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    BATHOS – post mortem

    Posted by (twitter: @johanpeitz)
    August 24th, 2011 1:12 am

    For my third LD I knew from the beginning that I would have less than one full day to complete the game. Knowing that, I first planned not to join, but when I saw the theme I thought that I should at least be able to do something small.

    Again my weapon of choice was AS3 and low res pixel graphics. This time I tried out FlashPunk (thanks to Sos’s framework posted earlier) and even if I used very little FP code I was quite happy with my choice.

    All together it turned out more or less like I imagined it to be. If you haven’t played it I strongly suggest you do so before reading any further as the game is quite spolier fragile. Feel free to try the game here:

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-21/?action=rate&uid=608

    What went wrong
    - story
    I wanted to really put the player into the action and let the player imagine what had happened before for herself. This had could been done a lot better and I’m not happy with the intro and outro texts at all. They worked, but nothing more. I think better texts could have emphasized the point of the game and the players’ reactions even more.

    - framework code
    I hadn’t used FP before so when I found out that Sos had posted a quick and dirty platformer framework I decided to use it right away. The framework was good for most parts (thanks Sos!) but there where some minor glitches that stopped me from adding some of the polish I wanted in the end. Since there is so little platforming actually in the game I might have been better off writing it from scratch.

    - not much
    I tried to think of a third thing that didn’t work out but failed. I didn’t eat very much, but that was expected. Next time I really should take more breaks and eat better – pomodoro style!

    Base functionality complete! Time for graphics!

    What went right
    - scope
    Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to pull any all nighters I decided to try something very special and short instead of generic and large. Usually I want to make levels after level, but this time I was smart enough to realize my weaknesses and use them as strengths.

    - graphics
    While I usually dabble with pixel graphics, I wanted to try a new style this time. Normally I’m very much about child-like proportions, big eyes, and black outlines. In BATHOS I aimed for a realistic style in order to make it feel more real. Wether I actually achieved the latter or not, I’m very happy with the looks of the game and it is something that I will surely use again.

    - framework code
    Although there were some minor kinks in the framework I used on top of FlashPunk it allowed me to dive straight into the game mechanics. This saved me a lot of time and I think it was the first time in many years that I didn’t write any engine code for a game. Big thanks to Sos and Chevy!

    - the name
    Reading the initial response I am very happy with positive comments, something which I am very grateful for. There are of course people who don’t like the game and/or hate the ending, which it why I named it BATHOS ( = anti-climax ). :)

    Final look of the first room.

    On a final note, let me recommend WolframTones for quick music. It requires some clicking to get the desired result, but it beats composing for a musical newbie like me.

    And that’s it! I’m really loking forward to try the entries of this LD, a lot of great looking entries. Extra kudos to Phil and PoV for putting in the extra time and effort to keep the site running – thanks a million!

    Tags: ,

    6 Responses to “BATHOS – post mortem”

    1. deepnight says:

      You did a great job for the graphics :) Love the style!
      Thanks for your postmortem, and especially for the WolframTones link : I didn’t know this tool, this a MUST have for musical noobs like us!

    2. ointment says:

      Woah, that’s a huge improvement in the graphics department. Post-mortems are good marketing, I’ll check this one out.

    3. SLiV says:

      I’ll check this one out. It looks quite interesting.

      And thanks for the tool tip!

    4. gustav says:

      I spent quite a while trying to figure this one out, great work! I especially like the realistic art style :P

      Good job planning and finishing the game in such a small amount of time, I’m usually too ambitious and somehow forget that every time I start a new game..

      Gustav / btw, we met after your talk at chalmers a couple of months ago :)

    5. BleuLlama says:

      I really enjoyed it. I’m glad that you did push through and make a game.
      And thanks for the tip on WolframTones! I didn’t know about that!

    6. Six says:

      The Terms of Use on Wolfram Tones sort of says “You’re not allowed to use this for anything unless you contact us”, but I’m not really sure about how it work. Might want to look into that if you plant to use it for anything beyond personal or non-commercial.
      http://www.wolfram.com/legal/terms/wolfram-tones.html

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