Postmortem – Clara Stirzaker and the Crypt of Time

Posted by (twitter: @vidarn)
December 18th, 2015 3:40 pm

This was a great Dare! I had a lot of fun and I’m very happy with what I managed to achieve this time. Also, it feels like the games I’ve played so far have all had an unusually high quality, I’m really impressed with all of us ūüėČ

capture1

I broke most of my old Ludum Dare habits this time, and I’m glad I did.
I’ve used L√∂ve 2D for most of my previous entries, but this time I decided to just use SDL and try writing the game in c, since I use c for basically all my other programming projects. I was intrigued by emscripten and the possibility of having a simple way of compiling my game both for desktop and the web.
I was a bit worried about running into problems, given that I’ve never tried emscripten before, but everything worked like a charm. I was able to write, debug and test the game on my Linux box using clang, gdb and all the usual tools, and still have everything working in the web version without any trouble. Very satisfying :)

Being able to cross compile to windows using MinGW is awesome too, by the way.

Another one of my habits that I decided to break was using pixel art. I am very fond of pixel art and since it’s what I use for basically all of my games, I’m pretty confident in my ability to make decent looking graphics fairly quickly.
This time around, however, I wanted to challenge myself with doing something different and draw all my graphics in Krita. I had a couple of frustrating moments, since I’m not at all used to the program, and the sprites I drew were all pretty rough, but I’m very glad I tried something new, and I’ll keep experimenting with art styles in the future.

I won’t do a “what went wrong/ what went right” list, mostly because I feel so positive and I can’t think of a lot of things that I wish I’d done differently. Sure, my game’s not perfect, but I feel like I mostly made the right decisions, and above all, I had such a lot of fun this time! :)
Instead, here’s simply a list of things that makes me happy:

  • Having a built in level editor. I used the awesome stb_tilemap_editor.h, which was super easy to integrate into the game and made the process of building levels extremely smooth since I never even had to leave the game. I’ve always used Tiled for building levels before and it has worked ok, but in a game jam where fast iterations is key,¬†having the level editor built in was wonderful.
    Crypt of Time - Level editor
  • Getting input from friends. I spent the first day alone, apart from some visitors to my live stream, but the second day I went over to a friend who also did LD (daandruff, check out his awesome gane, Surf a Turf). Getting feedback from him and his wife was invaluable. There was a lot of issues with the game that I never would have noticed were it not for them playing it¬†and giving feedback. I also got both ideas and feedback from my wonderful girlfriend. The game would definitely have been a lot different (and not half as good)¬†had it not been for my friends. :)
  • Keeping the scope small. I had a lot of ideas and features I wanted to add to the game, but on the second day I decided to concentrate on building levels and polishing the gameplay instead of adding new features. Previous Dares I would probably have gone the other way, but I’m glad I focused on gameplay for once.
  • Let’s Players. I’ve had both Jupiter Hadley and Wasteland Dan play my game. It’s wonderful seeing someone else play your game and I really appreciate what you¬†wonderful people are doing. ¬†Watching their¬†videos¬†is a very nice and entertaining way to find other games to try as well.
  • Gif recording in the game engine.¬†This might not seem like a biggie, but I’ve spent way to much time experimenting with¬†screen capture software that records gifs with weird colors or strange frame rates. I finally added a button for recording the gameplay into a gif straight from the game, and I know it will save a lot of time and frustration in LDs to come. :)

That’s all for now, time to get back to playing games.

If you want to check out my game, it’s called Clara Stirzaker and the Crypt of Time. I hope you’ll enjoy it. :)

Crypt of Time

 

 


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