LD 31 & October Challenge post-mortem

Posted by
December 17th, 2014 7:10 am

Today I’ll review my experiences of last LD and the October Challenge!

So lets start with LD 31:

Fireguy: A bomberman spin-off with ugly-evil-unicode-snowmans. It was intended to have “the same screen” the whole game – no spawning, nothing that drops, etc. – but that didn’t work out very well. I ended up in a hurry and made an hostile AI that’s just smart enough to place bombs and evade them.
Graphics were cheap, AI code was horrible, gameplay was boring. I still felt like I had to finish it, because game > no game. People in the comments agreed on that too, I’m glad they voted.

I was pretty tired that weekend. The inspiration didn’t really come up, so I just practically worked and had fun. I kept forcing myself to finish it, and it was quite fun. I hope I do better next time.

Then there’s the October Challenge:

Offensive Defense: A RTS defense game, where you need to defend yourself against the things.

First, I came up with an top-down boxing game, but after a week or so I wasn’t really motivated for it anymore, and I realized it wasn’t really fun, so I quit.
Then I decided that I would work on a RTS game, what I always wanted to make. It’s very simple: Creatures in massive amounts are trying to invade you, but you have to keep ’em outside.
In the beginning I had really much motivation, I spent much time on it. Later, school began to take it’s toll, I had an test week, so I didn’t really have much time that week.
I wanted to push out a public test version October 15th, but I had too little time. That was just after the test week.
I went on vacation, and it felt weird to abandon the game a few days. After the vacation, I had to “refresh” my mind again. School was a problem, again.
At 29 October I realized I had too little time. I didn’t push my game out in time to “win” the challenge, but I kept working on it.
At 31 October my first phase was done. This meant the game was playable, but not finished. Before the October Challenge I thought this would be the date I would have an awesome game and start making Minecraft-money. That obviously didn’t work out.
After a while I ran out of ideas and I really wanted to finish it because it felt like it was never finished. I just picked a day where it needed to be finished, and that worked.
Then there’s a gap until 20 October: the release date. I don’t remember much of it. I remember I worked like crazy, I polished as much as I could, and that I felt every day different, but always a little weird.

It felt weird to make the game. Sometimes it was really fun, sometimes it felt really depressing. Again, I focused on getting stuff done. However, there was a big problem called school. It kept me away from working on my game, but after a few weeks I tried to ignore school a little more and work more on Offensive Defense, that was because of the benefits of the game weighted more than the benefits of school. I’ll probably explain that later.

Now the things of the game itself(IMO, it’s widely different from someone else’s opinion for example a friend of mine):

  • The graphics. You see, in a creative process it’s hard to review your work yourself. I thought some of them where nicely done, like the Evil Hamburger, and some were terrible, like the headquarters. I should learn to make graphics in other programs rather than MSPaint.
  • The audio. Terrible. Every time a bullet has been shot, a sound plays. But I didn’t think about the scenario where 100 bullets are being fired per second.
    Oh, and I didn’t include music, because I’m not a composer.
  • The content. I included many features, which is a good thing.
  • The idea. It kind of looks like something I made for LD28, One Wall. I don’t know why but I managed to make it to look like it in the gameplay. Someone said that it looked like “Storm the House”. Weird.
  • The gameplay. I think it’s a fun game. It’s hard, but it has many difficulties, which I’m glad I implemented them. The balancing was hard. I’m not sure if it’s perfect, but it’s at least not to easy and not to hard.

So this is my first commercial game. I’m 15, and I don’t feel like an MLG AAA Pro Game Designer/Programmer Indie Freak, and I did this as an experiment. I’m still wondering about the opinions of this game. Because I don’t know if my game is good, the user chooses to buy the game. That’s to make sure the people who buy the game, are actually happy with the game. I am happy with money, so I can buy other games ‘n stuff.

What’s really disappointing, is that it has 5 downloads. Yes. 5. It’s almost a month ago, and just 5 people downloaded it! D:
I am really wondering what I did wrong in that part. I mean I did some promoting, but why so little? So if you’re reading this, and you want to play a game, please play mine, because it’s fun and I really wish some feedback.

I really wish I got some feedback, I don’t really need sales, but without it I still didn’t win the October Challenge.

So it was a weird experience. It was very fun, but I should’ve picked another moment and I should’ve thought more realistic. But it’s not really about the game, it was because of the experience, and that was definitely worth it, because I learned so much from it.


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