Post-Mortem Part I: ‘The First 48’

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December 26th, 2013 6:09 am

I was going to do one of these on, well, the 17th; then someone told me in private chat that my game was evidence that I was a great engineer (could pull off technical feats easily) but a horrible game designer (don’t know what non-Engineer types would find fun or how ever to make a game accessible to plain ‘gamers’). And that bothered me enough to make me think about things for days; which caused me to put this off for days; more about that in Part II. This is about -only- the first 48 and what I learned from myself.

Things that went well:

  1. I got the main marching physics of a Platformer/RTS (Lemming-like) up and working.
  2. I got a lot of mechanics up and working relatively well given the time limit.
  3. The primary two level designs were a lot tighter than I’d have thought possible given the time I had to do them.

Overall I feel this work it’s a testament to my technical ability and coding speed.

Things I Learned during the time or reviewing the video:

  1. For some reason I have the habit of making a really nice art piece before starting my work on anything; I’d only really noticed it because it cut into available time on this project though it has delayed me from even starting on things before. I feel like I -should- make a working version before worrying with prettiness in the future.
  2. Avoid last minute tweaks, because without proper testing a small change that fixes one glitch can create a worse one and sometimes you can’t remember the original value/code that was working well enough.
  3. I used the physics system that was fastest to set up; rather than the best. Even on a time-limit; I shouldn’t do this again; it’s too inviting to lag and glitches. Also; the fact that I was using it caused there to be a need for some algorithmic jury-rigging and complications that should have been avoided.
  4. This was the first time I’d opened up and used Unity in months; I do still have it.
  5. I learned the a few subclasses and commands within the Unity Physics Class that I didn’t know before.
  6. I work well under pressure and hold up to lack of sleep well as long as I have something to focus on. Even attempting advanced algorithms on virtually no sleep worked well.
  7. I work much better at home with parents; when they respect that I actually am working, I’ve gone days without getting anything real done before due to being asked for small tasks too frequently to keep focus.
  8. In general; though I like being able to interact with people when I want to interact, being able to completely seclude myself and have the world around me either disappear or respect that I am working is very helpful
  9. I like sharing my progress no matter how small; this can be a great motivation, but I shouldn’t use it as a crutch too much.

Overall, I can say on the technical side, I am pretty solid, though I like to spend too much time on a single artpiece to get the project done. Furthermore, socialization is important to me, but so is the ability to self-isolate so that I can work without interruption.

Things I need to work on for future Ludum Dares and for other projects:

  1. Time management.
  2. Finding a way to work with others as solid as I can alone.
  3. Being able to isolate myself from distractions and others so I can work, while interfacing with others when necessary.
  4. Level design and polish.
  5. Planning

Overall, I spent too much time on a single piece of art; not enough planning ahead or on level design and I only worked as well as I did because using this as an excuse to isolate myself from the world worked well. I can’t work that solid in a many other environments, (too many distractions).


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