Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 2012 challenge, Day 20

Well, I failed.

I got the core mechanics and everything done in just a couple days but I only had a few hours a week to work on music, sounds, graphics, and extra content. That just didn't happen. So, as tough as it is for me, I've admitted that I should cut my losses and stop worrying about it.

Retrospective time!

I should start learning the language, tool chain, graphics, music, and sound before committing to a project. I hadn't used haxe before (but I'm somewhat familiar with Actionscript) so the language, libraries, and compilation process and quirks took some time to get. Despite 6 or so years of piano lessons, I don't know anything about making good computer music either. Pixel graphics wouldn't fit the theme and good looking graphics are beyond what I can do. I had some good luck with procedurally generated plant graphics, but couldn't quite integrate it with my game code due to how the rendering code worked.

I should stop planning on spending all of my time working on a project with so many unknowns . I have less time than I expected and it's not sustainable. After a week of nothing but work, sleep, and this project, my place was a mess and it was hard to stay focused. If I picked a smaller project - like a platformer or turn based strategy - then I think I would have had a better chance of finishing. I can do old-school graphics and sound effects so that's what I should stick to.

I should continue writing well factored code and trying short term projects like this. Breaking it down into pieces that I could prioritize and implement in a couple hours helped me get started and make early progress. The simple and clean code meant that I could change my mind, try something different, and generally make progress much faster than some of the messier code bases I've crapped out.

If I follow these simple plans, then I'll be much better equipped for the next ludum dare.


  1. It is not bad to "fail" this way, at least you tried. It would bigger fail to release halve done code.

    1. Indeed, Jolly. I'm not one to give up but it's better cancel a project a few weeks into it than spend all my time just to have my name attached to a crappy game.

      By the way, FFHtR looks interesting. Good luck with it!

  2. Hah, true that. I admire anyone who goes for a ludum dare, though; regardless if
    the project is successful or not.

    My skillset is too art/designer-oriented (can never really wrap my head around more advanced scripts) to even try to attempt it, so I envy the people with the versatility to take it on.

    I'm sure you'll do well in the next dare.

  3. Good! Don't follow my example with FFHtR, release something awesome!