Mimic – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @chaseplays_)
April 19th, 2016 12:15 am

If you haven’t played my game yet, go check it out: Mimic

This was my second Ludum Dare, and I had a good time, for the most part. As of about halfway through, I was excited to have a game, but was in constant stress. I wasn’t sure if I could make it in time, and I was right… I didn’t quite make it.

I had been excited for Ludum Dare for a long time, and was attempting to enter the compo. I had a rough engine designed, but there were some problems – it hadn’t been tested yet.

At the start of Ludum Dare 35, I had an idea with the theme (which, by the way, I thought was really good!). You see, I knew about an octopus that existed in real life that mimicked the look of other sea creatures. I then sketched out a basic idea, and got to work!

I started off with some basic texturing. I feel like it went decently well – there hadn’t been many problems there. There was a funny moment where I had googled a picture of a cat, and my baby brother pointed at it and said, “Cat!”, excitedly. Then, he pointed at my pixel-arted kittenĀ and exclaimed, “What’s That?”… I took that as a sign that I had some reworking to do.

Following pixel art, I started development, which was kind of slow, but I got a basic game. About 24 hours in, I decided to add a story. Was that a good idea? No.

It took a good amount of more time, and I was also overambitious with levels. I hoped to add 24 unique levels, which all took some time.

At the end of the time, I was rushing to finish the levels, and about half-an-hour before, I tried to export.

That’s where problems really began.

I had never tried exporting with this game engine, and while it was possible, I didn’t do it very well. I also hadn’t tested the level, and had some bugs in it. I posted the game, but later took it down. I decided to enter the Jam.

I spent some time the next day doing some playtesting, adding a few sounds, improving the download, and fixing bugs. Now it’s up, and I’m proud of it.

What Went Right?:

  • Graphics. They were simple and functional. I don’t consider myself an artist, but it looked aesthetically acceptable.
  • Concept. The concept, I feel, was good. It incorporated shapeshifting into a platformer that I feel blended nicely.
  • Music. I am, however, a musician, and was able to improvise 32 songs, and I ended up using 11 in the end. I also feel like the music fit the game.

What Went Wrong?:

  • Time. I ran out of time for the Compo, but was able to submit in the Jam.
  • Difficulty. So far, this was my biggest problem. From a developer standpoint, it wasn’t too difficult, but I’m pretty sure that most people consider my game, as one of my friends put it, “harder than old boots made out of titanium”.
  • Music. Yes, I know, I put it in the “What Went Right” category, but I feel like mentioning that I did make plenty of mistakes in the pieces.
  • Space. My original game was 300 megabytes, but I reduced it down to 35. I did, however, have to cut about 60% of the songs, and reduce the quality of them.

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