Collect Postmortem

August 30th, 2012 3:06 am

Hey all,

I know its a little late to write a postmortem about Collect (game about collecting and evolving) but I was busy past few days on work so I didn’t have the chance to write here :)

1st Day (6 hours of work):

First of all how the game idea pop out?? that’s was pretty strange as on the first day I found someone posting a picture about his game (I don’t remember the name of the game nor the user right now) but the image was blue background with white box around it and there was some white circles in it and some drawn lines. I didn’t know what his game about but when I saw that picture I remembered an old game by Scattle called Constellation Chaos, it was sponsored by newgrounds at that time and it had a nice track by Souleye (musician behind VVVVVV) go and check it (link) it is worth checking :)

So I started thinking how could I make a game so I told myself why I am not a shooting star and leveling trails behind me and these trails will cause me to reflect with it. and my goal is to kill all enemies and I get experience every level where I can evolve my shooting star (at that point I decided there will be moving enemies and they are killed if the collide with my trail like in constellation chaos and I stop from jumping when I hit a + sign on the field so I can re-jump again)

So I started to make my engine for checking intersection and reflecting the player, I wrote the physics engine but there was a bug I couldn’t figure out at that time so I spent around 6 hours trying to make a shooting start that leaves trails behind it and it reflect with this trails if it hit it, but that doesn’t work which was bad.

So I was upset and I had a meeting with some friends outside so I decided to go out and when I returned I got to the bed early to get up early and try again with my engine before using Box2D physics engine.

About the art style I always been fan of simple figures with some awesome effects you can check most of my games since I started all use that (because I am not so good at drawing art especially making animation) so I decided just some simple figure (lines and ball) and since I love to make an overlayer to add effect to the graphics that makes the game looks nice and before LD48 I was talking with Noel Berry about the scanline effect he made in his game and he said it is just an image no special effects and send the image to me so I used that scanline image effect to add to my game after making some modification on it :)

2nd Day (12 hours of work):

I started at the early morning straggling with my physics engine but I figure out it is not worth all that and if I keep struggling I will waste my second day without making the game so I decided to try Box2D and it was my second experiment with it and most of time I didn’t know what to do and I got lots of bugs but I figured out most of the issues and make the engine works very nicely.

After I finished that I started thinking what to do next so I decided to remove the idea of enemies and start deciding what are the upgrades in the game so I got 4 types of upgrades (speed, distance traveled, bouncing) but since I removed the moving enemies and any moving platforms so the speed is now useless so I decided to fix it and keep the other 3 upgrades.

At the beginning I was deciding that the upgrades will be shown after each level and on death but a spark ignited in my mind a decided that only will appear if I die so I can improve that generation and produce a new one and since the new generation made is new so I decided to repeat the levels again as if it is a real experiment and new creature better than old one is evolved and to be sure he is good we must re-evaluate it across all tests.

Since the enemies are removed so I changed the level goal to get all the + signs in the field and told myself to make all the tricks in the bouncing.

After finishing everything in the game except the game levels I decided to make 10 levels at least but while I was developing the game I find out it is very difficult to play the game and the bouncing is very difficult to be predicted so I decided to cut the levels to 8 levels and none of them needs double bounce or more to solve a level :)

What I think about what happened:

Using Box2D was something amazing it is very efficient and I am glad my engine didn’t work as that make me learn and use Box2D and figure out how much it is awesome.

Working on game for LD48 is something amazing and having small time frame caused me to get a small nice idea that is weird and nice at same time

Wasting a lot of time in developing my physics engine left me with small time frame of one day to finish the game where this limitation caused me to change the idea to a better form (in my view)

Like Petri Purho (guy behind Crayon Physics Deluxe) said having limitations and being poor is something nice and not bad in lots of time (link to presentation)

Thanks for reading and Plz Check the game and rate it, Hope you like it :)

Collect: Game about Collecting and Evolving

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