Werewolf Quest Post-Mortem

Posted by
September 1st, 2015 5:26 pm

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I’m very excited about what I produced and I’d really love more people to see it.

If you haven’t already, please play Werewolf Quest!

Click below to read about the development.


Development

The idea of using classic monster lore as a gameplay mechanic actually came to me pretty quickly. I’d been worried the night before that the theme would end up being too cryptic to do anything with, but when they were finally revealed it only took the duration of my morning routine to come up with the majority of the game mechanics.

Originally there was to be no player death; they would simply limp back into the moonlight every time they were powered down, progress being blocked by a jump they couldn’t make without the empowered state. This eventually changed when designing the first boss fight, as not being able to die removed the challenge, but level design still reflects the idea that the player would need to backtrack on being powered down.

The moon windows actually remained in some of the boss chambers for a while, since the combo originally used up moon power, however they and the moon power cost were both removed. The moon power cost lead to the player constantly draining their energy without realising it, and the moon windows in the boss chambers again removed a lot of the challenge from the fights as you could simply recharge during the fight.

The graphics were created as and when I needed them, the only anecdote I have about them is that the combo system was literally only added because the repeated punch animation bothered me.

Comparison to Previous projects

The look and progression of the game are actually heavily influenced by an apocalypse-themed Mario fangame I made almost 6 years ago called Aftermath. I’d like to make a direct comparison because I created that game in only 3 days too, so it makes a good benchmark to see how I’ve improved.

Aftermath was kind of terrible; a laggy mess thanks to memory leaks, object persistence, and save points that created a new save dump every frame you were in contact with it. The graphics were hard to read at the tiny resolution I’d built it at, and the text even moreso, appearing in short chunks.

This time, however, I’d learnt a lot from those issues. Saving and loading is done from simple text files, there are no object persistence issues, the art was designed to be easily readable, and the text can even fit multiple lines. It was probably purely because of my experiences with Aftermath that I was able to finish this as quickly as I did.

Regrets

Unfortunately, due to time restraints I was never able to implement music. This is pretty much the only thing I was unable to add that I wanted to, although I was never sure how I was going to add music in the first place, as I’m not a musician.

The bosses ended up being almost easier than the regular combat. The first two needed to teach the player how to fight them, which resulted in them being very simple and hard to mess up. The last boss was originally almost impossible, but toning it down resulted in a boss that literally could not hurt you if you knew how its attacks worked.

The enemies seem to end up in that midpoint between “incredibly difficult” and “you can literally just jump over them why are you even fighting them” on account of their attacks as a group being nigh-unstoppable and the fact that you can literally just jump over them. I actually created a system I called a “fight director” to ensure that the enemies didn’t all attack you at once and instead lined up like in a fight movie, however this didn’t prevent them stunlocking the player against walls or juggling them back and forth between each other. This coupled with the fact that avoiding the fights had no negative side effects put them in kind of a weird position that I wasn’t sure how to deal with and instead just left as is.

I found a few people complained that one area where I tease them with a view of the first red switch caused a lot of confusion, as they believed they were on the right track but could not progress. If I were to change one thing it would probably be that area as it really serves no purpose other than to get people confused.

Lastly worry that I limited my audience by using Game Maker, since it produces an executable file that will only run on Windows machines. However, short of learning an entire new engine, there’s nothing I can really do about that.

In Conclusion

im real proud of it

u shud play it

:)


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