President vs Eevol: Coding Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @SunShiranui)
January 5th, 2013 9:48 am

Hello everybody! This is the second of a series of four postmortems for our LD25 game “President vs Eevol“. Every article will cover a different aspect and point of view on the game’s development. The following post-mortem is on the game’s coding and is written by programmer whitesora.

President vs Eevol
Postmortem #2 of 4: Coding

Hello everyone, whitesora here. For this LD I was the programmer of Team Omniaring’s “President vs Eevol”, a stealth game and also our first Ludum Dare entry. As Shiranui did, I’ll try to give you a small “behind the scenes” of the coding process, our expectations, what went right and what wrong. This time, of course, from my point of view.

1. Participating or not

Believe it or not, I learned that Sun Shiranui, our team designer, wanted to take part in the Jam only two days before the start. In the beginning, I refused to help him, since I not only didn’t know anything about creating a videogame, but I hadn’t even heard anything about Flashpunk before.
In the end, he managed to persuade me, and so I found myself taking part in this project, with no idea of how to use Flashpunk and with the pressure of doing everything in only 72 hours.

The result of our hard work. I still can't believe we did it.

The result of our hard work. I still can’t believe we did it.

2. A small head-start

No, I didn’t start coding things one day before.

Since I had never used Flashpunk before, it’s like the LD started half-a day earlier: the afternoon before the start, I downloaded everything needed to start coding using Flashpunk, and I also had to learn how to use it properly in something like 4 hours. Once my “tutorial session” ended, the LD began.
I was surprised to see “You are the Villain” as the theme, since I was pretty sure that “End of the World” was going to be chosen, and right after that we began the brainstorming to decide what our game was going to look like.

One of the things we thought to do was to implement our avatar as small portraits.

One of the things we thought to do was to implement our avatar as small portraits.

3. Our expectations

Even tough I study IT at university, I never really tried to make a videogame. Sure, I’ve messed around a bit with programs like RPG Maker, but nothing serious.
I always loved videogames, ever since when I started playing the old Doom 2 when I was 2 years old (literally), and I still play a lot now; Sometimes I start defining the base mechanic of a game I’d like to develop some day, but this was the first time I’ve really done something.

So, I expected to come up with something even worse than this, but the result was way better than anything we expected.

4. The results (Pros/Cons)

Almost everything went way better than expected: good music, good graphics, good animations, good gameplay… I even learned to code using Flashpunk AND to make a working videogame.
But, as I said, if almost everything went smoothly, then there are things that went bad, too.

First thing, we spent a lot of time to solve organization issues (especially us overwriting each-other’s files), so I hope that the next time we will be able to organize our work better and without any issues, but the thing that went bad the most was the boss battle.
In my mind, the battle was supposed to have 3 phases: running away from the player, following a “strange” pattern and moving randomly. The second phase was pretty easy to do (I programmed all the movement patterns of the game, after all), but the first and third ones were really buggy, and we only had time to fix only the first phase. Too bad.

Our boss. He may be buggy, but I like it.

Our boss. He may be buggy, but I like it.

5. Post Post Mortem

In the end I can say that I don’t regret anything of this Ludum Dare, it was fun and I had the chance to learn a lot of new things. Expect to see me again in some other project.
Whitesora here, ending my in-depth look into the development process. Don’t forget to try out and rate the result of all our hard work, President vs Eevol!

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