Post Morteming and Having Fun!

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August 26th, 2013 5:56 pm

Instead of an in-game picture, I put here the end screen. If you haven’t played my game yet and wish to see how it looks, have a peek  here.

end_screen

 

 

When coming to write this Post-Mortem I looked in my previous posts from LD26 to see if I have learned anything at all and also compared this jam’s goals to what actually happened.

I think the main idea for this game came to me the day before the the jam started.
I don’t really remember if I thought about the specifics, but it surely helped after I verified the theme is indeed 10 seconds.

The Good:

  1. C – I think it was a good choice as I’m quite comfortable with this language and I felt I was coding swiftly. I encountered only a single mind boggling hair pulling memory bug, and one or two annoying “Who wrote this” bugs. Another important part was my framework. The fact I don’t mention SDL2 here, is because I hid it entirely, probably saving a lot of time.
  2. Time planning – Yes, I’ve finished the end screen and achievements system (pictured above) 4 minutes before submitting time, but  I had time for these and the intro screen because I’ve finished the core game 3-4 hours before. In my timezone, LD started in 4am. Unlike the previous LD, I slept until 8, had a look at the theme and went straight to eat breakfast, during which my ideas and plans took shape.
  3. Fun – The main goal I had was to make a game that is fun. In the previous jam that was low priority, and it showed. I think my entry improved exponentially over its predecessor. There’s still a lot to be desired, but the gameplay seems to work!
  4. Audio – I’ve never imagined I could do such things using my laptop’s built-in microphone and audacity. I even had to hit myself a few time until I was satisfied with the recording that was eventually transformed into the effect that plays when people bump into each other. An anecdote: Before coming up with the idea for this game, I planned to record myself playing live music during the jam.
  5. Funny – I laughed out loud so much while making this game. I tested the game very often, with every feature I have added (which is a good advice, by the way!), and it still made me laugh every time, even near then end when I was coding like mad.

The Bad:

  1. Funny – Back to the statistics, humour has absolutely no correlation with the overall ratings, and even though I wished to focus more on the gameplay and less on the lulz, it didn’t happen that much. As stated in The Good, it’s an improvement from last time, but there’s still more way ahead.
  2. Graphics – I had all the tools I needed, Gimp is wonderful, and my framework supported loading spritesheets. I didn’t use them. Right in the beginning I created the first 5 or 6 sprites as separate files, and didn’t migrate to sheets later. With every type of person I have added, I had to do way too much redrawing, exporting and coding. Even if it didn’t waste that much time, the repetitive work was extremely annoying.
  3. C – Well, using C with a simple game means you don’t have to waste your time on optimizations. That means you can recursively merge sort this list. Heck, you can even bubble sort it! However, I have done neither of those. I looked in the internets for a merge sort algorithm with loops, found one, implemented it adapted to my intrusive lists, and all hell broke loose. Memory pointers went flying, and I was relentlessly debugging. After two hours or so (maybe even more) of searching, I’ve found the bug in an unrelated place! Another fail that relates to the previous point about graphics is all the ugly asset loading code. It should probably be implemented in lua or something, but even if not, some functions could really simplify this horror.

The Ugly:

  1. Graphics –  😀
  2. After the first day I understood my game has no end or goals. That’s why I came up with this headlines/achievements system, because the thing I enjoyed most during testing was to cause amusing things to happen (such as a police officer tasing their colleague) .
  3. If you haven’t noticed, the field floats in space. I wanted to have an audience. I even wanted them to be throwing bottles and stuff at you. Unfortunately, Other things had higher priority. There are no goals either (football goals), the goalkeepers have the same uniform as their team. Did I mention there’s no referee?

 

All in all I’m satisfied with the result, and I hope you like it as well!


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