Affinity Post-Mortem

Posted by
September 12th, 2014 4:42 am


What Went Right
1. Spending time writing some library code before the contest
Is it the fastest? No. Does it have the most features? No. Is it well written? Probably not. But I knew every bit of it. If any problems came up it was obvious where. If anything needed to be changed there was no problem ripping things out or quickly throwing them in as I knew what problems could happen.
Knowing everything that was possible with it, and knowing how it was built also made it much easier to choose a design. My previous entries were made using existing ActionScript libraries and often I would spend a good portion of time trying to see if something was possible or attempting to fix some small problems I would run into that required code changes in the library.

2. Minimal art
Being primarily a coder making any sort of sprites or recognizable characters is time consuming for me. However I can put together decent particle effects, which ended up being on of the main graphical effects used. The only other part, aside from the menu buttons, were the connections. These are generated at run time and are the visible aspect that took the most time to get right.
I’m not too happy with the colors though. Was going for something that would be color blind friendly since it is a big part of this game. Since there’s supposed to be four identifiable colors this constrained my choices.

3. Healthy living
A good nights sleep and non-junk food do wondrous things for productivity. In previous LDs I would sometimes get caught up in making stuff and stay up too late on Friday night which meant I was exhausted the rest of the weekend.

What Went Wrong
1. Game is too confusing
Lots of people mentioned it in the comments and I knew it was going to be a problem. It’s hard to tell how close you are to actually beating a level, and I also feel like the goal isn’t entirely clear. Going for a minimalist art approach with no hud hurt me here as it would have been very easy to put some sort of meter or bar that let the player have this information.
It’s one of those things that could have been fixed with more time. But that’s part of the fun of Ludum Dare, sometimes you just have to go with what you have and see how far you can push it.

2. Level design and difficulty tuning
While I have gotten better at it I still lack an intuitive grasp of how difficult things will be. The levels are built with a series of lessons in mind going from the least to most difficult. From the comments it seems people were either too confused about what they had to do, or found the levels too easy.

3. Not enough play testing
The above two could have most likely been solved if there had been more eyes on it. As it is the only other person who played it before it was released was my wife, but she was privy to the entire development process so already knew what to expect.

Parting Thoughts
Thanks to those who read this far. But I have a question for you. Should I continue development on this? I always feel a little guilty letting my projects just sit on my hard drive.

Play Here

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