Ballkeeper Post Mortem

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December 19th, 2013 5:29 am

In good old Ludum Dare fashion, here’s my Ballkeeper Post Mortem. In general everything went pretty smooth and I’m also quite happy with the result, even though I also see much room for improvements which were out of scope for the 48h compo.


The good:

  • No Feature creep! I stayed focus on my core idea and didn’t bother adding much more extras. In the end a slick and elegant design often works better than piling up features.
  • It’s a fun toy turned into a game.
  • I was pretty confident that I can finish it the whole time, so it was a very relaxed Ludum Dare for me.
  • Dart + WebGL + WebAudio is an awesome platform for game development. I also made use of the PointerLock API which worked great for me and is also great for other type of games.
  • Simple but stylish geometrical graphics instead of pixel art. I only used one graphic asset, which is a blurry white dot, everything else is WebGL wizardry. Let’s face it, I’m very bad at painting. I hope I sometimes will get better but until then I stick to what I’m best at.
  • Don’t develop in isolation. I was very lucky to share the room by 4 other Ludum Dare participants the whole time, so there was never a lack of testers and you could always bounce of an idea to a peer. I made some very important changes which I probably wouldn’t have done without their feedback. Big shout out to headchant, jeremias, vrld and fysx. Play their games!
  • SuperCollider is awesome for sounds. You can look in my source file to see how all the sounds were created with source code. (sounds.scd)

The bad:

  • I was pretty hung over from a party the first day and I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. On the other hand it might have been helpful for the game design itself, to loosen up. Who knows?
  • Unfinished base code. The first half of the first day I still had to finish WebGL base code I wanted to have finished by the start. So the first hours were used to implement low level WebGL stuff, which you probably don’t want to do in a game jam.
  • I had enough time to implement more features, but I didn’t. Instead I played the game a lot. I  don’t know if this is a good or bad thing.
  • I should have invested more time in the collision model, as it’s very important for the game and has its flaws in the current state.
  • Dart is great to write structured web apps. In the end I started to adopt bad coding habits, my code could have been cleaner. But well, it’s Ludum Dare, isn’t it?
  • Due to a issue in Dart it doesn’t work in Firefox. I already filed a bug report, so hopefully this won’t happen again in the future.

So, if you haven’t played Ballkeeper yet do it now! There’s also a gameplay video.

2 Responses to “Ballkeeper Post Mortem”

  1. DanielVF says:

    Have to say I didn’t notice any collision issues when playing. Great game.

  2. SiENcE says:

    I like your game very much. It has a nice flow and style! The choice of Dart + WebGL + WebAudio is indeed very nice for ludumdare games.

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