ForgeCraft Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @StalsKnight)
May 1st, 2015 8:44 am

This was our fifth Ludum Dare and we had some goals this time:

  •  to make just one mechanic – failed!
  •  polish it – kinda failed!
  •  will not work untill 5 in the morning – totaly failed!
  •  all went as planned? – YYEEEEEYYYY!!!!!IMG_0665

We spent 2 days in a coworking with people playing Mortat Kombat near us, and table football tempting to be played (which we did ^_^)

Overall concept was that the player would collect resources to craft weapons and give them to the clients.
The first idea was a game about worker placement – you would have a worker and a few places for him to work – like a forest (to get wood), some place to get stone and so on. You would get requests from the clients that require specific amount of that resource. You would get money for it and spend it on getting more workers and improving storage space. But that felt like the player would not have a lot to do, and would just watch what happens. We didn’t think it would be very fun to play, and we didn’t want to spend most of the Ludum to check if it is true or not.

So we scraped the idea and thought of other ways you can collect resources (still keeping the clients) and so the “match 3” mechanic came to mind, but as any managment games we thought we should give the player more things to care about. From the setting – really quickly Forge machanic was added (where you would click on the Thermometer to increase the heat of the forge, and specific weapons require specific heat that you should maintain.)
And so we started implementing it, thinking how should we make a win condintion and what could you spend your money on.

Here are major pros and cons:

The Good:
– Fun
– Game’s visual and sound feedback that we had time for (like needed temperature and its highlight)
– Had time to test and fix bugs at the end
– Potential for improvment and full release
– Some things are intuitive
– What you need to complete the request
– Event heat becomes obvious after few iterations of trying to get how it works

The Bad:
– First day was spent designing the game, and coming up with something interesting
– Didn’t have time for proper health implementation (in not much thought put into it, and because there is low replayablity (without permanent power ups and stuff) we thought for the Jam it would be best just to remove the loss condition
– Didn’t have time for everything else
– Almost no strategy, only twitch skills
– No visual feedback for successful/failed orders (like screenshake and specific labels)
– Upgrade button is not attracting your attention after first appering, some people didn’t see it even after 20+ minutes of playing
– Bad tutorial (nobody reads it):

  •  not a swap match 3
  •  diagonals are allowed
  •  bad final goal explanation

Timelapse of the development process:

For some pic’s and updates on other games we develop you can follow

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