Super Shotgun Showdown Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @allhaildaniel)
April 24th, 2012 4:43 pm

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Wow, 48 hours to make a game. I can’t believe I did it, let alone finish and actually be happy with the result! Super Shotgun Showdown was the easiest, most enjoyable and smoothest game development experience I’ve ever had. So lets talk about how it was made.

The first night
After the theme was announced I struggled for almost two hours to find a good idea. I just finally decided to not think about the theme and think about a fun idea. I’ve always enjoyed playing games like Legend of Zelda roguelikes, and top down shooters, and figured they’re pretty simple to make, so I decided to start there. The game was made in Java/Slick2D I’m very comfortable with java and the api, so I didn’t struggle with learning anything. First, I worked on the world rendering. I chose the window resolution of 240×160 scaled 4x. Huge pixels! Huge pixels are fun and easy to work with, and is easy get something looking pretty decent in a short amount of time. I used a technique notch used for his Prelude of the Chambered a few LD’s back, using pixels in a image as map data, each color would represent a specific tile or entity. After about 6 hours working non-stop, I had smooth movement, collision collision, a basic shooting mechanic and some simple AI for enemies.

The 2nd day
Earth day! I had plans to do other things, so I spent about 4-5 hours away from the computer. I think this is what helped me the most to finish the game. Once I got back into the development, I added doors, keys, a way to die, away to win, breakable walls, the mini-boss. It was the most fun part of the whole dev-cycle. I could have added things here for days, and the game would be more awesome and jam packed with stuff, but with the time limit putting pressure on me, I stopped and had to get the game 100% functional before Sunday.

Dawn of the final day
Aaah! Less than 24 hours remaining! I didn’t freak out, even know it was my Dad’s birthday, and I had to stop being on the computer sooner rather than later. The pressure was getting to me. I just wanted it to be done! By the lunch time the game’s code, functionality and content was complete, all that was left was art, music and sound effects. I used as3sfxr, a super handy utility for game-jams to get great sounding effects in a small amount of time. I made the music with a touch screen synthesizer and with a little polish and particle effects I was done! A huge sigh of relief I could shut off my computer and praise my victory.

What I learned
I learned so much this weekend. The biggest of which is that I can now call myself a Game Developer because I actually finished a game, a struggle I’ve been trying to break for a while now, and another thing I learned was how much java is a pain in the arse. Distributing games in java is a horrible experience for a user, so for any of my future projects, I plan on learning another language uses less code and easily packageable and distributable.

You can play/rate Super Shotgun Showdown here!

You can also watch a timelapse of the entire 48 hours here.

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