I’m a bit late but here’s the Post Mortem for Super Strict Farmer
It tooks me some time to figure out what to do with the Tiny world theme. I was just thinking to a little piece of ground floating in the air. So I decided to adapt a famous boardgame ( my favorite ) named Agricola to a short and more accessible version .
I think I succeded in making it shorter ( boargame version play are 2h-3h long ) but the result is still very difficult to handle and not very intuitive.
You can play Super Strict Farmer here !
The Timelapse is here
What went right :
- Preparation / Efficiency
On the week before LD23, I focus my attention to go to bed early and slept at least 9h-10h per night ( that’s a lot for me ). It made my 48h very pleasant, I slept only 6h in one shot and had almost no focus problems. It didn’t help to take good decisions, but I had my head clear when I had to implement them
- Animation and arts :
I’m used to graphics gale and can work fast with it. I spend a few percent of my time on graphics and could focus on the core of the game. I just wish I had more time for particles and special effects
- Artificial Intelligence :
Well. I was thinking I wont have time for this in 48h. So I first decided to make the computer player play random move and balance difficulty with initial advantages ( more food, peoples or ressources ). I finally decided to give 2 hours for AI and I dont regret it. I mean, the result is not perfect but working on it was the most fun part of the project. Trying to give score for each possible action, made me think like a player ( not a game designer ) and it works like actually testing your game and detecting his weaknesses. At the end, I made the AI compute opponet best actions so it can try to steal them from you. It made the game more interesting and in my case very introversive, because I really had the feeling to play versus myself.
I had fun imagine it and draw it in 90’s super street fighter style. I was thinking that maybe, it could be the best title and then… I saw Copulous
What went wrong :
- Simplification of the orginial Gameplay :
One of the bad points of Agricola is that you have to wait the end of the game to have a clear view of your score. It make it very obscure to new player, and I was thinking I could avoid it by creating ingame-actions that let the player trade ressources for victory points. I could not balance them in time, and was forced to add a final grain/sheep/cattle count. It ruined my original idea.
- Balancing :
Even if the result is playable, the game balance is unstable and took me most of my time. It’s difficult to estimate it, but it should be around 9-10h . I could have better intro screen and better ingame help if I didnt spent all this time on balancing.
- Boardgame :
Trying to adapt a boardgame to a short casaul game for LD is not the best choice I could make. This kind of boardgames are not very popular and I know that only few people enjoy their mathematics. I think I ended with a game too simple for boardgame veteran and too complicated for unitiated.
- Loneliness in a crowd :
One more time I had a chance to share this Ludum Dare with a lot of friends who was participating in the same place ( deepnight, 01101101, thotor , valandre ). And once again I stayed focus on my work not trying to go around and see what they were doing. But this time I have the solution : LD24 will be a jam entry for me