“Ay Pinatas!” — Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @jprogman)
April 24th, 2015 7:54 pm

— You can play the game by clicking here —

I say this Ludum Dare entry went along as I wanted to go — give and take a few features. “Ay Pinatas!” is my fifth game to enter Ludum Dare. (You can see my other entries in my journal.) I’m glad to get the general idea all completed and some people who have played it seemed to enjoy it too.

Now, I would like to share my development story on how it all went — my postmortem report!

The good:

  • Enemies & combat – This time, for a change, I managed to add enemies in the game. Without it, the game would had suffered the same fate as my previous entry “Parallel Worlds.” While I had more enemy ideas during development, I’m glad to have three different kinds programmed. The homing pinatas is my favorite and shows that I still know my trigonometry! The combat is simple enough, but I wanted to key things up to add bonuses for destroying more pinatas in a short time — a spree. The spree is important for scoring.
  • Animation – Exhausting, but happy to get the player’s animation done! It wasn’t easy due to a couple factors: 1) small resolution — only 12×12 pixels; 2) 8-directions. Time consuming, but was able to cut corners with flipping.   Sadly, I wasn’t able to add different enemy sprite art other than the generic “evil pinata ball.”
  • Special effects – I love the confetti explosion! What irks me is memory leakage overtime. I don’t know how Flixel recycle particles, so that is something I needed to find out soon.
  • Camera – It was simple thanks to Flixel. Although, I was especially proud to fix the camera range (the area which the camera can pan) so it prevent unnecessary scrolling.

The bad:

  • No audio – Once again, I had to sacrifice my time with the audio to finish the game. I find the programming to take 1-1/2 days to get the game running, but I still got more to do at that point.
  • Level design – Because I had only 2 hours left, I didn’t put a lot of time designing levels. So, the world is quite short to what I had in mind. Most of the blame is how to save the level design into a file and embed it into Flash. I was using single text numbers to represent tile types. While that is a good idea, I was out of luck when I’m up to 10.  Time was short, so I didn’t bother with that flaw.
  • Lack of pizzazz – I wanted to add more effects to add excitement to the game. While I got the confetti done, I still had more to include to express more excitement.
  • Candy Meter Implementation – It’s an interesting feature to not overfill yourself with candy; you’ll explode! Although, there was no warning to you to not overfill other than what I’ve said on my description. I was intending to add a candy meter to illustrate how dangerously close you are to overfilling.
  • No story – I had a story in mind to help explain what the main character is and why it’s stuck with a sweeper instead of a broom. The story is a factory making state-of-the-art pinatas that mistakenly turned against humans. One pinata is on the humans’ side, which is the main character.
  • No title screen – Like ouch! My last few minutes was spent to spruce up the levels and add enough enemies. So I had no time at all to add a title screen.

At this point, I wanted to develop a post-competition version of “Ay Pinata” to add what was missing or just to improve what I couldn’t during development. (I really wanted to add sound!) Be sure to keep in touch for the latest development on that. Here’s a teaser on what that version would look like:

"Ay Pinatas" -- postcompo teaser

Hope you could give “Ay Pinata!” a try and share your comment on the page! Thanks for playing and rating my game!

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