Aftertile Postmortem

April 25th, 2016 5:44 pm

Hi everyone! I wrote a postmortem for Aftertile, my first participation on a gamejam and on a Ludum Dare. I’ve pasted the most important remarks below (a tl;dr versio, let’s say). If you’re interested, you can check out the full post on my tumblr here.

 PLAY AFTERTILE HERE

What we wanted: a very short game with a ghost that floats in a spiky labyrinth but can avoid it by entering walls
What we got: a very short game with a cute ghost that floats in a very difficult (or very easy) spiky labyrinth but can avoid it by entering walls and becoming a tile

sketch01

sketch02

What went right

• The character design, as people say the ghosty ghost is super cute (hehehe, I think so too!)

• The animation in general was well-received, which made me very happy and motivated me to continue pursuing this path of fluid pixel animation.

• The song choice was praised.

• Programming-wise, we managed to do everything we planned.

What went not so right *

• The most common critique we get is regarding the game being confusing at first. Maybe we should’ve added a tutorial or embedded a tutorial into the level itself.

• The second most common is that you can spend too much time on the walls. While I intended this (yes, you should spend as much time as you want inside a wall!), I didn’t expect it to be regarded as a flaw, glitch or cheat. This goes back again to level design and game introduction – they can definitely be improved.

• Programming-wise, there were a few bugs, some which were already fixed, others which are still being fixed.

impossible01

impossible02Albeit we feature different endings, it’s not so clear how to reach them. Maybe if we added a mysterious ghost NPC who’d give hints about that, it’d probably be less cloudy.

*I say “not so right” because we finished the game, submitted it and got pretty decent feedback on it.

Next steps

I plan to make all the assets I made for Aftertile public domain. I had a lot of fun with them, and the feedback I got from Ludum Dare points that those are very good. I want other devs and artists to have them if they ever need them, be for inspiration, prototyping, tinkering, altering, reference, and especially black magic rituals. It might help them in the same way LittleSadNerd’s Gameboy tileset helped me. For that reason, I’ll organize all the sheets and make them available on OGA.

Finally, we might expand Aftertile into a full-fledged game. If we ever do, we want to make sure that we provide a joyful experience to the player, intensifying the good aspects the players on LD pointed out (cuteness, mood, atmosphere) and avoid the flaws (confusion, too easy/too difficult, confusion about glitch or feature, satanic innuendos).

Overall, I learned a lot and, most importantly, I had tons of fun (I am still having, actually, as I’m playing other submissions).

If you haven’t already, you can play Aftertile here. Thanks for reading!


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