“This Way!” postmortem and the best thing about finishing Ludum Dare

September 1, 2014 - 10:08 pm

Note: This game has already been improved and renamed to Pop Puff and Away! Check out the latest version here!

I cringe every time I watch people play my LD entry.

I saw people taking a long time to figure out what to do. Some never got it at all. Those who did, saw potential. Potential that could have been realized if it were not for the horrible design decisions that I’ve made in an effort to make it more fun.

I wished I had more time so I could have improved it some more.

Capture2

But that’s the thing. I realized that without Ludum Dare’s really short time limit, I would not have finished a game, I would not have gotten feedback and criticisms, and I would not have learned anything at all.

The trick is to accept what you’ve made, learn from it, and move on.

What went right:

  • Gave time for polish – I’ve added a menu screen, UIs, some nice looking art and it helped make the game stand out a bit from the others.
  • Practiced clean and organized code – Helped me understand my code as I went along with the project. When I woke up the next day, I did not struggle too much and picked up where I left off.
  • Went with a simple art style – I realized that I did not have time to animate characters so I just used static images and relied heavily on tweens to make the game look polished

Capture

What went wrong:

  • Capture1Focused too much on code structure – Little to no hacks were made. I wanted to have a robust system out of habit. Unfortunately, it took too much time away from what really mattered.
  • Focused too much on fixing bugs – Sure, I ended up with a highly playable game that works as intended. But I realized people would rather play a buggy game rather than a broken one.
  • Did not playtest at all – I thought that I won’t be needing it as I felt it was already fun. Watching people play surprised me.
  • Placed too many mechanics in an effort to make the game fun – I know that it had potential so I crammed more mechanics in order to let it come out. It did the opposite which ended up with unneeded bloat that clouded the fun gameplay.

 A Post-Compo Version:

I’m planning to improve the game using the lessons I’ve learned and release a post-compo version. Some of my friends who saw the potential with my game has come on board to help out on the art and music side so I can focus on the design and programming.

Thanks for taking the time to read! If you have the time, play and rate my game here!

 

 

Posted under: Pop Puff and Away!

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