Flea Circus – Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @robbiehunt)
April 27th, 2012 8:35 am


I made Flea Circus! There’s not a lot to it, but I’m really proud of it, and this was my first LD. I just wanted to write a little bit about my what went right and wrong to clear my head and process the experience. Before you read this Post-Mortem, please check out the game by clicking here. If you don’t want to read it, please at least go rate my game: click here.

What went right


I did a really good job of taking each idea that came out of brainstorming and running it through a Feasability Filter® before risking taking the idea further in my head and becoming attached to it. I stripped out the idea of levels, and character creation and character selection that’s typical of extreme sports games and just focused on the fun of jumping around and doing tricks.


This first images in my head when the theme was announced were of Super Mario Galaxy type planets with big oversized objects on them. So – I knew I didn’t want to go with something like that because I wanted something fresh and different from the rest of the competition.

Truthfully, though, there is one other flea circus meets extreme sport game in the competition. Weird.


Getting all the timing and the combos working was a really satisfying experience from a coding point of view – but I’m also proud that it works, and works as expected. Granted, you can say the game’s a little easy, but that’s aside from the fact that it’s very satisfying to make the little flea do his tricks!

Think of fighting games : Yeah, you can beat me by button mashing – but can you beat me and know what you’re doing?

What went wrong


Believe it or not I have a background in Graphic Design! But small pixel art … man, I don’t know what I’m doing. Those curtains look pretty good, right? And so does the wood of the stage. But those judges and the flea … could be better to say the least. I need to get good and I need to get fast. I wanted to have poofs of smoke and blood splatters and animate the fire in the hoop.

I may have gotten a little too obsessed with wanting to use the same dimensions as the gameboy advance. I should have just made a game with the style that it needed and not with a style I wanted to try.

Also, yeah, that flea needed more contrast, I don’t know what I was thinking.


It’s easy. It’s an easy game. In playtesting half said it was too hard and half said too easy – no one said ‘just right’ but me. So I went towards making it easier for those who said it was too hard and I think I made it too easy.


This is was my first LD and it was an eye opening experience:

  • I need to work on my graphics abilities and I need to figure out my graphical style.
  • I discovered the kind of game I like making though. My last game ‘Run Along, Now’ had some similar elements with ‘Flea Circus’. Perhaps I excel at creating fast-paced action games?
  • I’m really pumped about game design again. I was really down in the dumps about my abilities and whether or not I had any talent. You may disagree, but I think this ‘hobby’ of mine is worth pursuing more than ever now.

Thanks for reading, I had a lot of fun at my first LD!

Play it here! And rate! Comment if you like, too!

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One Response to “Flea Circus – Post-Mortem”

  1. SusanTheCat says:

    I thought it was just right. :) I got to the point that I could plan what I wanted to do and do it. (I am famously bad at jumping games)

    I also like the tutorial and the comments of the judges.


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