Liberty and Justice For All* – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @whilefun)
December 15th, 2014 4:28 pm

What went well


The color palette and general look and feel. The UI feels nice, and the style feels consistent to me.

The graphics in each scene are simple but effective enough. I am especially happy with the police car animation (above). It was a total hack using rotation, so I got away with one sprite, with flashing light pattern, and just moved and rotated it.

What didn’t go well


I didn’t leave enough time to make the “meter” mechanic as tuned as it needed to be. Currently, it is a bit too hard, especially on the first go. It is punishing, which is frustrating. However, the thing I really struggled with was the intentional difficulty. I want the game to be hard. I want it to be a little frustrating. But, I wanted it to be less frustrating than it is. Not “winnable” or “beatable”, but also not so hard that people want to stop playing.

Tennis Serve“: I played with the idea of a “tennis serve” style introduction to the meter mechanic. By this I mean the first time you see the meter on the level, it sloooowly starts dropping, then increases in speed until its max speed. By that time, you could get your bearings and understand the level a bit. Picture a tennis serve: The opponent tosses the ball in the air and winds up, but you know what is coming your way – the ball – at high speed. I didn’t implement this, as with the other ideas, I wasn’t sure how to make it “not too easy”, which would defeat the purpose and message of the game.

Outcome Text strings: I left these to the end, and shouldn’t have. My original intention was to have a dynamic set of text that was specific to the outcome of the game. I wanted more diversity in tone while maintaining variety (for each outcome combination), without adding too much work. It turns out this is more complicated than I thought, and I couldn’t finish. So, I reverted to a more bloated set of strings with more straightforward logic. On the upside, I demonstrated to myself the honed skill of determining when I have enough time to do something and when I don’t :)

Overall, the feedback so far is about what I expected. Some people seem to get it, which makes me happy. All things considered, this feels like my best entry to date. It feels concise and cohesive.

Check it out if you’re keen:

Thanks for playing!

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