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MagDef – Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @djayhell)
Friday, April 24th, 2015 5:09 am

Hi everyone,

So it has been almost a week, the game has been played several times, I’ve witnessed live reactions to it, so I thought it would be a good thing to take some time to reflect on what went right and wrong during the development, and the areas of improvement that I could work on. This was my first LD and second game jam ever, and the community here is great, I definitely look forward to the next one!

What went wrong

  • Not enough breaks: towards the end of each day I was exhausted and found that I just couldn’t focus efficiently. Should spend more time with the dog outside for the next ones.
  • Not focusing on a single discipline: while coding a feature, I was working on the mechanic itself, then its animation, then sounds, then values, then I was drawing the assets, looking for references… and just going back and forth between all this. Made me feel like losing efficiency.
  • Not enough (external) play-testing: there was virtually none.
  • Not enough (internal) play-testing: I mostly postponed it to the last moment, but the exhaustion was the worst. In the end I just wanted to sleep and might have rushed the sweet sweet balancing.
  • Not enough UI clues: I did try to keep this in mind, but when you’re 200% inside the dev, you just don’t see things the way they appear to people afterwards. My biggest regret is the lack of numerical shortcut to trigger a research.
  • Living in Europe: this is more of a joke, but having the theme be only available at 3am was not very practical. I went to sleep for an hour, woke up to check it, then when back for some more sleep. Still don’t know if this was a good idea.

What went right

  • Focusing on a simple mechanic: it bred a simple idea and made it possible to finish before the deadline.
  • Knowing the tools: I didn’t lose time installing/setting up stuff I didn’t know about. That is not to say I didn’t learn new stuff about development.
  • Not focusing on a single discipline: I also put this here because I feel that without this I wouldn’t have been able to create assets for everything.
  • Writing the idea on paper: this may sound cliché but it was actually very nice to have a reference laid out from the start. Once a mechanic was implemented, I could check it for “what’s next”.
  • Finishing the core gameplay early: now, the game isn’t perfect, but I was able to add smaller features, effects and sounds once the bulk of the game was done (to the guy who noticed the blinking and shooting stars in the background, you made my day!).
  • Preparing the logistics in advance: this may sound trivial but not having to think about what you’re going to eat is that much more brain availability for coding 😛

The game

As it stands, the game can be fun, but the consensus seems to be that it’s too slow to ramp up. Should I improve it, my focus would be:

  • Tweak the way the difficulty, population growth and damage work: faster beginning with a capped ending for all the values.
  • Add keyboard shortcuts to start an upgrade.
  • Make the upgrades permanent between each planet, rework their values to fit.
  • Add drops to some asteroids that boost research.
  • Add a moon mechanic that turns in the opposite direction of your field (this was actually planned, but, you know, 48h ^^)

If you want, you can try the game here.

Thank you for reading!

MagDef is ready!

Posted by (twitter: @djayhell)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 8:04 pm

Hi everyone,

Also writing a post to let you know that I managed to pull my first entry for #LDJAM (so happy)…

…presenting: MagDef!

Play as a planet’s magnetic field to deflect incoming asteroids and order the population to research stuff to help you fight those dreadful rocks.




You can play it here.

Thanks for reading, see you soon on your game :)

Dumb question

Posted by (twitter: @djayhell)
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 7:50 pm


This might seem dumb, but how do we actually submit the games? Do we need to make a post with a link to the game inside?

Sorry if I missed an obvious info (starting to get tired ^^)

Thanks in advance,

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