Just Politics – Our Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @brantkings)
December 27th, 2012 11:01 am


You all had awesome holidays? Hope so.

So this is the post-mortem of our game Just Politics we did for the Jam. It’s out now because, you know, time + holidays.

This is what happened in the three days:

So in the beginning of the first day we’ve just finished arranging who was going to participate in the jam. We did the whole thing in one of the team members’ house. After we got the theme we were having some problem with getting the entire team together, so one of us transformed into a laptop with skype and we begun to discuss ideas and the engine we were going to use.

After a lot of ideas, the team started to like the idea of “a politician going around sucking innocent people’s money and laughing”. Then we began to finish discussing the engine we were going to use, and we ended up in a fight between Flex+Flixel and Unity. Simplicity and what we thought the power of the IDE (Flashdevelop, if you’re wondering) won and we kept Flixel. We divided our team of three people in “Game Designer”, “Programmer” and “Artist”. It was like just the focus of attention, because by the end of the day everyone programmed (we’re all Computer Science students, so no problem at all with that).

In the second day, after we started working on things we did realize that everyone was thinking on a different game and the game was taking a peculiar shape because of that. In the beginning, as shown in the screenshot below, the road was divided so the politician was robbing people from an abstract distance, from his office or something like that, without people ever noticing his presence. We soon scrapped all that and ended with one, big road. All was discussed every now and then.

So in the third day we continued to work until at afternoon the basic game (a single sprint, as we would call a mandate of the politician) took place. So we discussed for some time where we could go from that point on. We decided we made some sort of meta-game to make the played feel that he is progressing and at the same time we would do some tweaks on the game itself to be more satisfying.

So in the fourth day, one of our members had to leave HQ, but he worked fine from a distance. In the end we rushed some final tweaks in the game (like a pause screen, and pre-loaders) and finally launched it. At the time it felt like we could do more but now I see that we did our best. I believe the entire team is the same way about this.

So, tl;dr, we’ve came from nothing to this:

And then this:

Well, the good parts are:

  • We were doing it for the jam, so we made it accordingly and plan things through before starting any move.
  • We discovered one of our programmers to be a fast and good artist.
  • Flixel actually helped us with performance (I believe) and things like off focus events and pre-loaders, so the game could be more complete.

And, the obligatory bad parts:

  • We couldn’t agree too much in a game design idea. Every new idea brought up led to a discussion. I don’t know if that’s really a bad part, but surely made the whole thing more exhausting.
  • We used a game engine without anybody experienced on it.
  • We forgot to introduce some kind of invincible blinking on the game, resulting in some frustating sprints if you got unlucky.

PS.: Engrish? Typos? My bad.


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