more design and more content, I wanted to add a jetpack (mobility enhancers are mandatory in metroid games :P), 2 more guns, at least 2 more types of enemies, a boss fight, and narration. I’d have been happy to have gotten there, but looking back… I was pretty screwed.

So I’ll start with my mistakes, first:

Not the base code I wanted: I had planned on prepping some base code beyond Flixel (perhaps even writing my own flash game engine), but didn’t get around to it. This alone isn’t a huge deal, since the starting point I had is still quite good.

A bit lost: Not much dev experience with the sort of game I was trying to build. Coding wise, it was mostly pretty simple 2d logic, but if I had had more experience, I would’ve used (or created) a level editor and I would’ve gotten the characters up and running much faster. Not to mention I would’ve prioritized dev for gameplay features a lot better. At least I learned a lot!

Bad planning with my time: On top of mistakenly thinking I had 2 hours longer than I really did, I wasn’t really in gear on Saturday, yet Saturday accounted for more than 1/2 of my dev time. I still got a lot done on Saturday, but I left a lot of important stuff for Sunday, stuff that would’ve allowed me to begin designing levels much sooner.

Point by point:

Gameplay: I wasn’t trying to do anything particularly clever, just good fun sidescrolling, action/adventure gameplay. I do like what I got, but it was a shadow of what I wanted. Unfortunately the game is such that more gameplay depth requires a fair amount of new content, which is time intensive, which makes it a bad fit for LD. Still, of the stuff I did get around to adding,  I feel like I got it right.

Art: I’m really enjoying drawing sprites, it’s not something I normally do. I love the walk animation on the guys! I might try drawing some sprites in my free time now. With some more practice, I think I could put more detail into my characters.

Graphics, tech wise: My shadow implementation could be way better, but despite this, I was able to make it look okay. It tripped me out when I realized I was placing static lights in my levels as decoration! The fx and such were okay, but now I want to make a serious fx-oriented particle system.

Sound!!!: This one really tore me up. I wanted to use pretty realistic sounds and couldn’t bring myself to use sfxr. That left me in a pretty bad spot, so I just gave up. Lame!

Overall? I like it. It can be played and enjoyed. But it’s clearly unfinished. It makes me want to work on it more.

And a parting thought:

I didn’t realize this at first, but looking back, I clearly approached this LD as an excuse to prototype a game – but not necessarily finish a game. Next time I’ll be seriously considering going for a smaller game design.

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