My first crack at the LD48 and I have….Dead Party!
Dead Party was originally going to be a dungeon crawler, where you play the sole survivor of a raid gone wrong, but during playtesting I found that NPCs that followed you did so in an amusing manner, and I though “I should make a game around that” so I did. And there’s lots of cats.
I describe it as “Ico meets Diablo meets SmashTV” but with none of the quality.
Play it here!
quick post mortem
what went right
- I knew the game library, and I had made games with the language before
During the warmup weekend I had tried to learn more about Love2D, and while I managed to make half of a game it didn’t sit well with me. A friend of mine suggested I stuck with what I knew, which was AS3 and Flixel. It turned out to be right, I spent nearly the entire period making stuff rather than trying to wrangle technical issues or learn a new library. I also used Flixel Power Tools, which made several things, including bullet managment and aiming, exceptionally easy. Flixel is great at taking care of a lot of game related things, and the Power Tools made things even easier. I’m used to code structure more than I am with other scripting langauges, so I could structure (or not structure) things to work.
- I knew what to cut and when
Originally the game was going to be and RPG, complete with an overworld and a dungeon level, plus a battle system. Then that just went to an overworld system. I was also going to have multiple weapons, plus melee weapons, each with different characteristics. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out that way. I had to cut 2 levels and a few more features near the end too.
Probably the biggest help is the DAME level editor. Normally I would have to hand-code where certain things are, or have to create my own level editor, or make my own CSV for things. This time I was able to build and design levels with ease and get them into the game quickly. Granted the workflow process was really weird (I’ll get to that later) but I was able to make non-super-ugly maps quickly.
After 3am I hit a brick wall when it comes to productivity, and continuing on doesn’t make sense. A friend of mine said that I wouldn’t win if I slept, but I beg to differ. The last 5 hours were the worst, and I began to make simple mistakes while fatiuged, had those happened earlier on it would have made the rest of the dev process much harder.
- never give up, never surrender!
With 24 hours to go I was still working on the dungeon crawler, but I felt really crappy about it since I felt it wasn’t a very good game. All I had was a level loading at that point and it was just shooting enemies. And then I thought “It may be crap, but I basically made a Smash TV clone in under 24 hours, so be a little proud”
WHAT WENT WRONG
Oh God. I mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but to make a level and put it into the game, I had to do a 7-8 step process. I had to make a new .dam file for each level, re-import all the sprites and tiles, draw the map, rename the groups, export it, fix certain .as files, and make a whole new playstate for the level. If I had made a saner structure and had just 1 playstate for all the levels, I could have simplified things and made more levels. I was mainly interested in making things work, rather than make things easy, and in the end it was probably 5x more work to import the levels the way I went about it. It also meant that I had to cut off features at a point, because i would have to add them all to the seperate playstate files and test them induvidually. Real smart, me.
I had trouble with the theme, since I could only think of sad things, and I was so concerned with starting I didn’t really take time to consider another idea, just “start coding right now OMG” and, maybe if I went with something else, I could have skipped a lot of headache and felt better about going with the stated theme.
Well, that’s it for now. I’m really tired so, I’ll probably go to bed *before* 3am. ha!