Post Mortem – The Sheep & The Peach

Posted by (twitter: @msleeperdotcom)
December 19th, 2011 8:08 pm

It’s the day after, I am extremely well rested – slept for 11 hours after coding for over 25 hours straight! – and my game is getting some plays. I can’t wait to dig into the other contest entries, there is a ton of them and I hope everyone gets a fair chance despite the participation of certain gaming celebrities and their ravenous, crazy fanbase. But I digress – good job to all of you LD’ers! I had an insane amount of fun and I can’t wait to do it again in April.

Here’s my little post mortem of my entry, The Sheep & The Peach.

What Went Right

I released. I’m amazed and proud of the fact that I was actually able to make and release a game in about 39 awake hours. I don’t really care how well my game does, if nothing else I’m happy that I released.

My intention of creating a depressing little 10 minutes seems to have worked, players care about the characters and the correct emotions are conveyed. It’s hard to make games like that! This is by far my most “artsy” game I’ve ever made, so I wasn’t sure if it would have the intended effect.

I had a plan and I stuck to it. There was very little feature creep, and I cut out planned content early enough that it didn’t cause me problems. I also had to cut out very little as well, and the level I cut out I knew was going to be the most difficult one since it required a lot more 3D art to it.

While I keep saying time and time again that I’m no artist, I’m pretty happy with how the art style actually did turn out. A big shout-out to Halfquake: Amen for a lot of the art inspiration. Not to mention that the mouse-drawn freehand flower I made is probably the best piece of 2D art I’ll ever make in my life.

I playtested as much as I could with as wide an audience as possible. Thanks to the people in IRC who played my game when I had playable versions. I’m also thankful I had an IRL friend test for me, and even better since she’s not at all a “gamer”. She found some obvious design flaws that would cause problems for a non-gamer, that I would never have found or thought of being a gamer myself. Thanks to her I drastically cut down the explorable region to not get players totally lost, and added more refined clipping areas. But on that note…

What Went Wrong

Everyone hates invisible walls, and I unfortunately had to surround my entire game in them. If I had more time and skills I would have used physical barriers, but that just sadly was not possible. For a 48 hour game, I hope too many people don’t find it offensive. On a slightly related note, I had to drastically shrink one area of my game because it was just far larger than needed and players kept getting lost. I planned on it being a lot bigger because…

I added a big section to the game – the “explore” section – with only about 6 hours to spare. Again, my lack of artistic skills made me have to cut it down, making it far less interesting than I had hoped. My plan was to have many points of interest for the player to look at, instead of the 3 plot-specific items that made the final cut.

On Friday night / Saturday morning, I overslept by about 3 hours. I meant to wake up at 10am and didn’t get up until almost 1pm. Granted, I had work on Friday and was already running on about 20 hours being awake. But toward the end I couldn’t help but wish I had those 3 extra hours.

On that note, being at work on Friday and not being able to start until 2 hours in kind of sucked too.

I spent too much time modeling my one and only object. About 45 minutes to create and texture the house, which is literally 2 cubes and 1 extruded face. I’m no artist, but I should have spent more time in the week leading up getting more familiar with Blender. I attempted to but kept having other things get in my way.

I could have playtested it more with more people, and I could have tested things a bit thoroughly towards the end. After release I found a couple of weird, non-critical bugs. Things like objects not being the correct size and the camera snapping to a weird location during a specific condition. Nothing too terribly awful, nothing show-stopping, but still annoying to have in a release.

Finally

Once again, I had a blast, and I’m incredibly proud of being able to release. Won’t you give my game a try?


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