Asteroids:Omega – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @peacegiverman)
December 24th, 2013 7:16 pm

Asteroids:Omega Screenshot

Well, this was my first Ludum Dare, my first game here and here’s my first post-mortem.

I didn’t start early. I saw the theme and went to bed, then let it boil for half a day after I woke up. Had a few ideas in my head, wrote a couple of them down and in the end I decided on an asteroids-based puzzle game where you only have one shot to destroy all the asteroids. Puzzles are designed with screen wrapping in mind and require you to think differently about your environment. Since I was set to hold an introductory game development class a week after Ludum Dare, I decided to try out Scirra’s Construct.

What went well

  • Finished on time – I stared late, some 12 hours after the theme was announced and I also had some obligations that took half of my Sunday. Still, I kept my scope small, managed my time well and successfully submited the game on time for compo.
  • Slept well – Even though I had lack of time dedicated to Ludum Dare, I decided to have my 8-hour sleep and be productive rather than crunch mindlessly. I’d say this helped me keep my mind clear and finish.
  • Got friends into Ludum Dare – When theme voting began, I was pinging my game dev friends to come vote and join LD, even before the jam started. When I got to work, I kept talking about my progress for Ludum Dare and I guess I managed to motivate two of my friends to join in the fun. Knowing that they are also part of LD made this a pretty grand experience. They both managed to finish, more or less, and you can try their games here and here.

What went wrong(ish)

  • Used a tool for the first time – Construct is a pretty straightforward to use, through, but it still wasn’t the smartest idea to use it during a game jam for the first time. Took me a few hours to get accustomed to the UI, the way the Event Sheet works and the limitations of the Free version. The latter got me stumped a few times and had me using workarounds (thus the pre-rendered glow, instead of a realtime effect). Construct also started causing problem an hour before the deadline when I tried to import audio. It could have ended tragically…
  • I almost lost my project – I made audio with as3fxr and one of the audio files didn’t bode well with Construct, so it hung on import. I waited it out for a while, realized it’s not going anywhere and decided to “End Task”. It asks me to save, I save it to a new file just in case, then it asks me to save again, ok, I saved again. Open up the new project file and what do I see? A construct demo project that I used as a reference when starting out. Fortunately, I was considerate enough to save as a new file, otherwise dissaster would have struck.
    Later I uploaded the project, full of joy that I have done so before the submission hour, and shared the game to my friends. Some time later I’m getting feedback “Hey, mate, this is nice. Would have been great if you had a game over screen, though”. “But I do have a game over screen”, says I to myself. I check the uploaded version and it turns out it’s not the latest one. I assume Dropbox is caching files, try fiddling around, but nothing. Then I get back into Construct to export the project again, only to realize that at one point during the fiasco above it decided to change the export directory to my desktop. There’s still time, so I upload the game and go back to my joyful self.
  • Would have liked more time for audio – I only had about one hour for audio, and Construct started bailing on me then. I wish I could have tried out more sounds and perhaps put in some more fitting audio. As it is, it’s a bit rushed and missing a preloader.

Altogether, I really enjoyed doing this and am very satisfied with how my game turned out. And if you still haven’t played it, please try it here :)

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