Power Grab: Post-mortem

Posted by
December 19th, 2012 2:31 pm

In this, my 6th Ludum Dare, I had yet another fairly unique experience, encountering both new and old challenges and successes:

(Repeatable) Stuff That Went Well

  • My code was organized. In the past, I’ve written all the code for the game into the main function. This made it difficult to have more than one level and made it painful to add, for instance, a starting screen. In general, it let me make more content than usual.
  • I got feedback from people (well, one person), then implemented it. I did this early, leaving me time to do a good job implementing it and still leaving me a whole day for assets. The comment really helped me though, giving me an idea of what would make my game fun.
  • I left a lot of time to make assets after finishing the game. I spent the second day solely on assets.
  • Based on my own playing of the game, I refined the balancing of the game to draw more attention to the special mechanic I’d added to the game.
  • I chose an easily attainable goal and then built on it. I had somewhat of an engine done within the first hour or two. From there, I was able to add more stuff and polish.
  • Certain bits of polish were really helpful to the game. For instance, the sword in my game was pretty sweet.
  • I stayed motivated. In the middle of this competition, I kind of hated my game, or at least, I didn’t put much faith into it and didn’t really know what to do to fix it. However, I pushed on, doing what I did know how to do (assets) and then revisiting the gameplay later and finding that it was not really as bad as I’d thought and that I did have solutions for it.

(Avoidable) Stuff That Went Poorly

  • My code was spread out. There was no single place I could do all the balancing from, so it was a huge pain to do so. Also, I made too many tabs on Processing, so I could only see the names of 3 or 4 at a time, which made it hard to find any specific class’ definition.
  • I didn’t put much thought into what sort of mood I wanted. Resultantly, I didn’t exactly create any cohesive mood.
  • My art still wasn’t terribly good. I think I could have used more animation to make the top-down thing more convincing, but I don’t know. I wish I were better with this sort of thing.
  • The controls may not have been the best choice.
  • I don’t often play games based on action or on being quick and not so much on decisions. I therefore found it difficult to capture that sort of gameplay well.
  • The game concept isn’t wholly original. It feel more like a variation on some sort of shooter game – the majority of the game (the shooter part) has been done before. Only a small aspect (the part about summoning enemies by taking stuff) is really new. Then again, people keep saying they like the idea, so… maybe it’s a good concept.
  • I did not proofread the title page. It has a lot of typos. Like the good player of a game that I am, I never read anything in my game and just clicked on stuff.

Also, if you are one of the >1000 people who haven’t tried my game, you can click here. (P.S. I love comments on my game – it’s one of the best parts of the dare for me)

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