Stickman Evolution – post mortem

Posted by
September 8th, 2012 12:18 pm

Another post-mortem!

So I’ve decided to do a post mortem about our Jam entry “Stickman Evolution”, which is my second ludum dare entry and already a lot better than last time.

So, what went right:

  • Physics:  The physics engine was done a lot faster and better than I thought. It only took about 40 hours to create the entire engine,    including the shooting physics as well as the terrain and the (really weird) physics for the enemies. The Physics engine for the enemies is based on line-to-line-distance function to find collisions between the each two “bones”, which can be represented as thick line segments.
  • Graphics: The graphics based on DirectX didn’t cause as many problems as last time, and making the models went well. We had used Gimp to create heightmaps for the environment as well as a colormap and a detailmap for each world and a small scripting engine to define light settings as well as the fog options. For models we used Blender and images of  the weapons used in the game to create goodlooking and well-textured models.
  • Sounds: Despite the problem of not having a gun or something, I managed together with a friend to create suitable sounds for the guns. Of course they are not too realistic, but I like them better than the sounds that sfxr or something generate.


What went wrong:

  • Enemy behavior:  I haven’t had enough time to create more interesting enemy behaviour (such as jumping, flying or running), so they now just try to form a grid around the player.
  • Music: Knowing that I had to add a HUD and improve the menu, I only put two hours into the music. It didn’t turn out too bad, but I believe it could have been better.
  • Sleep: Due to the complexity of the game and its physics we had almost no time to sleep, so we ended up with around 14 hours of sleep in total each, but I think that’s kinda normal.

What I have learned:

  • Creating a physics engine like that surely was a difficult task, but I managed to create something pretty impressive, which gives me more motivation to do more stuff in that direction.
  • The graphics of this game are basically nice, but I somehow felt a need to improve them, so I decided to add some post-processing effects into this game afterwards, which made me learn a lot about post-processing.

In total, this game has become a lot better than last time and I’m really happy with our result. If you have ignored the link on the picture, heres another one:

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