ShiftyBalls Wrapup

Posted by (twitter: @aaghgames)
April 22nd, 2016 3:05 pm

I’m Budaniel from AAGH Games, and I wanted to post a quick look at ShiftyBalls and what went well, plus what didn’t. I have written a long postmortem for some other time, so for right now let’s just focus on the positives and negatives from our experience in Ludum Dare 35.

What went well:

  • The controls turned out better than planned. We originally had tank-style controls, which (as you’d imagine) did not feel intuitive and were unnecessarily difficult.
  • The way the elements interact came off pretty much as intended, with each having their usefulness.
  • We did pretty well on time. We were wrapped up on mechanics (for the most part) by Saturday afternoon and by Monday it was just bug-fixing.

What went not-so-well:

  • The art could have been so much better. I’m still learning as a 3D artist and my attempts to make a decent animated, humanoid main character fell flat, leading to the ball we have now.
  • We could have explained the elements a little better instead of just dropping the player into a level with all three at once. For example, we’ve heard that the Fire element should survive lava like the rock does, but in this case you’re not a fireball – you’re on fire, and that’s why you’re running faster (because it hurts).
  • We could have used moreĀ  sound effects. We often struggle to nail this element in a Ludum Dare, but this time I felt their absence to more than usual.
  • The new web version seems to be giving some people issues, which I don’t think we can fix at this time.
  • I nearly broke everything on Monday afternoon. I was trying to fix one small bug with the ice and broke that mechanic completely, resulting in a few hours of trying to fix the game.

That’s all for now. Thanks to everyone who’s tried ShiftyBalls, and to those that haven’t, give it a shot and leave us a comment – we love feedback!

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