Field Doodie: Post-mortem

Posted by
April 20th, 2015 4:12 am

Field Doodie is a online 4 player free-for-all death match where players shoot each other with the *cough* doodie of animals in the field. The idea came out from a weird conversation during the carpool home from work on Friday evening.

For this jam I thought I’d challenge myself to do something multiplayer and it turned out quite well! This was originally indented to be a jam game, but everyone had other obligations come Friday. I decided to press on alone anyway and I’m glad I did.

Here’s my experience…

The good:

  • Spending time making a multiplayer lobby system – I’ll definitely be reusing this in the future
  • AI Bots – these guys were surprisingly easy to get working and feeling good. They made testing much faster
  • Well structured code – All the networking stuff was hidden behind layers of abstraction so I could think about just the gameplay
    • Everything just worked as designed the first time.
  • Simple game structure – 5 minute rounds, no story just gameplay allowed me to focus
  • Fixed screen size made it so I didn’t have to care about making all the UI elements dynamically scaling for all resolutions
  • Having some Unity networking experiencing before starting definitely gave me an edge on approaching this
  • Having done over a dozen game jams by now I already knew the drill and wasn’t stressed at all

The eh:

  • Spent a lot of time on in-game chat functionality and dealing with UI focus etc – don’t know if it was worth it
  • Hard to playtest a multiplayer game by yourself – had to open multiple instances of the game in different tabs/browsers, I’m surprised my computer could handle it
  • Placeholder art made out of Unity primitives and default UI skins and fonts ended up as final content for the compo. It doesn’t look terrible, but It could definitely be better
  • Went in wanting to jam with friends, but everyone was busy until Sunday. Might still be possible to get something together for the jam.
  • Spending way too much time making AI play in the background of the title screen. – but it looks awesome 😀

The bad:

  • Wasted a lot of time looking into analytics to get some play data.
    • tried out Unity’s Analytics but never saw any data appear on their dashboards
  • Didn’t leave enough time or motivation to make music and sounds. I miss jamming with a team :p
  • Could have spent more time adding additional animal types and polish and feedback effects

Overall, I think this has been a successful Ludum Dare! There’s always time to polish it into something more afterwards.

Please play and rate 😀

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