Learn from My Fail

Posted by (twitter: @_udo)
December 10th, 2014 1:25 pm

You know how sometimes while you’re doing something you realize it’s not going to work out but it’s too damn late to change course? This described LD31 for me. It was Sunday when I knew “Snowma’am” wasn’t going anywhere but I stayed around to see it through anyway.

In past LD’s, I typically pivoted 1 or 2 times until I settled on the final game – something I swore not to do again this time. This was a mistake, because clearly I do need to explore 😉

So I don’t want this to be a downer-type post, and there is probably some advice in here for y’all:

  • Be ruthless in throwing out bad ideas, even if you already invested time in them.
  • Focus on gameplay and fun – if there’s one label for my failure, it’s “complete and utter lack of fun”.
  • Graphics and music are not that important. I spent inordinate amounts of time on these just to make something which is not… good.
  • Let people test your stuff early, get feedback early. Don’t put it off “until it’s done”. If the game doesn’t work, it won’t all magically come together one hour before submission, yet that’s what I told myself at the time.
  • Don’t do other stuff on that weekend. I wasted basically the entire Saturday, and in the evening I went to play a Call of Cthulhu adventure with some friends until 4 AM. It’s no surprise this didn’t work out in the end (neither did the Cthulhu session by the way: Azathoth destroyed the world).
  • Cut yourself some slack if you’re in a bad mood. My cat died recently and I expected my LD project to take my mind off of it. It didn’t, on the contrary, because she was always there whenever I made an LD game.

With that in mind, I actually fought with myself whether to submit the game at all. But I did want to vote on the other games, so I did. All in all, this was probably the right decision, even though I feel slightly bad for the people who had to try my game. On the other hand, judging by the server logs, none of them actually lost more than a minute on it so I’m probably OK karma-wise 😉

Anyway, I swear to do better next time! Snowma’am signing off.


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