Postmortem: Undercommit, Overdeliver

The SomethingAwful gamejam is well in the background. Judging is complete. Lessons are learned and forgotten. The things that seemed simple in hindsight turned out to be much less surmountable in practice. What did I learn?

A fun mechanic can be doomed if there’s no environment in which to play it. The physics were fun, but aside from the single dynamic level, there was no way to get anything from the mechanic. Three more levels were on the table. The bear, IT, and airplane areas were scratched, however, due to time constraints. The GUI code and, in some senses, the state machine for starting and ending levels consumed far more time than I’d have liked; other features suffered for it. The score at the end really couldn’t have been excluded, but the time it took to implement the system is something I have to chalk up to a lack of experience.

I wasn’t planning on a tremendously polished look for the levels, but I underestimated how reliant I was on scripting for the most basic level functionality. The time I spent modeling the evil bear or the burning server could have been spent writing code for some cubes. The bear and server never saw the light of day for want of these scripts, and that bums me out a bit, but maybe I’ll recycle them for another game. Yay art reuse!

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