Post Mortem – Amelie the Amazing Amazon

Posted by
April 23rd, 2016 5:32 am

Post Mortem

LD35_7

Try the game here

This was my second LD and this time I was alone. I could have participated in the compo, but in the end I decided to carry out an experiment with stock assets. Sadly this leads to that my game can only be rated in three categories, but that is fine. When I started collecting assets I had no idea what will I find, how will they fit together etc. In the end I kept myself to the best I could find, and discarded any not so good ones, but the style is not coherent. Also it’s quite hard to synchronize assets, and they are quite limiting. I had no jump animation in my assets, guess what, player can’t jump. I have no hit-while-run animation, so no moving arond while attacking. And yet I still spent a lot of time to use the assets, place them, and write scripts or change animations. The theme was another hard part, none of the assets were created for changing shape. I could not even find a proper werewolf model or anything. Luckily the two main charater mesh used the same skeleton and one of them was animated, they can share animation so they can shift into each other. A bit of a strech, but seen worse. :)

What went well:

  • Unity asset store was helpful. For me it was the key now. Hunting down models from other stock sites might have been more difficult. Much more. Considerint that I did not use unity other thant these two LD entries I made, it is a nice thing.
  • The “AI” was something good from start. Obviously the environment is dead simple, and the enemies are dumb as rocks, but a single rule managed to do all I wanted. The rule is that no enemy comes closer than 10 meters if there is at least 3 enemies within 10 meters already, this does not effect the ones that are already closer than that. This does not only solved the problem of swarming the player constantly, but opened up something nice. In this case if the player approaches an enemy within 10 meters they will come. But collecting souls can only be done by moving, and moving results in getting more enemies because of this, so it turns into balancing when to move. All in all I kind of happy with this, simple but effective.
  • Corpse piles. The armored enemy asset contains some collision capsules to suppor physics in a game. First I wanted to delete them as I used my simplified collision, but it turned out to add a nice feature of piles. When they die, the base capsule is turned off, but these small ones are not. They are small enough to climbe on, so enemies and the player will climb on them. Resulting in a nifty pile of corpes. Couldn’t have planned better if I wanted to.

What went wrong:

  • Morale. I tried to convince people to form a team but I couldn’t. I decided to experiment, but it was not coming together nicely. I barely had any ideas to start with, so at some points I almost gave up. If it was not for my girlfriend I might have had given up.
  • Map building. I made a whole city block on Saturday, hoping that if will inspire something about the game. In the end I spent 12 hours placing objects and turns out that the game gives the player no reason to move around more than a few meters. Also it gives no time to notice the background. Good job, shot myself in the foot with this one.
  • Missing sounds. I am not a musical person, I can play games without music, and sometimes even without sounds. I just don’t care about them. So I have hard time figuring out what sounds nice and what doesn’t. My girlfriend was kind enough to find a proper music track, but we had no time to find proper sounds. Same thing with other hit effects, like blood. Turns out that missing SFX bugged players the most, even that the games is not rated on audio.

What I learned:

  • Trust my desing instincts. After years in the game industry (as a coder) taught me a thing or two about desing.
  • Simplicity is nice. The game literally uses 4 keys, and a single picture is enough to convey that to the player. No tutorial needed, no one plays beyond 5 minutes anyway.
  • Polish is important. I probably could got better ratings with a tiny map and some SFX/VFX added.

The moral of the story? Dunno. :)

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One Response to “Post Mortem – Amelie the Amazing Amazon”

  1. MSiddeek says:

    Really useful! Will read again later…

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