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Postmortem of The Bored Room

Posted by (twitter: @weirdGameDev)
Monday, April 28th, 2014 8:43 am

Postmortem of The Bored Room

 

What went well

I kept the scope crazy small – basically just enough to deliver the gag and then end immediately. Very little loss on the personal life side: no lost sleep and very little time missed from hanging out with my kids.

 

Humor – It’s the pillar that this game rests on. Today a friend played it who didn’t really get the humor and didn’t see the point of the game at all

 

Construct 2 game engine – with each use I simply get more enamored with this awesome beast. There were no surprises which made the creation a smooth sail.

 

Remembered the time it takes to export/screenshot/upload – The last ½ hour is usually the most stressful part of any jam for me, simply because I tend to forget that exporting and uploading takes time. This jam I remembered to budget for it, which made the final stretch MUCH more relaxing

 

What went could have gone better

Wish I’d given the jam more time – I only spent about 6 or 7 hours on this game. If I had dedicated more time I could have had:

-more levels/content (more than 1.5 minutes of ‘fun’)

-better art

-elevator music

I also spent some time creating special moves that are never explained or used in the game (just hitting the ctrl button 2 or 3 time in quick succession)

 

Lessons learned

Over all I’m left with some mixed feelings about the way I’ve been approaching game jams.

 

I’ve always sort of gone about game jams somewhat independently (so ludum dare is right up my alley), but for some reason this past weekend felt a bit lonely – and I kind of wonder if working in teams might be more fun.

 

I’m also coming off of the weekend wondering whether my time would have been better spent working towards the bigger project that I’m working on. I’m pleased with the little game that I built, but ultimately it’s more of a gag than a portfolio piece.

Give it a whirl if you get a chance: The Bored Room

I really need to spend more time on ludum dare

Posted by (twitter: @weirdGameDev)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 11:42 am

Screenshot (80)

Well, I’ve finished another Ludum Dare (I believe this is number 3 for me) and I am filled with that familiar feeling –

That I wish I had spent the entire weekend working on the game.

I’ve got kids and obligations and each Ludum dare only gets around 6-8 hours of actual focus, and I feel like there is a missed opportunity.  You can give it a whirl here: The Bored Room

 

I’d like to write more of a postmortem of my game (the Bored Room) if I can cram it in.

Can’t wait to play everyone’s game!  Good luck everybody!

10 Seconds to PLAY post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @weirdGameDev)
Monday, August 26th, 2013 9:26 am

Background:

This weekend was the last weekend before my kids go back to school after summer break – the house was a mess, we had no groceries, and the Monday after the challenge (today) marks my 12th wedding anniversary.  I didn’t have high hopes of participating, but Saturday morning I took a peek at the theme just in case.   And, well, I made something.

 

What went well:

Clarity of vision – as soon as I read the theme, I only had one idea – a platform game where you have 10 seconds to get the goal, drawing on random placement of elements to create the variety.   Throughout Saturday I thought about how this random element could be built (if I could find any time to build it) as I did the laundry and coerced my daughter to clean her room.

Construct 2 is awesome-sauce – I had the idea and just… built it.  For the most part, actually development went super smooth with very few surprises.  If you haven’t heard of C2 yet, it is what I consider to be the mac-daddy of 2D game engines.

Decent learning experience – Even with such a small project, I managed to learn some really useful ideas.

  • I’ve now been introduced to the way C2 uses arrays and loops.  My implementation was very clunky and inefficient – but it did the trick, and now I’ve got a base that I can build on.
  •  Design-wise, I had never put much effort in creating an experience that is structurally dynamic.   I’d always just placed items in levels the way I wanted.  It was a good experience to step out of my comfort zone and guide the ‘pooter to make those decisions.

Fun game – In the end, I’m quite pleased with the outcome of this little game.  Despite the issues, the overall gestalt of the game is pretty fun (at least for me).  It is uncommon for me as creator to be surprised and challenged by levels in my own game – so this has really felt nifty to me.

 

What could have been better:

Giving the Competition the focus it deserves – As mentioned earlier, this Ludum Dare has been sandwiched in between a great many other things.  It’s still a great exercise, but I feel I could have given and gotten more if I had more time within the weekend to focus on it.

Polish – As a result of the last item, there are so many aspects of the game that could have been tightened, but were not.   A bit of refinement on the controls and the aesthetic could have better prepared this game to be in fighting condition.

Implementing portals in the game – The game was more or less finished on Saturday night minus sounds and the transportation portals.   It took a good 3 hours to get them working more or less the way I wanted, but I’m not convinced they added very much to the gameplay.  All said and done, they probably took more than a third of my development time.

Missing the deadline – Although done by about 11:45pm, I forgot about the time it takes to take a screenshot, export the project,  upload everything to ftp, and write up the page on the Ludum Dare website.  Then (midnight) I thought I submitted my game, but was missing information and didn’t realize until this morning.  Whoops.

It’s a little Vanilla – Although I really like this little game, it is a fairly familiar and predictable experience.  The same idea could have used a more interesting control scheme – making it far more memorable.  This isn’t the worst thing ever, but it is bit of a lost opportunity.

Overall, it has been an AWESOME experience.  This is my 2nd Ludum Dare and can’t wait until the next one!

One Blocky Room

Posted by (twitter: @weirdGameDev)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 8:55 pm

oneBlocyRoomScreenshot

 

Play game here:

http://dansilber.com/Games/oneBlockyRoom/index.html

Download Construct 2 source file here:

http://dansilber.com/Games/oneBlockyRoom/oneBlockyRoom.capx

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