I want to turn the heater on – post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @secret_tomato)
May 2nd, 2012 11:47 pm

A 2D game: the 1st and 4th dimensions!

Well then…

This was not my original idea, not at all. I wanted to do a mind based conversation driven thing. I had most of the core done, no graphics though, a debug text skeleton of a game. I couldn’t figure out a clear entertaining and unboring goal for it so I scraped it.

Then I went out to grab a late lunch. It was already over 12 hours down on the clock, and I was zoning out looking for ideas half the time. Several hours later as I was walking back through rain the idea hit me. A mind in a mind in a mind.. mindception!

Look! the room is shaped like a brain!

I figured I’d do something different this time and do all the art assets first. In case you remember my previous entries, I wanted to avoid cutting so many corners on the visuals. Only way to do that effectively was to get it nice and pixelly.

First I made the character, which looking back, I forgot to name or even assign a gender to. I guess that’s less relevant in the great scheme of things though.

They see me walkin'

They hatin

I’ve done this, and all other assets in ASEPrite, which is a perfect little tool for it. Needs some work on managing layers but otherwise I have no complaints.

After I got the assets done I began fiddling with the ‘engine’ of the game. I basically made up a sort of scripting language, and made the game interpret it. This is what the ’empty coals into the heater’ script looks like:

kill crt
add thu 16 2 100 0 3 Frederik:_It_seems_that_while_you_were_turning_the_heater_on_Miguel_took_your_bed_away.
kill tr2
kill bed
add pot 12 0 40 0 1
add hed 15 0 50 0 0
add crw 11 2 100 -40 -1
add hl1 7 0 110 100 3 Miguel:_Your_bed_was_stupid,_but_I’m_hungry._Trade_you_the_pot_for_food.
add ge2 4 0 110 100 2 unlocksecond.txt -1
add fd 7 0 110 80 2 feedfish.txt fis
add sla 7 2 120 50 2 cut.txt swrd
sound coaldump2.ogg

Wasn’t complicated at all but took longer than expected. Making the level(s) took longer than expected as well, but only slightly. I intended to have a puzzle based on the warp mechanic and item drop mechanic, where the player would have to warp in certain spots and pick items up in a certain order to emerge carrying the right item in the right spot. I couldn’t get this right. It was frustrating to the player and unintuitive so I ended up dropping it alltogether. I did leave the steal-the-pot loophole instead and was positively beaming across the room when someone figured out they could do that.

I hate beds because I can't use blankets because I have NO ARMS!

I hate beds because I can't use blankets because I have NO ARMS!

I knew I could make sounds work, and how. I tried that after failing to get it right on my previous html5 entry. Problem was getting the sounds themselves. Well.. not really. My laptop came with a mic, and I had audacity installed. See where this is going? Most sound effects were done by mouth or various objects (like cereal) hitting the desk.

Maybe next time I’ll figure out how to loop music as well.

And that is that.

  • I’ve figured out better/different ways to do things
  • including scripting
  • I’ve  figured out worse ways to do things
  • I’ve made a game that some people can easily figure out
  • and have fun with
  • And some people have trouble with
  • and find frustrating
  • And some people get weirded out by
  • I’ve ported it to android
  • And now I’ve written a post-mortem

Overall, not bad.

You can give the game a play/rating by clicking on this lengthy verbose link which you are reading right now.


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