Survive The Desert – A Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @angrygeometry)
December 20th, 2011 4:19 pm

This LD I decided to throw myself into a completely new engine and way of making games and challenged myself to make a Flash game and learn Stencyl in 48 hours. Something about a definite and worthwhile deadline and the community spirit really creates a sense of urgency and also a source of motivation which definitely helped since I’m lazy and have a short attention span. I don’t really know how to do these things… Sorry!

What went well?

Well, things started out okay because I was just fucking around in MS Paint, and experimenting with the black and white setting. The Cultist scene was one of the first I drew and I was pretty happy with it. I spent a lot (probably too much) time on scenes at the start but those ones turned out really nice.  Even though I’m a bad guitar player and literally recorded the sound in one take, I think it turned out nicely.

What didn’t go so well?

Pretty much everything else. I’m pretty slow with coming up with good ideas, so a lot of the scenes in Survive The Desert feel forced and dumb. Making the game itself at first started off pretty well, but I ran into so many problems and didn’t know how to fix them that I wasted a lot of time doing really tedious code to make things work (there are 30 different objects just to handle the transitions to each different scene, and each scene has its own text box object). Because of this though, I sort of created something awkwardly long and with a seemingly strange sense of time and distance and although the desert is fairly populated there’s still a lot of space and I kind of think I managed to get a little of the theme in there. It’s growing on me. I hated it at first.

My artwork started getting really sloppy towards the end too, and I wish I’d had enough time to put in as much detail as I did in those early scenes. Also something simple like making the compass more apparent to the player, I didn’t get enough time to do.

What would you do if you had more time?

Originally I had intended to put in a hydration level which would decrease as you ventured across the desert. I also had ideas for different items you could start with which would allow for different ways to play the game. I really wanted to put an item called Danger Skull in there which when used would fill the screen and then a voice would say ‘There is danger here’ and that’s all it would do. I wanted to put in all these useless items that you could find in this large desert. I wanted more character interactivity too, but I was clutching at straws for ideas towards the end anyway so I don’t know how that would have turned out.

How would you rate your weekend as a whole?

Pretty highly I guess. I’m glad I did it, it’s always interesting to see how your mind works when a deadline is approaching. I kind of thrive under that pressure and that’s pretty much why I was able to finish this game.  I did only get like 4 hours sleep the whole weekend though, and didn’t really eat anything on Sunday which was kind of bad. But it’s done, and I’m glad I did it.

I’m sorry this post-mortem is pretty boring, you can try out my game Survive The Desert by clicking here.


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