“Leaving” : a post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @mysweetwhomp)
December 9th, 2014 2:44 pm

“Leaving” is finished, and I consider it is a semi-success.

Screensusu3

It started pretty well, I spent most of the first day doing game design, writing dialogs and organizing the different paths the player could follow.

Sunday morning, we were pretty confident because a lot of the features had already been implemented. I made all of the main character’s and NPC’s animations, and I had a lot of fun doing it. I think I should have dedicated less time to it, even if I really like how they look in the end.

Our initial idea was to use most of Monday doing playtests and balance adjustments, and this would certainly have been the right thing to do. Unfortunately I still had a lot of work (the rocket design, all of the icons, the title, the background, which I haven’t even finished…), so the playtests were rushed.

We usually want the tasks we specialize in (animation for me and programmation for Paulloz) to be perfect. It sometimes means that we have troubles prioritizing more important things, because we can’t stand the idea of a half-polished job. It might be the more important problem we need to solve for our next games.

Screensusu2

In spite of these mistakes, I still think the game works pretty ok, and what we should have changed to balance it would have taken us too much time anyway.

One of the main problems is the beginning of the game. It takes a while to figure out what to do, and I’m pretty sure a lot of players will just give up before they find out, especially when you try to rate a lot of games for the Ludum Dare.

Even after that, you can spend some time not knowing what to do, and talk to the characters won’t always help you right away. Some actions need to be done at a specific time, so you might think it wasn’t the right choice if you do it too soon, and then get stuck. I’m not sure how much this is a problem, but I’m sure it could have been handled better.
The game still has a few bugs, but the known game breaking ones have been fixed today.

Besides the lack of playtesting, we should have made other persons play it. It is pretty difficult to balance a game you know perfectly, and it is especially true with this kind of game.
The good point is that the game is finished, and that even if the end was rushed, it is still way less rushed that what we have been used to.

Give it a try, and tell us what you like, what you hate, what you find boring, what you don’t understand!


One Response to ““Leaving” : a post-mortem”

  1. JJEvil says:

    It has a Don’t Starve vibe. I’m hell bent on making a game like this eventually, but not with this look or theme.

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