Her Touch – Her Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @ZepCap)
May 15th, 2014 5:10 am

A little late to the reflections party this time, even though it is my favorite kind of party. My game: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=27032

Exclusive in-game footage!

Exclusive in-game footage!

A bunch of things went very well this time, and I made a both subjectively and objectively better game this time than last LD in August. People seem to generally like it, although commenters on this site are notoriously horrible at voicing critique. I’d wish more people actually told people what’s wrong with their games, but that’s for another post.

Right now, here’s one of them lists the kids dig.

Where I Rocked

  • Was stubborn at trying to find a good idea. I instantly discarded all ideas that included going under a surface of water or ground, since those were the most obvious ideas, and I was going for something unique. So I used at least an hour thinking about different ways to use the theme in a way that combines mechanics and story, and ended up with an idea that I was confident would work.
  • Time management! The only things I was not able to implement because of Not Enough Time were an end boss (which a lot of people wouldn’t have seen anyway) and another lover. The game did not suffer very much from lacking any of those two, and I managed to put in lots of other stuff: passable story, good sound, decent graphics, unique game-play.
  • Had all tools set up, and I knew the main tool (Game Maker: Studio) very well. This is a big one, since I wasted almost no time with trying to make them work.
  • Abundant-music.com! Seriously! USE THIS! I got a lot of compliments for having music in my game, and it only took me like one or two hours to get a fitting soundtrack. Just make sure to also look at how SynthFont works before the jam (it’s a bit complicated), because otherwise you’ll end up with boring midi files.
  • Tried my hand at things I had never tried before, like designing color palettes and making sound effects, which was a lot of fun and a great experience. It also went well, and I ended up getting a lot of compliments for sound and graphics, which are things that I’ve formerly jumped over lightly or completely ignored.

Where I Sucked

  • Although I had a good idea from the start, the story wasn’t fully worked out from the beginning, which just resulted in a very vague and not extremely tight story. The majority of my writing happened at 10 pm – 3 am (deadline) between Sunday and Monday, and it suffered accordingly.
  • Difficulty: I don’t actually think that the game is too hard, but it was definitely too hard for a LD game, because people play the games in a very cursory way, and if the game is too hard, people don’t see much of the game.
  • Communicating a crucial part of the mechanic (the fact that when your lover shoots enemies, they are stunned) was not good enough. This is something I always struggle with, because I often try to create new experimental mechanics.
  • I did not solve the problem of telling the story in a satisfying way. This is obviously a huge design problem to be solved in games, and I think I did it better than in many games, but it was definitely too hard to read, because it was told during action.

All in all, I am very satisfied with the game, even though some things could have been better. I cannot wait to see the results.

See you all next Ludum Dare!

-ZC

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