I too was waiting until after seeing the final results before I would post my post-mortem.
First I’d like to say well done to everyone who took part and completed a game within the time limit, and thank you to everyone for giving me honest reviews. I had great fun taking part and learned an awful lot about game development during and after the contest.
(post mortem continues after the break)
I have to say that I agree with most of the ratings and reviews given for my entry TowerAssault0. Although it’s not bad for something that took ~2.5 hours in the creation, it was entered into a 48-hour competition and on that basis my entry stinks, and I’m glad everyone judged it on that basis as this gives me something constructive to build upon for next time.
What went right:
- Actually getting something almost playable out the door.
- The graphics turned out quite nicely by my own standards.
- From my aborted earlier attempts, I now have the beginnings of a fairly robust 3d game engine in flash, and I now know my way around Flex/AS3.0 somewhat and should be able to start developing with it properly.
- I’m quite proud of my submission considering how little time I had to spend on it.
- The learning experience. I learned heaps about deadlines and problem solving through this, and will be eager to use the fruits of these lessons in the next competition.
What went wrong:
I don’t want this section to turn into a hand-wringing self-deprecating whine, but a lot of things seemed to go wrong for me in this contest (most caused by myself)
- Lack of preparation. I basically started the competition with no knowledge of flex or AS3.0, and had to learn as I go along, and had not previously developed a game to completion since Amos Pro on the Amiga some 13 years ago. In hindsight I should have done some warm-up projects using the platform I was targetting.
- Overambition. Using a new platform is bad enough, but trying to create something completely unfamiliar (a wireframe 3d first person tower exploration game a la the freescape games on the 8/16 bit computers of yore) while combatting the above problems was completely beyond me.
- The awful awful online Flex documentation.
- I left the decision to abandon Flex/AS3.0 for my competition entry far too late, and then tried to port stuff back to Flash8/AS2.0 and continue on the weaker but more familiar platform, with some success.
- Failing to learn from my earlier mistake, it was very late in the competition before I realised that I would have literally NOTHING to show for my effort. This led to me to a choice between the total failure of not submitting anything at all, and the poor fallback option of rushing a quick-and-nasty flash game out the door. Had I decided to abort earlier than I did and go down the route of quick-and-nasty flash game I might have been able to add more gameplay to my entry and make it better.
- Out of time - I wasn’t able to finish my entry, the plan had been to give the player several attempts to hit the castle before game over, but as I ran out of time I wasn’t able to code all the things required to reset the game back to initial settings keeping the castle at the same distance, so I forced it down the route of a browser refresh. A cheap and nasty way around it. This got the most criticism of all, and deservedly so.
- Spent too long in IRC and not enough time writing code. Enough said
I’m going to rustle up a post-LD version and will post it here in the next couple of days when I get a chance to work on it.