Plan M – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @GameDevIdeas)
August 28th, 2012 5:14 am

Plan M is now out and, as far as I know, completable. So that’s good.

Give it a play here!

What went Right

  • The art is a continuation of the subAtomic style, and I think we’ve pulled it off pretty well in Plan M. My skills with Paint.NET have increased dramatically since subAtomic (thanks in large part to using it for other games in the meantime), and it shows in the increase in visual fidelity. On the other hand, you might hate gradients.
  • The font is fantastic, isn’t it? I just wish there was a dedicated ‘outline’ version. It’s ‘Burvetica NC’ by Jayvee D. Enaguas.
  • The humour is well and truly in-place. I didn’t have as much time to spend on dialogue as I had during subAtomic’s development, but I think the characters shine through their speech.
  • Scale. I mean, bloody hell. Plan M is at least twice the size of subAtomic, and twice as long to boot. That’s something to be proud of.
  • Speed of development. Plan M was coded entirely on day three of the jam. That’s got to be some sort of record for speed-adventure-game-scripting.
  • Features to make playing the game easier. subAtomic didn’t have saving or loading. Plan M has BOTH!

What didn’t go so right

  • Bugs. Ugh. I found 3 different game-breaking (as in ‘oh I can’t finish the game now’) bugs in submission hour. Every time I fixed one, another one appeared. If anything, it was because it was 2am and I was causing more problems by trying to fix things. As far as I know, it’s all now completely playable as intended, but I feel bad for anyone who tried to play it between last night and this morning. I hope they try again with the updated version.
    I also uploaded debug versions a couple of times and had to quickly replace them. If you’ve ever used AGS, you know that giving a debug version out to the public is not a good idea.
  • Audio is non-existent. To be fair, subAtomic didn’t exactly excel in this area – it had one or two bleepy-bloopy sound effects, and some really rubbish music. Plan M, however, has neither of these things; we simply didn’t have time. They’ll be in for the post-compo version, though – so keep an eye (ear?) out for that.
  • Scale. Okay, this is a good point and a bad point. There were a lot of things that we wanted to be in the game, and they had to be cut out if we were ever going to finish. A lot of this is to do with developing the character of Dr. M, who is practically a side-character in the Jam release. Again, this will be rectified in the post-compo edition.
    Oh, and the scale made it a complete nightmare to test for bugs.
  • Gameplay variety is lacking, in my opinion. This may well be just because I’ve spent so long working on it, so I tend to overlook 99% of the gameplay. There’s a dialogue puzzle (subAtomic had several), but most of the game is an item fetch-quest. I’m not sure I like that. If I had time, I would’ve added some neat minigames, but them’s the breaks when it comes to Ludum Dare. If you want minigames, go check out my upcoming commercial point & click game Astroloco. It’s gonna be awesome. [/shameless plug]

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or (heaven forbid) bug reports, you can reach me in the comments below, or on Twitter (@GameDevIdeas).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have 1404 other games to play.

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