April Game Jam Complete

For all previous weeks go here!: [Week1] [Week2] [Week3]

Well April is over and so is the game jam. So it is time to reflect what happened.

What it comes down too its hard to be a one man shop and still be efficient with time. Often I am waiting on things that I can't do, or wasting time fiddling with to make things just right. And don't get me wrong, the art and audio people have done for me is great and I would not be were I am with out them. And making things just right is very important its crucial. But what is hard to deciding and acting on the priority of things. Should I spend 2 hours playing the game over and over again making sure the balance is right or finish fleshing out a feature? It is a question you kind of that to just answer and stick with it you can't go back and forth on it. Having polished content is key but also is having a feature being complete. For example I Could spend hours getting a ball to roll just right physically but then have no objected for you. That polished feature needs another feature to accompany it. For content, programmer art can only go so far. Here is the problem, if the game is just using art that will be replaced when you take a step back and look at the game and ask, what more do I need to make this great?. Its hard to not get stuck on the fact that you hate the way it looks. I want to look with out seeing the art and just focus on the gameplay, however these types of gamejams are great practice to get better and looking at your games.

Something that thought would be terrible and take a bunch of time is animations in the background. In the castle stage I wanted to have smoke and the pin wheel to move along with the clouds and sun. At first I was just going to say forget it but after a hour of messing around I was able to get it working. And it was a lot easier then I thought it would be. And man it makes so much difference. That is one of those things that you may think is small, but having those little animations play really making the backgrounds, something your not suppose to look at, really come to life.

Something I still need to think about is having more tells for the monsters, right now the monsters have timers then then have a random variable attached on when they fire their attack, ie every 1 sec or ever 1.02 seconds etc. So the question becomes when do you defend? Ever? Is button mashing a more effective solution to the game? I think it is right now. So how do I tone that done. I do want some mash but there has to be a balance. Do I add more wined up to the attacks so that you can see them coming better? More delay between button presses? Its something I really need to spend time on, but its also a big ask since that is a lot of time that I have to spend playing the game, or watching others play, make tweaks then do it again. This is something that is holding the game back but really the only solution is to keep going forward.

Well what is next? Well the art is almost done for having 5 stages (out of 18) at that point it would reach alpha. More more more polish and content. I am definitely going to continue to work on this one the side, I really like the idea and want to see it through. For release I am going to put it on GameJolt first then mobile shortly after. I always hope anything I make takes off but we will see.

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