Sector 9 Post Mortem

Posted by
January 6th, 2016 9:20 pm

Hi all!

I made a game using Haxe and HaxeFlixel. I used the “two buttons” theme, play the game here:

This was my first Ludum Dare and my first game jam as well (I’ve been developing games for about 6 months). I had a lot of fun! I am really proud of being able to finish on time. Thanks a lot to everybody who participates in LD. Reading games’ source code, and seeing all the art of previous LD jams has taught me a lot!

Anyway, here’s my post-mortem:

Software Used

Haxe and Haxeflixel
Intellij IDEA + haxe plugin for development
Photoshop PyxelEdit and Tiled for graphics
Cubase + Komplete for music

What went wrong

Main theme disconnect and mood/humor issues

I found it really hard to connect initial intro story to the game itself. The plot was sad (end of humanity), but the gameplay side of the game, specially the hero running animation were more on the fun side. I had the same issue with music. The music I made was good for the initial title screens and intro, but it didn’t fit with the game itself. This forced me to ditch the main theme music which I spent on hours and throw in something quickly in 20 minutes.

Doing “mood” music composing practice sessions will help get rid of the issue.

It took me forever to get the initial art right

I wasn’t able to come up with good art on the first day. Everything I’d make I would hate, colors were completely wrong. I really fought through it until I came up with something decent. If I had to say what was the turning point on graphics, I’d say it was using references, specially for color. I found a couple of examples I liked (which I wish I had to share, same goes for the first day art), and used the color palette in PyxelEdit. Also it really got easier once I got the main background done. After that, I had a couple of really productive hours making objects for the game.

If I used references from the beginning, I could’ve spent more time designing levels.

Not enough time to play test game difficulty

On the last couple of hours I rushed game level design and I ended up with a last level that was way too hard. I know these games are supposed to be hard, but it’s just too damn hard lol! I made the last part of the game intentionally hard, so it’s really my fault. I’ll aim for easier levels on my next compo.

Also, my game is made for long play sessions. Most people who play LD games are other developers who are in a rush to try other games. So next time, I should design a game that doesn’t last more than 5-10 minutes. That way people will have the satisfaction of finishing the game, which will help increase the fun score.

What went right

 I was ready 

I didn’t have any project setup problems. I got everything up and running super fast. Haxe and haxeflixel are great!

I kept it simple

I had a number of ideas for the compo. I almost chose a much more complicated idea. Sticking to a simple idea was a great choice that allowed me to spend time on what’s the hardest for me: art.

I wasn’t distracted

Life happens to everybody, and I was lucky enough I give a lot of time to the game, and had pretty much no distractions at all.

Overall it was a great experience. Next time I’ll make sure I track my progress. Now that I am finished, I wish I had builds foe the game at different times of the compo, same thing goes for the art.

My Twitter:

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