KunoNoOni’s Magical Star Saga Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @KunoNoOni)
September 2nd, 2013 9:49 am

Title

Click image to play and rate my game!

What went right

>ART

Once I come up with an idea for the theme I like to spend the first few hours creating the graphics I will need for the game. This normally is not all of the art though as when I’m programming I’ll think of something really cool to add. Normally these are little effects to give the game more of a polished look. I was really happy with the way the art looked. Though looking back now I do see there were a couple of things I could have done differently. I don’t normally make a post compo version of my game but I may do one for this game and one of the changes I will make will be the level tiles. I should have made them match the area the player was in.

>PROGRAMMING

Having participated in #1GAM and in 4 Ludum Dare’s I like to feel I’m getting better with using the Flixel framework. This LD I was able to do a lot more than I have in previous LDs. Several weeks back I had brought my NES and Genesis over to my brothers and we did a little retro gaming for a few hours. One of the last games we played was Sonic the Hedgehog, I drew on that as inspiration for this game and I was really happy with how many new effects I was able to get in. Making a platformer with scrolling backgrounds was new to me. Hopefully I can expand on this in future LDs.

>OVERALL LOOK AND FEEL

Once I knew I was going to make a platformer everything just fell into place. I was really happy with the background art, with the way my player looked and animated and with the way the tiles came out. To be honest though, the jump mechanic was not intentional, I had forgotten to check if the player was touching a level tile before allowing the player to jump but it turned out to be a really cool feature :) so I left it in there and I really believe it gives the game the difficulty I was looking for. Not too much changed from my original vision of the game. Yes there were tweaks to aspects of the game, like the backgrounds were the same length as the level, but when I had them scroll and made them just a little slower than the level itself, I noticed you never got to see all of them when you reached the end of the level. So I did some math and reduced the size of them. I played around with the emitters for when the player dies and when the player gets a star to get them where I wanted them, and I’m really happy with how they turned out. All in all I’m overjoyed with how this game turned out, some of my best work to date. :)

 

What went wrong

>THEME

For the past 2 LDs I’ve written down all of the themes which made it to the finals, then I try to come up with at least 3 ideas for each theme. This LD was no different and I actually had 4 ideas for 10 seconds. Then the theme was announced and I went to my list, read it over and decided I hated every idea I had… *SIGH* so I spent the next 3 hours trying to come up with an idea I liked. The funny thing is, the original idea I had for the game came from twitter which I’ll get into in the next section. So I lost 3 hours right at the beginning of the LD to coming up with an idea, which is normally used for making art and graphics for the game.

>THEME IMPLEMENTATION

The original idea for my game was to have the level tiles disintegrate 10 seconds after the player touches them. But when it came time to implement this I ran into several problems. The first problem I ran into was Frames Per Second. When I changed all the level tiles into sprites my frames went from 30 to 3! Totally unacceptable :). So I redesigned the first level and the FPS jumped back up. Next problem I had was collision. With Flixel, collision with a tilemap and collision with a sprite are handled differently and I had forgotten this. So when the player collided with a level tile it pushed the tile which ended up going off screen.  I wasn’t able to find a solution to this problem, perhaps I don’t know the framework as well as I thought I did :/. In the end I decided I needed to switch how the theme worked in my game or risk losing all the time I had already invested in it. Which is where the weird story in the beginning of my game came from :) as I decided on using the theme to instill a need to rush.

>MUSIC

While I am no musician I can sometimes make music that is somewhat pleasant to listen to. Yes it will be repetitive, but it will for the most part fit the game I am making. This was not the case this LD. I really didn’t like the the music I came up with and I feel my game suffers because of it. All the music was made with drum circle, which I can normally produce interesting music with. I’m not really sure why this time was different. I have 4 months until the next LD so I  may look into other musical programs and see if I can find another one I like.

 

Conclusion

Every LD I like to push myself to do things I’ve not done before and this LD was no different. I had several problems in the beginning but I overcame them. I am really proud of the game I created for this Ludum Dare. I had a great time making and playtesting my game and I look forward to seeing what you all thought about it. :)

If you would like to play and rate my game you can click here!

 

Note: I have since the compo figured out how I could have implemented the level tiles disintegrating. Perhaps I’ll make that game for #1GAM instead. :)


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