What went good?
I’ll start with what i felt went good. I have done probably up to 20 game jams / compos by now, including LD’s and i feel that i’ve started to get to a point where i know what will fly and what won’t in terms of time and production. I know what i can manage when it comes to graphics and animations and i stick to that as much as possible. It won’t look super good, but then again i’m not primarily an artist, so that’s ok. I know how to manage sleep, food and having a good work routine. I felt like all that worked this time around aswell.
The way i go about comming up with an idea basically boils down to me thinking about the theme for a while. What the theme means, what it could mean or how i can make it more interesting for me. This usually takes about 10-20 minutes, but after that i steam ahead, ironing out any detail that i havent thought about as i go. This is good for the most part i think, over analyzing things usually, for me, makes the game to complex or to strange in the end. I think that if you can’t come up with something decent after twenty minutes, then atleast do something else for a while, try to clear your head. Sitting down and grinding it in your head or on paper for an hour just does’nt work for me if it’s a 48h game. But maybe it should, more on that later.
The game didn’t turn out great, but i think thats more because i only had roughly 24h to spend in the end, given the full 48h i think it would have been decent. I enjoy working with my own framework and given some more development, it could become something really good.
I had more sound effects in this game then in my previous entries, but it’s still something that i’m doing at the last moment, and thats not good. I need to start thinking about it from the beginning and not as something i have to put in there just becuase. It really helps the game feel better, and i should pracctise making good sound and music.
I’m also glad that i tested the game on friends before i submitted it, something that i have been really bad at in the past. Getting that feedback on balance and bugs and glitches really made the game better and helped me to see the game through another persons eyes. It so easy to go blind to things that, to you the developer, seems obvious and intuitive, but to others confusing and strange. This is a lesson i will apply to all my projects.
What didn’t go so well?
I struggle to get that something special into my games and i belive part of the problem is that i don’t think about the design enough. It becomes a programming challange rather then a game design challange for me. That is, i think more about how i want to code it rather then how it should feel playing it. I need to stop and think of the overall picture, the aestethics and the dynamics of the game. I also need to go back to my old games, and other peoples old games and see what works well and what doesnt, and then steal that. Save it in my game design cheat sheet. I usually play my own games alot, i even enjoy playing them from time to time. But i need to analyze and think more about the design decisions that i’ve made and then cut the bad and keep the good.
The sound was bad, and not all sound effects i made were even in the game. I did them at the last minute, as always, and paid the price for it. I also need to get good at musagi or a similar program for music.
The game balance was bad, but still alot better then what it was just a few hours before the submit. Again, i belive this is a time issue more then anything else. Had i worked the full 48h i hope and belive that it would have been better. But who knows.
Graphics and animations still takes alot of time, but i know that and plan for it. I still sucks tough, so i should practice making graphics alot more then i do now.
There is more to be said about my entry, but i need to get back to work. So i’ll wrap this up with a recap:
The fact that i only had 24h made the game bad, so next time i need to make sure that i can and will spend the full 48h. I also need to think more on my design and what have worked in my previous games. If i do that and just keep producing stuff, eventually i will make that real gem of a game.
Edit: Oh, the game is HERE