Mini-Post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @_MrNyarlathotep)
August 25th, 2015 11:40 am

My first LD!
What went right:
rawr_ani
Visuals
Absolutely nailed my Laser control + VFX on the first day.
Really, really, really happy with the results. I’m definitely going to make use of lasers in future projects if they turn out as well as this.
I’m no artist, but I’m very happy with how my low-poly buildings turned out too.

Unity
This was my first time using Unity as anything more than a 2D engine, so I’m very happy with how quickly I got decent-ish results using it as it was supposed to be used, as a 3D engine. My first time using ‘out of the box’ features like navmeshes, global illumination, camera post processing effects, etc all turned out very nicely, and making things in actual 3D is a lot less scary to me for future projects! Performance was also pretty good, even without any time for any form of optimisations (and I am spamming out particle effects and churning through destroy / instantiate gameobject loops like I just don’t care)

What went wrong:
Theme
Didn’t like it, and hoped it wouldn’t win. Ah well.
That’ll teach me to actually vote next time.

Preparation
As in: I did none. This is my first LD, and I just sort of assumed you had to do everything from scratch. Later reading of the rules it seems using existing codebases is fine, so I could have saved myself some headaches with a bit of prep work instead of on the fly debugging and trying to remember how commands work.

Unity
I backup code + assets regularly, but a nasty infinite loop I hadn’t noticed had me force killing Unity (you don’t force terminate infinite loops with an error, unity?), and I lost a big chunk of work I had been doing in the scene(you dont autosave, unity?) as well as corrupting some prefabs, so with a literally unplayable game as a result I decided to opt-out of the compo, and take an extra day to rebuild rather than ragequit completely.

Scope
In a way I was ready for this, as I built each ‘section’ of gameplay individually, so I was ready to run with whatever I had done in time and it still technically be a game (in that it has a clear fail state and can be restarted) but as a result of running out of time it ended up as not a particularly good game.

I’d intended to have enemy tanks spawn that you could kill, and instead of it being time-based, the little people you can eat would restore health that the tanks would take away.
There are still elements of this (people are called ‘food’ in my code, and I have an unused targetting cursor for ‘enemy’) and the garages that the people run to were intended to hide tank spawns, but… I think I got away with surgically removing this entire mechanic without it being too obvious its missing in the end result.

TL;DR
A+++ way to spend a weekend, would jam again

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