Post Mortem – Castle Engineer

Posted by (twitter: @KayZGames)
April 28th, 2014 4:41 am

Working on checking all the items on my TODO-List, this is the Post Mortem to my game Castle Engineer.

In this game, you (obviously) play a castle engineer. A castle engineer works beneath the castle and usually just stands in front of a button and presses it every time the connected trap deactivates. But on this very day, every other castle engineer is at the beach, so you have to take care of all the traps in the castle. And the heroes know.

What went right

  • my TODO-List – did help (but could have been a bit more specific about the implement the game point
  • Krita – used this software for the first time for the LD, and with a little setup was able to do my “pixel art”
  • Pixel Art – for the first time, I have an image that could really be called pixel art, the treasure chest: treasure chest It was the last image i created and it is my best looking image ever.
  • The protagonist – I don’t know what he is, but that’s a good thing, I suppose
  • Created my first platformer – so far, I’ve only done top-down games. Had to come up with some other way of doing collision detection because just checking with every tile in the game would have been a performance killer. And this went pretty well. It’s not perfect, but that’s something to do in a post compo version.
  • My first sketch of the idea – did it before writing any code. It’s the first time I even did something like this. Worked out pretty well and the game looks pretty much as planned.
  • The heroes AI – also known as artificial stupidity, but could have been worse.
  • The sounds – I just love doing sounds myself, they are the most fun, or to quote one commenter “adorably hilarious”. Who needs 8bit sounds if you have a mouth and a mic?

What went wrong

  • added a bug right in the beginning of coding the game. Discovered it when I had the first trap-thing that moved from left to right. The fix was easy, but I got stuck there for a while, thinking about how to fix it correctly.
  • Got kinda discouraged on Saturday evening, stopped developing early in the evening and was too tired later on to start again. But was back to full strength on Sunday and coded, drew and recorded sounds for ~15 hours all day long until after midnight.
  • FPS-Rate on Firefox is extremely flaky, made it impossible to work with the delta between frames. Now I’ve got a fixed delta and everything is predictable. This even fixed some weird bug I had with the heroes falling or going through walls, still not sure why.
  • Used the dev version of the Dart Editor and updated on Saturday morning. The thing just didn’t stop updating taking my fans into full power mode. Also content assist broke. Switched to the stable version which worked flawlessly. Lesson: don’t update if it’s working and you need to use it at the moment.

Features I did drop because of the time limit

  • Would have liked to add some individuality to the heroes. Some being brave, or faster and more heroes obviously. I would have also liked to make them more intelligent. Like jumping over a trap if they see one right before them.
  • My initial idea had some resource management included. A specific amount of energy available for trap activation.
  • Wanted to have some way to configure trap. Like the type of each trap, or the path of a trap and with different effects on the heroes. But that would have been to much complexity on top.

And now I’m off to work on the last item of my checklist, to play and rate at least a hundred games.

And for the sake of it, a hypnotizing gif of my game:

And now that you are hypnotized, one more link to my game Castle Engineer.

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