I have been doing games without graphics for a while now. I decided to try some graphics for this Ludum Dare, and tried to add various generated sounds, go play it here. It turned out bad. I compare it with my other puzzle projects, which used almost no graphics at all (only colored squares), and they had quite a success. But this one, it has rating of 1.9/5 on Kongregate so far, compared to gameplay wise very similar games like Order line or Overspill, which are without music and graphics and with very few sounds, and they have rating of about 3.3/5. I think it is mostly because of the graphics and sounds, which, let’s be honest, look like they were made by an 8 year old. So yeah. If you can’t draw, keep it without graphics. If you can’t make music, don’t make music.

My assumption was that if there is a mute button, music and sounds can’t make it worse. I was wrong. It is all about the first impression.

I could just remove all the graphics and sounds right now, but 1: I spent so much time on that I just can’t, 2: I want to keep it this way as a deterrent for me and all the other devs for the next time I ambitiously try to create my own graphics or sounds.

I could perhaps make a version without sounds and music just so everyone can see the difference bad graphics make.

Yeah. That’s all I wanted to say. No matter how bad my thing turned out, I am glad I learned that lesson.

2 Responses to “Important lesson learned: No graphics are better than bad graphics. No sounds are better that bad sounds.”

  1. snowyowl says:

    It’s more that the sounds you’ve chosen become annoying when played repeatedly, and they often get played several times a second. The sound for the conveyor belt, or the noise blocks make when they change shape, is fine, because they’re softer and are played less repetitively. You might try just removing the offending sounds and see if that makes it better.

    Don’t read too much into Kongregate ratings – they’re largely random and self-reinforcing. If players see a game with a low rating, they get a bad impression of it and tend to also rate it low. So the rating you actually get can change a lot depending on what the first two or three ratings were. It’s good for a general “is this game OK” feel, but the difference between 1.9 stars and 3.3 stars is not significant when you only have about ten ratings anyway.

    The graphics are lovely, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  2. HoldMeImScared says:

    Your thing absolutely did not turn out bad. I enjoyed it a lot :) You did some very nice work there.

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