Farm Fury, the Post Mortem!

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April 26th, 2015 9:09 am

Farm Fury Post Mortem

Farm Fury was my first Ludum Dare entry, and over all, I had a very successful experience. I was able to create a compelling, engaging experience with a tight UI and fun and unique mechanics. My run was not without problems, however; a lack of playtesting led to an unforgiving difficulty curve and some issues with the music.

What went right:
From planning to design to code, the Construct 2 engine made developing Farm Fury a rapid and fairly straight forward experience. The decision to use open license art for the majority of the project meant I didn’t have to burn a lot of time producing a product that by necessity would have been inferior. Instead, I was able to focus on mechanics and gameplay.

By developing with Construct 2, I was able to simultaneously build and deploy for every major platform with essentially zero work for localization. The only problem with that approach was that the web platform launch was a little buggy, and occasionally unresponsive on some platforms.

What went wrong:

While using open license graphics helped with rapid development, the game’s graphics felt a little disjointed and incongruous. If I was a little more confident in my abilities from the beginning, I might have attempted to make my own grahics. Also, I ran into problems with the sound levels of my music, due to lack of playtesting.

Speaking of lack of playtesting, the largest problem my game faced was a plateau in game difficulty. My game’s mechanics had a lot of moving variables, and while it felt right with a couple of playtesting passes, the game quickly ramped up in difficulty, beyond what I was expecting or planning for. With more time, or perhaps with better planning, I would have playtested more and made a smoother experience.

Future plans:

I want to make a more fully featured game out of Farm Fury, including a progression of missions, which will make it much easier to control the difficulty curve. I also want to include tailored graphics by bringing on an artist to the project. I plan on taking the jam version of the game, rebalancing the difficulty, and including it in the post jam version as “Fury Mode”.

Hopefully, I will be releasing the game on Kongregate.

Lessons for Next Time:

As I’m more comfortable with the timeline of the jam rather than the compo, I want to invest in all the benefits of making a jam game. I want to get a team together for sound, graphics and gameplay, with at least one person on each. I also want to keep a tighter game design document, as the scraps of paper I kept for this project became largely useless outside the context of immediate development.

Conclusion:

Over all, I had an absolutely amazing experience with Ludum Dare, and I’ll definitely be participating again. I think I can take my project in to a fully featured game, and my desire to design and create games has only been strengthened with this experience. Thank you so much for your time.

 

If you’re interested in trying Farm Fury, you can find it here:

Farm Fury Entry on Ludum Dare

 


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