My first time – A Post-mortem

Posted by
May 2nd, 2013 12:57 pm
wordhunter v100 in-game

wordhunter v100 in-game

WORDHUNTER is a twin stick shooter (like Geometry Wars) where you shoot at characters. If you get a word together your multiplier rises. Well, that’s it. Two sentences for two days work. I started late at about 12 PM (GMT+1) Saturday. I had the idea of shooting characters early, but three different concepts to make a game out of it. One being a space invaders clone. I choose the twin stick genre and got started. I worked with black squares and a triangle as temporary art. The explosion was done by hand in Gimp because I wasn’t happy with the results of explosion-generators. Spent some hours with my girlfriends Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Got at coding again at 12 pm. The stress was building up and my head started to tell me that I could just quit, but I wasn’t going to quit as I had a working prototype at that point and I NEEDED to finish. But no game over event, no high-scores, menus or music. I started with the menus, trying to get them right at the first time (which I did), then the game over event. After a (late) lunch I wanted to compile a demo for play testing  That’s where the terror started. I used Slick2D before, in other prototypes, but I did never reach the state to actually export a game. In that moment, high-scores were cut and the music fell a bit short. I was aiming to enter the game at 12 pm (because I had to work on Monday) and entered it at 2 am I guess. Cooled down a bit after that. Viewed other submissions and finally got some sleep. I’m happy with the result, well, if you get over that fact that it get’s too hard too soon. And the hit boxes have a slight (8 px) offset to the right. And words are hard to get. But well, it was my first time and I loved it. I already fixed a lot of bugs for a release the next days on my website.

What went great:

  • I had a Slick2D  template ready
  • Used OpenMPT, Gimp & sfxr before
  • Some experience in game writing from a couple of prototypes/demos
  • Went out with my dog a couple of times to get fresh air and free my mind – That helped a lot
  • Setting myself a deadline was good
  • Trying to export a play testing demo was a good idea

What went no so great:

  • Exporting – You should figure out what you need and have to do BEFORE entering a contest 😉
  • If you need pixel explosions – do them by hand. Don’t try out 3 different generators for nothing
  • I thought my idea was small enough to get everything done – it wasn’t. Next time: Start small – Use the time I have left to add stuff.
  • I had to cut some stuff in the end: High score lists, better Music, more types of enemies and better balancing of waves.

For the next time:

  • Take Monday off
  • Get to bed early on Friday and start directly at 4am

Thank you for reading and enjoy the game. And if you liked it, rate & visit my website soon for a better version :)



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