“Alone with… things!” post-mortem & timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @codeapparat)
December 19th, 2011 2:14 pm

Submission Page

Screenshot

Alone with... things!


What went badly:

  • I didn’t have any basecode and started from scratch. Thus a considerable amount of time was “wasted” on animation, landscape tiling and collision detection coding.
  • Any form of storytelling or player guidance fell victim to the time limit
  • The LD started at 3am here in Germany. I only got 4 hours sleep prior to the start and got unconcentrated and tired rather quickly.


What went well:

  • Coding went smooth like butter. I never really used XNA previously, but working with it is easy as long as you know the coding language well enough.
  • I’m not much of an artist, but i’m happy with the art. Nothing fancy, but it works.
  • Using bitmaps with 256 indexed colors for levels. You won’t need a level editor this way and adjustments can easily be made. XNA doesn’t support those, but the BMP format for color-indexed bitmaps is VERY easy to load directly from data.
  • The game idea turned out to be interesting and fun. Combining a traditional gametype with some unconventional twist in gameplay seems like a good way to go.


Tips and learned lessons:

  • Sleep and eat well before and during the competion. You won’t be very creative or focussed when tired.
  • Use a coding language and tools you are very familiar with.
  • Use base code for animations and stuff. If you don’t have any participate in the warmup to create some base code for such things.
  • Priorize planned features and keep the unessential untouched until you are done with the essential ones.
  • Look at the themes during theme voting and try to come up with ideas for as many as possible. It helps to bring your creativity up to pace, even if a theme gets voted for which you haven’t got an idea yet.
  • A drawing tablet (even a cheap one) helps A LOT with making art, even if you aren’t much of an artist and not good at drawing on paper. Take time to configure it and its buttons well for a smooth workflow prior to the contest.

Timelapse:

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