The Chosen: postmortem

Posted by
December 20th, 2011 4:26 pm

After sleeping 12 hours and looking at the feedback that I got so far I think its time to write my Postmortem.

If you haven’t played it yet, go check it out . and have a look at the screenshot:

What went Wrong?
1. Lack of Sleep Management
I came from a very busy week finishing of a project on Friday and having to deal with the press, I was in a very rushed state. And also pretty tired and went to bed 30 minutes before the theme was announced. I slept for a long time and when i read the theme I was very demotivated and started to laze around not really knowing what to do. I slept for an hour or so in the afternoon aswell and played some soul calibour.

2. Fiddling around with the details
I spent a ridiculous amount of time adjusting the details of the landscape and the texturing, the trees and such. I think in the end this is what makes the athmosphere unique but i got a little obsessed with it and spend a lot of time on placing audio sources on the shore for example.
Also the textures of the landscape changed alot unitl i was happy with hte result.

3. Lack of Gameplay Instructions
Although I had lots of ideas of how to implement I got caught up in the art and didn’t start coding any real gameplay until sunday it would have been wise to do that earlier as It would have been easier for people to play the game if it would have been clear for them what to do. But then I wasn’t really sure about what to implement. so really it was a lack of clarity.

4. Lack of a Plan
I didin’t have a real plan I just started doing something and the game is what evolved out of a whole bundle of ideas. Even though I’m quite happy with the result a proper plan would have enabled me to really sit down and do some focused progress. instead I walked a more playful path adding stuff here and there. this made the process into a very joyful experience but a proper plan would have enabled me to finish more features in the weekend.

5. Lack of involvement with the community
Although I posted some progress reports, I would have liked to get involved with people a lot more. The Chat is just to fast for my liking and also on the central page the messages kept coming up in quite a rapid rate. It would have been nice to get some playtesting done before submission because that would have made the lack of instructions a lot clearer.

1. Starting with the music
I had noc idea what to do so, I just sat down on the piano and played while recording the midi. After 16 bars I stopped as i felt that I had jsut improvised a great harmonic progression I then took this progression adjusted it here and there and built the track from in about 30 to 45 minutes. Hearing the music I felt very inspired and basicaly built the whole game around it, always going back to it once i felt stuck.

2. Going for the Mood
Reading the theme and that there was a mood category this time, it immediately rang something within me and i set forth to take this as my main goal to built an athmosphere, a space of feeling.
I think that is what makes my game unique and where it really paid of to spend all that time on the art and sound, as people just love the athmosphere.

3. Proper Preparation
I took part in the warmup weekend which further enhanced my knowledge of Unity regarding game related functionality, as I have been using Unity in a non game related context.
also making myself familiar with modelling and texturing, proved to be very valuable. Sticking to the known toolset I never got stuck on anything which made the whole experience much more relaxed and enjoyable. I think Unity really showed its value as a development tool as I would never have been able to code something like that from scratch.

4. Getting involved in the Community
I posted progress reports involving screenshots and got some positive feedback which really boosted my motivation. That was good but It could have been more as indicated above.


5. Strong Visuals
I felt it was really important to have a strong artistic delivery as thats what people recognize first and which makes the game stand out among all the other entries. For me that meant having a well balanced color palette aswell as a general feeling for the forms and textures that make the game quite unique and also coherent.

All in all I’m really happy with the game, although it’s not really finished I have something that I want to keep working on and turn into a proper game.  Anyonone would be willing to pay for this?

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