Mandatory post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @iFredQC)
April 25th, 2012 7:35 pm

Wellphfohasieh I figured I’d do what they call a “post-mortem” this time. I had great fun this time and last LD too so I’ll share a bit with the community.

What went right:
Coding: I had extreme ease when creating the game because I used (Don’t spit on me!) GameMaker! I am extremely familiar with it and it is super fast for going from idea to prototype, or even full game depending on the scope of the game. I first coded the game as if it were a side scroller with everything moing along the x axis. When everything was working without bugs, I then remapped the drawing to a sphere. So the computer analyses everything like a standard platformer but draws everything around a sphere! Pretty cool. It was the first time I did that.

Maths: Well I had a ballistic trajectory problem I had to fix, but I’m really bad at maths. In fact I’m good at maths, but I just don’t have enough knowledge. The people on the IRC were really helpful. Thx!

Stick with one idea: Yeap, that one was important. I managed to finish the game and get everything I wanted in it (Even if it wasn’t a lot) because I sticked with the first idea I started coding.

Drawing: I used GameMaker’s sprite editor for pixel art and FilterForge for larger art, namely the first (unused) background and the planet back(fore)ground and star background. FilterForge really let me have amazing detail on the planet in just a few minutes. I then tweaked and had this wonderful, randomly generated planet and stars. 30 minutes at most.

Timelapse: I did one for my 2nd LD and it went pretty good. Chronolapse is super easy to use and it lets me add the music so I didn’t have to go get Windows Movie Maker to edit stuff. All is packed into one convenient tool.

What went wrong:

Sound: I used SFXR again. I thought I lowered the volume of the sounds enough but it seems not, again. The sounds in my game were utterly annoying but I was too tired (Brain tired) to notice it, so forget about fixing.

I forgot things! Many obvious things! I forgot to make a menu screen (Or at least a help screen). I forgot to make music! Having a to do list would’ve been helpful here! (Though I would probably have forgotten to put music and menu there anyway)

Porting the game to HTML5 using GameMaker Studio: That was one of the biggest problems I had. In the end, it worked but it made me waste quite a lot of time, making me forget the above. It introduced many bugs that I didn’t know how to (Or even if I could) fix them. It also broke the tooltip function I had and I didn’t quite know how to fix it either. But it was too late to go back to Win EXE. I had made key modifications to the code that couldn’t be rewritten fast enough. I had to stick with Studio’s HTML5.

What I learned (Read: TL;DR;):

Not to use a tool in BETA for serious projects. To stick with the first idea I start coding. The people on the IRC are friendly. Stick with tools I’m familiar with. FilterForge is awesome. Chronolapse is cool and easy to use. Use headphones instead of laptop sound to gauge SFXR’s sound volumes. To use a to do list. Not to port a game to another platform before I’m absolutely done coding it.

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