Elven Blood Post-Mortem

September 7th, 2015 2:39 pm

Well, two weeks past the submission, I guess it’s time to finally write my post-mortem! If you want to checkout the game here’s the link!

Preparations

So, this was my 2nd entry on LD! I’m still learning how to develop games, and LD is where I see how my skills developed and what are the next steps (aside from the challenge itself).

My last entry was really fun to make, but I was really frustrated in two aspects: graphics and audio. I have a programmer background and although I love drawing and playing music, I know I suck at them ^^; So in the last three months I trained both of them…at least tried to xp These last months had been really tiresome and since those are skills that I’m not very good at it was really hard to get progress. My drawing and pixelart training demanded a lot of time, but it was worth it, while my music training is still on progress~. Since I was so focused on them I barely developed programming skills though, and it reflected on the game.

So as LD33 came, I really didn’t feel confident, but well, that’s just life, and I wouldn’t miss it by any chance!

Planning the game

So came the theme announcement, and I was pretty lost. I wrote a bunch of ideas in my whiteboard, couldn’t decide on anything… all of them seemed so… trivial… So I went to take a shower, and there I had the idea of the game xp

The player would be a little elven girl named Anya, but now the humans see elves as monsters, so they began a slaughter. And so Anya had to make a choice to escape the city avoiding all humans or become the monster they feared and kill them.

elvenblood3b

 

The monster the humans feared.

The mood was clear, it had to be dark, the player should feel the city burning. It would be hard to kill humans, Anya is just a girl after all. Escape without killing would be even harder. Too many humans watching the road, so Anya would have to use the shadows and be as quiet as possible to get past the guards.

But of course, there wasn’t enough time to do everything I wanted ^^; Let’s see then what went right and what went wrong!

What went right

The art

The long time I spent training my pixelart skill was really worth it! I was finally able to make decent animation that I was satisfied with. Of course I wasn’t sure if people would like it, but I had a lot of great feedback on the style!

anya1

 

Finally she was fully animated!

On my training I learned a lot of important concepts that I applied when making the art. The most important one I think was coherence. Even though I can’t make better things than pixelart, since everything is in the same style it just feels right.

The music

Although I really like to play music, I never really composed anything. I did learn music theory but I was never able to apply it to anything really. And since I didn’t had time to make any serious composition before the LD I was pretty scared to make something. But I knew it was crucial to give the right feeling to the game.

At first I was going to use LMMS to make my music, but when I started composing I decided to use BoscaCeoil instead, and that was a great decision! It was way easier to make something fast in BoscaCeoil, and I was able to use their built-in midi and the Chinese scale, so composing was much more smooth. I wasn’t entirely with what I composed, but I received positive feedback on the mood, so I’m still happy for accomplishing it!

The mood

The mood had to be just right. It didn’t really matter if I ended up with poor mechanics. For this entry the most important thing for me was how players perceived my interpretation on the theme. It wouldn’t make sense for me making a great stealth game but without any meaning nor impact. I spent a lot of time choosing the elements, the colors and so on to give the players the right atmosphere of the game, and I think I managed to do it ^^

elvenblood1

The city on fire, the blood graffiti. What a pleasant sight!

What went wrong

The art

Yeah… So I was able to make fine pixelart, but at the cost of my first 24 hours. Since I’m not really use to making art and I still didn’t master GIMP, it was really time consuming and tiresome. I almost gave up while I still didn’t finished it >_<. I also still don’t know very well how to place or animate sprites, so my program was really inefficient. I had some problems with the light shader too, something that I still didn’t learn properly.

The mechanics

As I said before, I didn’t have much progress in my programming skills. So when I made the game it was my first platformer. Had several bugs, I had to program the stage manually, placing every element, and I didn’t really know how to use Box2D T_T. I didn’t have time to implement all features that I wanted too, such as hiding in shadows, noise mechanics, more light mechanics, but you can only do much in 48 hours ^^;

The big mistake

And so, after much testing, making sure everything was in their correct place I submitted the entry with less than 15 minutes to deadline… And I didn’t playtest with anyone else beside me >_<. I had a lot of complaints about the controller that I didn’t realize since I tested it so much and got used to it. Of course the controls were suppose to be hard, but I didn’t want to frustrate people… Some more things such as font color, some simple stuff like skipping intro, and some bugs could have been solved if I had playtested in other computers and other people…

What’s next

And thus I finished a very challenging LD for me. I got a lot of things right, and I’m very glad for it! But also many things that I still need to learn! My next steps will be learn more about music composition, rewrite my engine, studying more thoroughly  OpenGL and shading, and practice more pixelart! As for my game, I really think I should continue developing it, but I still have much to learn… Maybe after my new engine is made I will try to publish it ^^~

Great job everybody!!


One Response to “Elven Blood Post-Mortem”

  1. Dizzyman572 says:

    Very cool story, and way to go on your second Ludum Dare entry! I played your game btw, so you’ll probably see my thoughts about it over there. :)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

[cache: storing page]