Post Mortem: Chrono Blood Ninja!

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September 8th, 2013 1:33 pm

Well it’s about time I got off my ass and did a post mortem. I won’t bore you with too much of an intro, so let’s get right to it!

My Entry: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=25095

chronobloodninja

THE AWESOME:

  • Super motivated and minimal fatigue
    • Coding always puts me in a super conscious state where nothing else seems to  matter, but it’s surprising how little fatigue I felt over the 48 hours.
  • Got collision and controls dead-on
    • I spent the larger part of the first 24 hours on this and it was totally worth it. Everything from that point on is a walk in the park as long as I don’t need to go back to re-adjust the basics.
  • The tileset is literally a 16×16 black square

    • At first I thought I should use a placeholder and worry about it later, but turns out the black on white actually looked great(got even better when decorated with blood). This saved me countless extra hours that I now wouldn’t have to spend on making tileset and background!
  • Blood on black is too awesome
    • I thought about implementing some blood effects 36 hours into compo, and it instantly became the defining feature of the game. The blood particles synergized so well with the black tiles that I puked rainbows from my mouth just looking at it…
  • Nothing went as expected, and everything worked better than expected
    • I went largely without a plan and decided on directions as I go. Yet the end result was at least 10 times more fun than anything that I had imagined in the first hour.

sword

 

 

 

But, alas…

THE NON-AWESOME:

  • Music. Is. Horrendous.
    • Not sure what I was thinking. It was totally a “screw it” moment. It was 8 hours left before the end. I was just starting to get tired. I made the music 30 minutes ago and I thought, what the hell, it’s not that bad, couldn’t make anything better anyway, it’s better than nothing…… NOOOOOOO D:  D:  D:   Shitty music is NOT better than nothing…. D:
  • Wasted at least 8 hours on procedural map generation code that I didn’t use
    • I had decided to use procedural generation because it would make the game indefinitely re-playable, while not having to spend time to manually produce content. That was not the mistake. The mistake was that I tried to do some complex generation code which is horribly difficult to get right, and worse, generates maps which ARE NOT ACTUALLY FUN TO PLAY. I wasted 8 hours on this, and in the end I scrapped the whole file and went with a brain-dead basic platform generation code that I wrote in 15 minutes.
  • Lack of incentive for player to get better
    • As it is, you basically beat the game if you are able to survive indefinitely. That is, if you are able to kill fast enough that your clock counts upward, not down. The problem is that there is no incentive for the player to want to get good. They play, die and stop playing. I thought about adding a boss level but was reluctant during the 48 hours, as I did not have a very good idea of how to make the boss fight fun to play.
  • Lack of menu and restart button
    • Not having a restart button was actually very silly. When I finally got around to it post-compo, it actually only took 3 lines of code… THREE… to implement it. And one of those lines is a ‘ } ‘. The menu on the other hand is something I never learned to make. At the end of everything I had 8 hours left, but I was tired by then and felt it was good enough as it is.

ene

 

 

 

Finally, some principles that I followed, and some that I aught to follow in the future:

  1. Don’t make plans. Build up series of interrelated ideas on the go.
  2. Don’t make a game that you just want to make. Make a game that you want to play. 
  3. Only decide how to implement the theme once you have at least half a game.
  4. Make sure the end result will be fun before digging into that large new feature.
  5. If it obviously sucks, for the love of god don’t leave it in!
  6. And always, always make the player awesome.  

boss

 

In all, I think it was a really good result for a first Ludum Dare! I managed to finish a game that I’m happy with on time, and it was so much fun!

The first post-compo is already out and there will be more to come. Boss battles and game objectives will be the priority now… Here’s a boss sprite to entertain you while I figure out what he does!

 

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2 Responses to “Post Mortem: Chrono Blood Ninja!”

  1. ghRibacki says:

    I had no idea this was your first entry! Congratulations, man! You did a really good job! =D

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