Pixel Progression – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @pighead10)
April 26th, 2012 11:19 am

Generate your world pixel by pixel


Hello there!

This is my second ludum dare thus far, and as such my second game I’ve actually made. At least I used a 2d engine this time, so it wasn’t overcome with graphics problems right from the start, and thankfully SFML is an incredibly simple-but-complex language to use, and with my rudimentary resource management framework, I could produce something that people could possibly want to play.

What went well

I’m tempted to say “everything!” simply because I enjoyed it more than last time. Why? Because the basic gameplay was complete at the end of the first day, so I actually had time to add features I wanted rather than scrambling to get the basic gameplay to work. I am not a particularly creative person, but I have what I like to call “logical creativity” – I don’t think of a game from scratch out of thin air, but I literally go through aspects I can program and that I want to have in the game and come up with an idea. In this case it was “I suck at graphics -> single pixel game -> tiny world -> minecraft -> build a tiny world out of pixels”. What I particularly loved is that I found my game fun to play when I was testing it, and I even had time to add a bit of polish like sound effects at the end.

What I should have done

This is going to cover one thing only.  TESTING!

Because I was enthralled by adding sound effects and adding a controls menu, which I didn’t anticipate to have time to do, I finished right at the end so had no one to test my game in progress. When it was submitted, not only was it full of balancing issues but it was massively ridden in bugs.

Bugs in final (or near final) release:

  • Crashed whenever you went to menu or exited game
  • CTD when you spammed space
  • Some computers couldn’t run it at all until today
  • Crashed if you walked off the map
  • Memory leaks
  • More memory leaks

The “computers couldn’t run it” and “crashed when you went to menu” bugs are fixed now. The crash-on-exit bug was caused by a memory leak in the destructors, and to solve it I removed the destructors which caused more memory leaks. But as it’s a 2 bit game, I didn’t think many people would run out of memory while running it. There was an issue with frametimes which was causing the ultimate unrunnable bug on some computers only, where I thought SFML wasn’t tracking the frametimes correctly and I updated the entire version of SFML before realising today that I had just got the frame time before rendering. Additionally, there are complaints of difficulty, moving to slowly, etc, which I would have tweaked had I actually got people to test the game before submitting. I should probably fix the CTD at some point, because almost everyone who gets more than 100 points suffers from it.

But, overall, I am pleased with the game. So go play it! Comment! After I’m done with my random 20 I shall probably go through the comments and play all your games.



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