Sleeping Dragon: Post-mortem

Posted by
December 17th, 2012 12:16 am
Sleeping Dragon

Ludum Dare 25


What went right:

Simple reference game:  Friday at 6pm, Dave Alleca showed me Spike: A Love Story.  Press a space bar to drop a spiked ceiling onto a passerby.  It was simple to play, and the animation, sound, and writing was polished.   I managed my scope.

Simple reference art:  There’s many illustrations of dragons, peasants and knights to borrow from.  I enjoyed referring to these and composing some cartoon characters.  Cartoons are easy to make in Flash.  Most everything was morphed from an oval.  I felt relaxed on Saturday evening as I illustrated and animated.

Pace:  Almost every hour I committed to git.  I logged each hour.  I was aware of the time left and the goal for the hour.  The log motivated me and balanced my perspective for the next time I make a game quickly.  I took a break most hours; that was part of the rhythm.  I slept eight hours each night.  I was never exhausted, even though I did work 10 hours on Friday before starting the Ludum Dare at 6pm.


What went wrong:

Over invested in infrastructure.  I used Flixel.  For such a simple game, next time I might go with native Flash.  I was concerned about performance, yet the walking animations still had a little bit of stutter in them in Flixel.  I used a scene movieclip to compose the elements and to sync the sound with the visuals, and to dynamically generate sprite sheets from the animations.

Nice to have polishing before essential requirements.  I had planned to add fireball since the beginning, but I did not start programming it until about 2 or 3 hours before the end.  Until that moment I could not consider the difficulty.  Afterward, I made the fire and bite more deadly, but enabled a dominant strategy to pace fireballs.

Indecision.  I over-invested and polished because I was not sure about how much time I would need and wanted to have a well-rounded game.  I put off adding more features because I wanted to polish what was already there.  I was not too clear about my goals.  I was not sure about blitting or vector art, about using particles or custom animation.  So I made both.


Altogether I enjoyed the experience and have been encouraged by the positive comments that imagine a potential follow-up for Sleeping Dragon.



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