Sir Cat postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @@jquigley17)
December 18th, 2012 8:09 pm

Sir Cat postmortem


Overall, I’m exceptionally happy with how this turned out. I took a near-complete leap of faith and used a bunch of new tools- new graphics editor, new development setup/OS, new IDE, everything except the kitchen sink and the programming language/library. I used the following new stuff this time around:

  • Krita for Graphics Editing- I was so impressed with this that I’m no longer using anything else- this is really a great piece of work. Open source too!
  • SPE for IDE- Admittedly I’ve been using python for the past few years and never fooled around with SPE. (Seems like a crime against nature, doesn’t it?) The tool did well, but the debugger doesn’t like lots of entities at once, so at a point I was forced to debug from the command line.
  • Ubuntu- I’ve done a little bit of development on it, but nothing much at all, so this was a new experience for me as well. I’m never developing anything on anything else again, it was such a breeze on Linux. :)

The rest:

  • Python
  • Pygame
  • Old code from LD23 (“Dreamworld,” if you’re interested.)

What went right: So much went right with this time ’round that I can’t even begin to list all of them, but I’ll list a few, because I know you guys wanna know :)

  • Python- never lets me down, never gives me obscure pointer errors
  • Graphics- Normally I’m relegated to glorified programmer art. Krita let me do a whole lot more, and I’m more than impressed with the results.
  • Angular velocity- Learning trig in my math class, naturally I wanted to apply it, so I added angular velocity for the player and mice, and while through post-compo playtesting it now seems (to both me and the people who’ve commented on it) a little annoying, I think it really brings out the mice as an innocent “feather.” I like the effect.
  • The idea: Normally my ideas are way too far out to reasonably complete in 48 hours. This was the first which I felt I’ve truely fulfilled in the best of my abilities given the time
  • Goats: I added a goat- a laser goat made out of yarn attempting to take over the world- naturally.

Where I found gremlins hiding:

  • One short, confusing level- Many people I’ve shown the game to are confused as to how to win the game- I explain that there’s a sign that goes across the screen, but even then it seems too vauge…
  • Misaligned text- I don’t like pygame’s text, it doesn’t let you specify “centered” or anything sane like that, so I had to guess as to positioning…
  • Python/Pygame: I think this will be (sadly) the last entry I make with python- I’ve hit upon many limits of it in making this game that wouldn’t be there on other platforms. It’s a great learning tool and really helped me get to this point though.
  • Py2Exe: eeevil eeevil tool, I had to use python 2.5 (when Itanium was a thing and support for windows 9x was *starting* to look old…) to get a nice .exe for windows.

Overall, I love how it turned out, will definitely be making a post-compo version, and who knows? Depending on how much positive input I get, I might just go all out with this one- That’s how much I love it.

Finally, some advice to first-timers:

If you think you didn’t do well, that you didn’t try, or anything negative, it’s not true. You just found out how *not* to make a game. This is my 5th LD, and the first which I think I actually did OK in- it took me a while to get it right, and it might take a little while for you too- just know that each time you do it, you get better, and not just by a little bit either. You start noticing yourself doing things you never thought you could do, or even dream of, during any normal time. LD is not a competition, it’s a learning experience. You don’t win LD, you learn by doing it, that’s what you take away from it. Hell, you just had some of the most productive 48 or 72 hours of your life- even if you didn’t finish, you still have (at least some of) the code, the art, and the idea- and most importantly, you worked hard on it and learned from it. You don’t get to be Notch without learning how to make a ton of separate, unrelated games. That’s the point of LD, and if you had fun, you won it.



Play and rate my entry here!


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