Ludum Dare 31
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Postmortem: Poor Ball (part 2)

Posted by (twitter: @fifif0x)
August 24th, 2011 8:44 am

This is a second part of the postmortem for Poor Ball, read the first here.

Global impressions on this LD:

This LD was my second and it went much better, I’ve had more time to think about my game and to implement it (even if I haven’t had the idea directly) thanks to less chat on IRC, but I still talked quite a bit, because not being alone is what’s awesome in LD. I haven’t been affected by the site issue as much as I thought I would be, simply because it was slow but not unreachable when I needed it…

Impressions on my game and its creation in C++:

The development went very smoothly as I didn’t loose time on features I could obviously not create in time (I lost some time struggling with a library bug, though). I could easily add the things I wanted to because I didn’t force my to do an object-oriented design (I prefer using well-designed OO APIs like SFML but I cannot design good interfaces in a short time) and simply had one function per thread: display + input, gameplay, physics and music (which was handled by FMOD without my intervention); and one function to asynchronously play sound effects. Simple as that! I had to refactor some physics code in a new function and that’s all. The game was finished in time because I used placeholder graphics until the game was actually playable.

Impressions on the graphics and sounds:

The graphics in this game are really simple:

  • A dark background image putting an emphasis on the limits of the terrain and on the danger near them with a blurring effect;
  • Simple ball and wall sprites with brighter colors;
  • A title menu with some nice text giving a small background story (you can cry or laugh at it, as it is kind of simplistic and unrealistic :P ).

The sound effects are nearly perfect in my opinion: I used some bell sounds and small melodies instead of visual feedback for this such as level up, loss of life, etc, as the game requires a high focus on the ball’s position. Using sounds let the player know what happened without having to look at the HUD, which nevertheless exists.

Conclusion:

I enjoyed that LD as much as (or even more than) the first and I’m really happy to have a complete game, which I am proud of as I am not a professional (game) developer (yet) !

Congratulations to everyone and see you soon at LD22 or before on IRC !

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