CosmicCom Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @deathraygames)
August 28th, 2014 8:08 am

My game can be summed up perfectly by gnx’s review: “Click things and numbers get bigger“. 

I have been very pleasantly surprised by the reviews. I thought the game wasn’t going to be much fun, but people tend to be enjoying it.

Some good quotes:

  • “Very fun and addictive game”
  • “a nice fun game”
  • “Well done balance and execution”
  • “Having a fun time with this one. :)”
  • “Played it for a long time, not sure why, but I had fun.”
  • “the different buttons have nice thought out synergies”
  • “I enjoyed it even though there is not much of a challenge :)
  • “…but I like idle games and this one is cool!”

Some criticism:

  • “Aaaah, my poor fingahs. I played that for a lot longer than I meant! “
  • “I felt like a rat on a wheel after a while”
  • “I would’ve liked to see some visual representation…”
  • “I was missing was some sense of reward”
  • “Fingers hurt”
  • ” idle games aren’t really fun and full of creativity…”

What Went Wrong

  • No Time — I had very little time over the weekend, so I only had ~6 hours on Sunday and a few hours on Monday after work. Although I usually submit to the 48-hour competition, I had to submit as a Jam. More time would’ve meant there would have been a lot more features and maybe some nice-looking icons.
  • How it all fits together — I also didn’t have a clear vision of how the UI would look or how the synergies would work between the different currencies (money, customers, satellites, etc.). A lot of it was developed on the fly.
  • Full Testing — I didn’t test the game all the way through until the very end. It made me realize that the game got a bit boring after a while; even I never played all the way through to unlocking all the planets.


What Went Right

  • Work with a known Gameplay style — I knew I wouldn’t have that much time, so I decided ahead of time to create an idle Cookie-Clicker-esque game. I had done this kind of game before for a mini-LD (Conspiracy Clicker), so I knew I could borrow the general concepts and maybe a few lines of code (it’s open source on GitHub). Picking a small scope and a gameplay I was familiar with was the only way I would’ve had a chance at completing anything playable in such a short amount of time.
  • New Last-minute Feature — After the bulk of the development was done on Sunday, I knew it wasn’t much fun. My girlfriend played the game and commented that it was missing “things to buy” like I had in Conspiracy Clicker. At the last minute I added in the Engineers and the Marketing, which help to add another element to the gameplay. Without them, the game would be even more tedious.
  • Exponents — If you’re going to make an idle game like this, make sure you don’t have a linear progression, but instead have some kind of exponential difficulty and growth. I added Math.pow() in pretty late, but it definitely helped.



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