Dreamonaut – Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @hbocao)
August 29th, 2014 9:14 pm

Hello there!

Be careful! Non-native english speaking person. :)

This is my fourth time participating, but still a newbie in game making. Since my second time I was not alone and with each edition, the team grew one member. We discussed after we finished, but this is my personal analysis

This time we made a game that looks like a beat ‘em up and shoot ‘em up crossover gameplay-wise with a simple message. The game is about a girl that fights her problems in her dreams and is called Dreamonaut (check it out and give us some feedback).

The good

Graphics: for the first time we had someone with real talent to do the art. Well, it really paid off. I think the games looks real good. Although it’s the first time of Dyoni making art for games, he did a freaking awesome job. I can’t praise him enough.

Mood: last game we did for LD, we had one sound effect and one very short song loop. This time we spent a good portion of the time to find and record some effects and ended up using different ambient sounds and set of songs. I think we did a good job combining graphics, music and effects to create the right atmosphere for the game.

Planning: last time we planned, but didn’t discuss the game design too deeply at the start and we payed for it at the deadline. Too many rushed decisions. This edition, we planned almost all the game before starting and we keep taking notes and expanding every level and cutscene with dialogs and all. We write it down which sounds would sound cool and all. This helped so much when we needed to cut some things off. Best thing we did, for sure.

Dreamonaut

The bad [luck]

The spider: Saturday, evening. Fernando, one of the programmers, forgot his toothbrush and went to the nearest mall to buy one. When he got to the car, there was a spider inside, and it got away when he tried to kill it. Goosebumps.

The car crash: While leaving the garage, the door (which closes automatically very quick) scrapped his car roof. :(

The internet is down: the internet went down and we struggle to commit and download the code (we’re using Visual Studio Team Foundation for it). This also prevent us to check some Phaser and Typescript examples.

The Sick: I woke up very sick on Sunday. Freaking sinusitis. It really hit me. I had fever late at evening and needed to go home at 9PM. I didn’t even got to my everyday work on Monday.

The Dead Battery: Monday, 3 AM. The rest of the guys kept working late on Sunday until they decide that some of them could still work on through Monday. When Fernando went to his car, it didn’t started. The battery was dead. Yup, poor guy. They all slept over Filipe’s house and at 7AM, Fernando’s father came in and helped them out.

The ugly

No knowledge: we didn’t even saw line of Typescript code before and just two of us played with Phaser before. This almost ruined us. We lost a huge amount of time finding how to do stuff in Typescript or how things worked in Phaser. Don’t get me wrong, the tools are awesome, but now we understand the value of the warm up weekend.

Gameplay: It is way too simple. We planned to do many things, but we got stuck with problems cited above and, of course, lack of talent/experience. We planned to do different attacks for the main character on each level, powerups to change the game even more, much more enemies with different set of skills, more boss epicness (like the last one would shoot “confusion bullets” that would invert the controls). But we needed to rush to finish it in time. It’s a shame.

PS. Till this day, the spider is nowhere to be found.

 

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