Archive for April, 2012

Tiny God Postmortem Addendum

My original Postmortem is here.

Since LD submission and I released my game I’ve found that I learned a lot of additional things from the reviews I’ve gotten.

Even if you put an Instructions link on the first screen of the game, people won’t click it and then will ask how to win your game.

I’m not sure how to solve this one except to somehow reveal the win condition during play, or if this is something to be worried about.

Even if you think your instructions are informative enough about your game, they probably arent.

I included a mini tutorial system in my game to guide the player through playing and instructions but I still didn’t include enough info. I should have had more friends play test the game when it was near submission time so I could polish these things more.

If you have random enemy generation, make sure it’s right.

I had a really stupid bug in my submission build for my enemy wave generator, I didn’t realize it until people started commenting how easy the waves where. I went back and found the bug right away.

If you build a web based game, don’t just link to the game itself, but embed it in a page with more info.

This one I just kind of realized. I ran out of time at the end and just posted a link right to the swf file instead of making a simple page to embed it in so I could put FAQ or other information in front of the player in case they are linked to it from places other than LD.

Anyway, I just thought others might want to learn from my mistakes. You can find my game here. I’ve also added a link for a Work In Progress version with bug fixes and updates suggested by players.

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, April 27th, 2012 Gamedev, Ludum Dare, Postmortem No Comments

Ludum Dare #23 PostMortem – Tiny God : Small Diety, Big Pantheon

This is a postmortem from my Ludum Dare entry. I decided I should move it over here. The original post is here

I had an amazingly fun time participating in Ludum Dare. This was my first and I’m incredibly happy with what I have accomplished. I havent written a complete game in some time and doing this was just the jump start I needed I think. So here are some of the things that worked, some that didn’t and where I go from here.

THINGS I WISH I HAD OR KNEW BEFORE HAND

I wish I had better researched my intended platform beforehand. I decided to do LD about 4  days before hand and settled on FlashPunk 2 days before the start. Never having done any work with flash before I wish I had researched the graphic and sound formats that were importable and what the limitations were.

In addition to that, I wish I had better resources for converting files, especially sound. I wasted at least an hour, probably 2 or 3 just finding programs and websites to convert sounds back and forth to different formats.

I wish I had planned the weekend out better. I had a concert in Vegas (3 hour round trip) to attend saturday night, and 2 BBQs on sunday, all of which cut significantly into my time. I don’t regret any of my activities, just my planning.

I wish I had come up with the storyline for my game sooner so I could have built in more than one level. I ended up not being able to include more than a single level because I came up with a more involved story saturday night, and by then it would have taken code refactoring to allow me to reuse assets in the way that I wanted to carry the story.

THINGS THAT WENT RIGHT

FlashPunk, it’s awesome. I had no experience with flash and made a game in 48 hours. Also Punk.UI. Caveat: I’ve been programming in multiple languages for over 20 years.

SFXR, it also rocks, it allowed me to add sound where I never would have made any kind of effects before.

GreaseMonkey and his AutoTracker-BU. Autogenerated music? Awesome.

Pixel Art Editor for Android. I used this on my Asus Transformer to make most of the pixel art. My “art” has always been the definition of programmer art, but I am proud of what I accomplished.

Making something different. When the theme was announced I wrote down a bunch of ideas that I thought were obvious and then told myself I couldn’t do any of them. Everyone was going to do a certain list of games and I wanted to do something different. I think I accomplished that.

Using a tool that allowed me to iterate rapidly. I think this is huge. Being able to make a change and see the change almost instantly was key. Especially when I was making a bunch of AI controlled entities.

Keeping my scope small and manageable. This was also a big thing, I threw away a bunch of ideas I thought were cool, but knew there was no way I could complete in 48 hours with no outside assets.

Lastly, but not least. Having an awesome girlfriend who is supportive of what I want to do and also likes to playtest (Sometimes too much!).

 

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Monday, April 23rd, 2012 Flash, FlashPunk, Gamedev, Ludum Dare, Postmortem, Tools No Comments