Mission accomplished!

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December 16th, 2012 8:22 pm

Whew… it took most of the 48 hours but I’ve managed to submit my entry to LD48. It includes sound effects but no music… and some graphics could be improved… and the NPC behavior could be better. Still, it is playable and the main design ideas are there. It’s also very short and easy but that’s beside the point. I suppose that now is the best time to write down what I’ve learned, so here’s a little “postmortem”:

What went right:

1) Planning: 48 hours go by really fast. I had the overall game design written down in a sheet of paper and it was useful for me to keep track of the work I had to do to complete the game, as well as to select what tasks would have priority.

2) JawsJS: I guess it isn’t a surprise that this library worked well, as it was created for a previous edition of LD48. It isn’t as sophisticated (in code architecture and features) as some other Javascript/HTML5 libraries but for an event like this, it fits perfectly. Congratulations to ippa for making and releasing this.

3) Brainstorming: dedicating a few hours for brainstorming about the theme was good to explore different ideas before committing to one of them. Finding a concept I was interested in was important to keep motivation to the last hour of the project.

What went wrong:

1) Preparation: I didn’t have much time to prepare for the event. For instance, as I didn’t test my alternatives for music generation, my game ended without music because I simply didn’t have time during the event to learn any of them.

2) Content: my game concept had a big storytelling component, requiring a good amount of content to be generated. Depending too much on content for such a quick project isn’t a good idea. In the end, I had to cut down on some of it and what I did create didn’t have very good quality (even considering my limitations.)

3) Focus: this was my first participation in LD48 so I just came in with the intent of “making a game.” For future editions I intend to set a more specific goal — learn a given language or tool, experiment with a concept (like procedural generation or user interaction) or improve a given skill (coding, pixel art etc.) I felt that not having such a goal led to some bad decisions. For instance, in the end my game was about narrative and choice. If I had this goal from the beginning I could have used more appropriate tools.

In any case, this weekend was great. Now it’s time to rest a little before taking a look at the games that were submitted.

 

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