Murder Hat’s (Not So) Great Escape: Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @_udo)
April 22nd, 2015 1:58 am

I don’t like lengthy post mortems, but for the sake of documenting things, here we go!

What Happened

I usually don’t think much about the possible theme until it’s announced. However, this one caught me a bit off guard. I mostly drew a blank. In the end I had several ideas: a game about WMDs where you destroy planets because it’s your job; or a game where your weapon is literally an old spoon and the catch is you’re playing a rat who’s having an adventure. Then I inexplicably decided to go with the most unworkable one: you’re a wizard using a cornucopia-thing that summons monsters. In WebGL, with which I have very little experience. In an artsy diorama style. Yeah.

The Good

I tried lots of new stuff, and I’m much better at WebGL now. Oh, also good: fun! As in most of my LD entries, I think the soundtrack came out pretty good – but then again I always say that and it ends up not rated very highly so I’m open to the notion that my taste in music might be unique! 😉

I streamed part of the development live, still learning not to be distracted by it… And I got my first real viewer who talked to me in the chat and everything. That never happened before and it was thrilling! :)

The Bad

I didn’t switch ideas around for hours as I usually do, just to experiment with my creation process. Turns out though tinkering with completely different ideas for hours was probably a better process for me. I fought the need to start over with something different until the end, and delivered a much worse outcome because of it.

Development moved along at a glacial pace, and I felt more and more uninspired as time went on. The concept was one of those things that sounded great in my head, but lots of little details didn’t survive contact with reality. Still, the idea might still kinda have worked if I had had access to an art person or team.

The Ugly

It’s not a game. At best, this LD entry is an opening tutorial scene for what could have been a game. And even at that it feels unfinished. Sometimes after LDs I feel the urge to make a post Jam version, but I don’t think I’m going to this time. The game’s code is probably one of the worst things I have produced in a long time 😛

What I Learned

I’m not a game developer (LD is the only game dev activity I do), so learning from the experience is always the most important part here. My “old” methodology worked better, even if I sometimes produced uneven results. I clearly thrive on experimentation, which I heavily curtailed this time. Next time, I’ll be open to explore several game ideas again before I settle down. Or alternatively, I need a buddy whom to bounce ideas off. I would also like to produce either a story-telling or a simulation/building game next time, this shooting stuff doesn’t seem to work out for me.

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