brain gun post-mortem

Posted by
April 20th, 2015 5:32 pm

i think it is about time to write the post-mortem for my game “braingun” . so first things first :

idea :

i woke up at 6:00 am which was around 3 hours after the jam started here in Egypt . i was very glad this theme was chosen because there were  a lot of interesting ideas that can be done with it . and in about an hour i managed to think of about 5-6 ideas . the last one was about giving the main character an unconventional weapon .. his brain only  .. so he can’t carry weapons or hurt others .. although he can persuade them to follow him using his brain .

i felt like that could lead to some interesting mechanics beside i have always wanted to made that sort of real-time strategy games .. so i choose it .

what went right :

1- the tools :

i have had some hard-were problems with my laptop for a while .. so my laptop can suddenly shutdown for no reason and i had no time to fix it before the jam because i was busy with college .. so i didn’t think it will be smart to use windows because windows takes more time to restart and it breaks down more frequently than Linux .. but all my gamedev life was on windows . and i was thinking of using Flixel or Unity for this jam . but since i couldn’t help it i decided i am going Haxeflixel on Linux with sublime-text  .. and it was “Awesome” . it felt much more fun to compile and debug using terminal and i didn’t waste anytime to get used to the tools . also i used gimp for graphics and Bfxr for sound effects and they did the job perfectly . which encourages me to enter more Jams using Linux 😀 .

2- the graphics : in all my jams i used to use some colored boxes for sprites at first and then draw the necessary art later . but this time i decided to switch and start with graphics at first . and i believe i made the right choice . since i used to do a lot of complex actions that requires more complex animation to be made . but since my mind usually is so focused on the engine .. i always produce some low quality art  that ruins the game experience . another thing is because i used such a basic art style it gave more chance to focus my effort on the game play .

what went wrong :

1- the idea :

although i am still happy with the idea .. i still believe it was a little too ambitious . i wanted to add a lot of stuff that could have made the game way more fun . but i couldn’t to time limitation .

2- the AI :

games of this genre usually feature a lot of complex AI transitions and states and an Finite state machine is usually defined at first to control how the entity should act on the game . but for this game .. the problem was i had no idea what the final AI should be like . i had a basic concept which was that the player should be able to control his followers but i had no idea how ?!! . so i would just add a state or an action after the other and then go back to add transitions using if statements between them .  which cause me a lot of headache because the code structure was getting more complex every time i add anything . and it made it much harder to catch and fix bugs .

 

Conclusion :

so maybe the end game was less than what i aimed for , but i am still proud of myself that i finished it and that i worked > 30 hour in only 48 hours 😀 .

and with that my friends i declare this as my 4th finished LDJam game and my 8th finished Jam 😀 .

see you in other jams 😀 😀 .

 

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