Post-thingum

Posted by (twitter: @charlottegore)
December 21st, 2015 6:19 am

So mostly I write these post-mortem things as little letters to my future self in the hopes that next time I can do better.

What I Made:

Possibly the dumbest game I could possibly have made. A two button beat em up. Things coming at you from the left? Press left. Things coming at you from the right? Press right. Behold 48h Compo entry, Super Lefty Garden Fighty. And lo, it was stupid. The Earth has been ruined: the world’s trees have been consumed by a race of Cauliflower monsters. Luckily, if you kill enough of them, a tree come back. That’s the backstory.

Super Lefty Garden Fighty

Super Lefty Garden Fighty

What Was I Thinking

I was thinking that if I made a really really really simple game that required no level design, no tricky mechanics I could get all the programming done really quickly and then polish it… TO DEATH.

I wanted it to be beautiful. And lo, it was beautiful… and empty.

Like a Tim Burton film.

Turns out though this mechanic was slightly more complex than I initially thought. I needed to control the behaviour of the baddies to make sure that they didn’t clump up together, but I couldn’t quite fix the thing where it’s actually pretty hard to avoid getting kicked to death by a single baddy. Oh, who am I kidding? This is totally noddy.

What Went Badly

Well, once again, I panicked when trying to come up with a game idea and did the wrong thing. I never give myself enough time. The game is, once you get into it, pretty fun for a short while, but it doesn’t have enough depth or variety to have any long term playability. The difficulty maxes out after a few minutes but most people should find that fairly easy to handle.

What Went Well

I’m pretty chuffed with the art, the animations (especially the tree growing animation) and the graphics in general. The game engine and editor also performed really well this time – I didn’t need to add any features or fix any bugs, nothing went particularly wrong. The whole build was actually surprisingly smooth.

Because I had so much time I was able to do a proper UI for this. Indicators for score, for progress on tree making and also feedback information about hit streaks (and also hopefully explain how to play the game). Little touches like that go a long way to making the game feel like it’s paying attention to what you’re doing, and give the player secondary objectives in addition to chasing a high score.

Next time, Gadget. Next time.

So next time I want to do something intelligent. This was too dumb.

Way too dumb. Like P.E. Teacher* dumb.

I look at some of the fantastic and surprisingly deep games that have been made this time and I realise I need to challenge myself to make different types of games now.

Time lapsed.

I did a timelapse!

*”P.E. Teachers”, also known as “Phys Ed Teachers”, or “Gym Teachers” or “Coach” but universally recognised that when you have 100 of them together, you have a collective IQ of exactly 100.

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12 Responses to “Post-thingum”

  1. MSiddeek says:

    The visuals on this are AMAZING!

  2. YinYin says:

    What’s with the hate on P.E. teachers? :p

    I had a few pretty smart ones who were well versed in physics and biology. They could tell you very precisely why you are a wimp and how to change that most effectively.

  3. Farelle says:

    the heck XD watching that video made me dizzy!

    I think you did a great job there though 😀 If i might ask, it looked like you were using photoshop to create the sprite animations? with that timelapse the images just popped into places and I have not seen usage of photoshop like that before, with all the setup for spriting, but maybe I’m wrong and it’s just an awesome sprite program I don’t know about?

    • hexagore says:

      I only used photoshop to make light masks. The app I did the animation and sprite work in is Pyxel Edit and it’s pretty good. :)

      • Farelle says:

        ahhh I was about to edit my entry, because I looked on your game page and was seeing pyxel edit XD thanks :) and good to know 😀 With my own game I just used a script I had found for photoshop to turn photoshops timeline frame animations into a spritesheet, but somehow I felt photoshop is a bit lacking on the animation part 😛 so gonna try pyxel next 😀

        • hexagore says:

          I do recommend it. It’s got a lot of great features that help with the art, and the onion skinning thing really really helps with the animation. I’d not used it for animation until I made this game and I found it worked perfectly :)

  4. freaknarf says:

    “it was beautiful… and empty.

    Like a Tim Burton film.”

    Hahaha :) Tim Burton should make 48H films, i’m not sure it would be sych beautiful…
    The game is really nice btw good job!

  5. Trasevol_Dog says:

    As I said on your entry’s page, it looks absolutely amazing and sounds really good but it would be so much closer to perfection if you had made the enemy-killing more rewarding! You could have added screenshake or made the text and numbers move or grow bigger or change color or add some stupidly showy effects!
    Here if you have some time go take a look at this, it is 45 minutes of good advice on making your games simply more fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJdEqssNZ-U

  6. zulman says:

    Visual is awesome! Nice job :) Our LD34 game is http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=31114 hope you’ll enjoy it too :)

  7. Drury says:

    I left possibly the worst piece of feedback I could have, but that’s because that’s how I really felt about the game.

    It’s simple, fun, and super polished. I expect nothing more from a LD game. You could have gone for something deeper, but then you’d probably have less time for polish, so it wouldn’t be a nice, well-rounded package anymore. So 5 stars from me, not seeing any issues.

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