Somewhat Belated Postmortem

Posted by
April 27th, 2012 4:57 am

Its probably about time to write this.

I had a good selection of ideas at the start of this competition, something I have had trouble with in the past, The only problem was which one to choose. Unfortunately I did not spend any time fleshing out the ideas and properly designing the games which i believe is where everything went horribly wrong.

First Idea
This was supposed to be a game where you played as a cell in a petri dish. There are other cells around that either try to kill you, block your path or various other behaviors. I spend about seven hours implementing this concept but stopped when i couldnt think of how to make it a fun game. Te prototype was not headed in the direction of my initial vision of the game. I also wanted to try out the other idea.
You can play what I ended up with here.

Second Idea
I had spend a bit more time thinking about this one. I didn’t start with it as I thought it did not fit the theme as well as the other idea, but the extra time would definitely have helped.
More design time would have been mush better, as I did get stuck a few times in the implementation due to not having a clear grasp on the game’s structure. I ended up re-writing the code to display the blended dimensions a few times and I got stuck with the collision blending.

I eventually ended up scrapping everything but the level loader and started again from scratch about five hours before the deadline, taking a completely different approach that works much better. Unfortunately five hours was not really enough, and I ended up hacking in some elements right at the deadline, like the ability to drop orbs, which is why the controls really suck.

I tried out Tiled during the last Ludum Dare. It saves so much time not having to write your own level editor. It was definitely very useful for this competition as I had no time to make a playable world at the end of the competition.

Generally I should have stuck with a single idea, or at least not spend much time on prototypes if I am unsure. Also I should really take the time to fully design the structure of a game before I start ANY implementation. I never do this which is why nearly everything I program gets re-written at least twice. Maybe I’ll finally learn…

Post Competition Version
I have had a lot of positive feedback about the idea which is encouraging. I have already started writing a new version of this game. It is currently about the state of my entry with a few extra features. I want to add monsters and other puzzles that make use of the dimension blending in creative ways. I will upload a version of it soon.

Play my final entry.


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