This blog post comes to you in two parts. Firstly, I finally got around to editing the two days of my timelapse footage together, and it can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWgxnj_boIk Sorry it’s so long, youtube’s editor doesn’t have a facility to speed it up, and once I had uploaded it once I didn’t want to have to do it again after running the video through ffmpeg. Also sorry it’s so silent, I don’t have any nice royalty free music at my immediate disposal.
Now, onto the post-mortem:
What I’m proud of:
-The maps, I love the map generator I wrote, especially given how quickly I wrote it and how simple the logic is. Essentially all it does is divide the whole map space up into 5*5 cells, in about half of those cells it puts a randomly sized room. Every room gets a corridor that goes out of one side of it and continues until it hits open space. Up until a few seconds ago I thought it was possible for the algorithm to produce isolated sets of rooms (which would be considered a bug), but actually it turns out that it can’t! At least, not in any way that I am currently aware of.
-The art, although by most people’s standards the art is pretty rubbish, by my standards the art is fantastic, especially bearing in mind that all of my previous Ludum Dare games have relied entirely on primitives for their visuals. Annoyingly the art looks much nicer when blown up about 20 times, but no one ever sees it like that of course because that’s not how my games shows it…
-The dedication, although this still falls a long way short by the standards of many Ludum Dareers that I see, it’s a lot better than it usually is for me. Normally a huge percentage of the time I’m meant to spend working on my game is spent playing minecraft or dwarf fortress or something, and that’s not really the case this time. Watching the timelapse it’s fairly obvious that nearly all the time was spent on things relating directly to LD, and within that a vast majority was spent on my game.
What I’m less proud of:
-Balancing, my game needed a lot more time put into it to make it properly balanced. I found in the last few hours that all the changes I made threw the game between two extremes, of being incredibly easy to get ridiculous numbers of levels without any skill or thought, and being impossible to get past level 2. The main reason this happened I think is because my attempts at balancing the game almost always involved me making 2 or 3 different changes in one direction, so I’d never really be sure how much of the resulting change was down to any given change in the code. As a consequence it’s very easy to rattle through levels in the published version of the game, as proven my a friend of mine getting to level 20 on his first try while at work
-Music and SFX, didn’t exist at all in the game, and they really should have, especially since I had so much time left at the end of the comp that could have been used to get these done (and put off porting until the next day). I think the main reason I didn’t go for these is because I have literally zero experience with either making sound or with using it in allegro 5 (the graphic library I use).
-The combat system, has loads of flaws, not least of which is the fact that you have no idea what’s really happening when you’re fighting so often you’ll die without even realising you were in trouble. A lot of this could be fixed with a few small changes, such as adding sound affects when you hit a monster, changing it so that a single attack action by you or a slime didn’t cause both of you to take damage and by having enemy stats automatically display when you start a fight.
-The interface, not much to say here, but the game could have done with in game instructions/an explanation of all the arcane numbers down the side.
-The theme, the original premise of the game would be that you would kill all the weaker enemies and the stronger ones would survive and breed so each wave was better than the last. That didn’t really work out that well because there was never a reason not to fight to the death, so I added a mechanic whereby offspring were stronger than their parents around half the time, but they still didn’t get harder fast enough to be noticeable.
What I plan to do different next time: