‘First’ post-mortem and timelapse

Posted by
December 25th, 2011 8:43 am

Maybe a bit late but I don’t want to miss a post-mortem for my game.

You can try my game here. It’s recommended to try out the game first so this text makes a bit more sense 😉

This was the second time I participated in the Ludum Dare competition, and it was also the second time I actually finished a game in my life. At first I was very doubtful if I will even have the time and power to make a game since I had some busy days before and after the weekend – Starting tired and stressed into Ludum Dare is a bad idea. Some hours before the compo began I created an just-in-case ‘I am in’ post. Then I stayed up until 3 AM local time to wait for the theme being announced. Shortly after I went to bed. It was until 10 hours later that I finally started working on my entry.

What went right:

  • Idea and gameplay. While not very innovative (parts of my game are similar to Flow and the first phase of Spore) I like the final result. LD is flooded with 2D platformers and top-down shooters so I wanted to make something different. I spent 3-4 hours just to come up with an idea.
  • The graphics. This was very important for me since this was the main critique point of my previous game. I am not very talented regarding drawing stuff, so I had to find another way to compensate for this. I decided for a very minimalistic style which ended up great in my opinion.
  • The sound. This time I also used FL Studio which allowed me to make a decent background soundtrack. I am missing a lot of soundeffects for various gameplay events (e.g. collecting stuff) but it turned out that this adds a lot to the atmosphere.
  • Controls. Actually I was not sure if the controls are good or bad. But I decided to see things positive. When moving there is nearly no friction which makes it hard to chase parasites or hit collectibles. But on the other side it fits the style and again adds to the atmosphere.
  • Mood & Atmosphere. Probably my strongest point. This is the result of the right combination of elements mentioned above.

What went wrong:

  • Illogical or missing gameplay details. The game is finished, yes. But there are still some minor things where I didn’t find the time to complete them. For example, the player is immune to parasites while all of his clones are not. In the game this is not explained so the player has to find that out by himself.  It’s not very tragic but it makes the game a bit less intuitive.
  • The name. I hate the name of my game, no joke. I simply failed to come up with something better than ‘First’ in time. It is not a good idea to use a general English word as a name for something on the internet. You will find everything but my game if you search for ‘First’.
  • I missed the theme slightly. The game progresses too fast so the ‘alone’ feeling disappears quite fast. In my original idea it was planned that the player is alone for a much longer time.
  • I am very ashamed of this one.. but I failed to include a kitten in my game. :(

All in all it went a lot better than I expected and feedback for the game has been very positive so far. I learned that it is important to give it at least a try even if you think that you will miserably fail for whatever reason.

On a side note, I also uploaded a timelapse for anyone interested.

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