This is NOT a scam! – Post Mortem-ish Thing

Posted by (twitter: @@TheReccy)
August 26th, 2015 10:19 am

So Ludum Dare 33 is over and somehow I managed to survive! Yay! “This is NOT a scam!” was an interesting game to develop because after I thought of the game’s concept, I believed coding it would be a breeze. (I was wrong) Anyway, that’s enough of an introduction, onto the Post Mortem!

The Good Stuff:

Dialogue: I think the end result of the game’s dialogue is actually quite good. When I began writing dialogue to test the conversation system it was wasn’t really good, but it wasn’t really bad either! The original idea for the first character James Johnson was that his computer got infected with Ransomware that accused him of accessing illegal pornography. The original dialogue actually suggested that he DID access the illegal pornography, and so I changed it to be more vague. By the way, he didn’t access any illegal pornography!

Concept Art

I decided to make the game a bit more safe for work!

Graphics: As you can see, the final game looks almost identical to the original concept art I created at the end of the first day. In fact, the whole game is rendered by Unity’s built in GUI which was interesting because I’ve never built a game using just the GUI system in Unity. There are only a few differences between the concept art and the final game. For example, the addition of the “Skip!” button and the font change. I originally wanted the use Window’s default font “System”. Unfortunately, Unity can’t render bitmap fonts, so I had to use a different font called “ModeSeven” which I really liked. My friend XtremePrime (who also helped playtest the game) suggested the font and so I decided to use that instead. One final thing I wanted to add (but it was too late to add) was a custom cursor. Something really pixelated. Here’s the one I decided to test out in Unity, but it just looked weird, so I decided to let Unity use the default system cursor. RIP Custom Cursor.

Hand Cursor


The Okay Stuff:

Immersion: One thing I tried to do from the start is to make the game immersive, and I think I did a pretty okay job of this. I think the Virtual Machine bootup sequence really helped with this regard, and it kind of reminds me of how the hacker game Uplink handles this; by presenting the game as an actual program on your desktop. Of course, there’s a few things I didn’t like that I would have changed. One thing is that I would have allowed the player to choose their name when they start the game, and I also might have changed the game’s setting to be more modern. Although, I like the late 90’s feel of the operating system.

Bootup Sequence

The bootup sequence for Unity VM

The Bad Stuff:

The game’s length and time constraints: The game is too short and each character hasn’t got enough dialogue. And this is going to tie into something I mention later on. My original idea was to have 10 characters in the game with much larger dialogue trees. I might have actually done this if I started the game’s development waaaay earlier. Like, as soon as the Theme was announced. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything prepared so I spent the next day whining that I hated the theme and considering whether or not to even join this LD. I finally got the idea for the game and so I started concepting it. It wasn’t until Sunday morning (like 1 am) when I actually wrote any code for the game. I was so stuck for time, I even had to ask my friend XtremePrime to test the dialogue trees while I implemented the intro and ending of the game. Luckily, I finished about an hour before submission hour, so I was able to take part. I wouldn’t have been able to finish the game and playtest. So, a big thanks to Xtreme for helping get this game finished on time! 😀

The source code: The game’s source code is pretty neat, up until this commit on GitHub. This is when spaghetti code and global variables started to be typed into my code, and I desperately tried to get the game done! I mentioned earlier that each character had very little dialogue, and this was to make it easier to hard-code the dialogue into the game. I could have avoided all of the spaghetti code issues and perhaps even have enough time to clean up my code and add another character if I used an XML parser. Too bad I don’t know XML or how to write parsers. 😛

Oh god no, not static!

Spaghetti Code. Never again.

In conclusion: I’m really happy with how the game turned out, from my utter disappointment with the “You are the Monster” theme to going to bed at 4 a.m. two nights in a row. I’m really happy to have taken part in this LD, and I hope everyone has too! I think I’ve gone on long enough with this post, so I’m going to end it here :)

Play Here!


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