Thursday, April 4, 2013

Whale of a Tale postmortem

Last week I released Whale of a Tale for Mini-Ludum Dare #41, so that means that it is time for my postmortem. I kind of like the right, right & wrong, wrong approach that I used for my last postmortem so think that is the format I will use for future postmortems.

What went right

Part of the reason for doing game jams is it lets you branch out and try something different with the only loss being a weekend. So when my first thought for this game was a combat game done underwater, I decided I didn't want the player to do anything violent, but the only blood in the game would be from the player or other innocent bystanders. I was thinking of sharks being hunted for their fins but sharks are vilified so didn't think the player would sympathise with one. Then I thought of a whale and the game immediately came together in my mind.

What went right and wrong

The game does need a bit more balancing. In theory more and more ships appear but I chose to go with a random spawn approach rather than a specific interval which makes the difficult ramp-up sporadic  Likewise, running out of energy only makes you move slowly so to emphasize the need to eat (and move into greater danger) I should probably have energy coming out of the player's health bar once the energy bar has been depleted.

What went wrong

A relative going into the hospital almost killed this game. Had this been a regular game jam it would have. Thankfully the lax rules allowed me to so I did the second day of work a few days later rather than consecutive days. The person doing my art simply didn't have the time to do all the art that was planned but enough of it was done that I am happy with the look. Still, a better ocean, moving clouds, fish that look like fish, animated waves, would have added to the look of the game.


I actually like this game so am thinking about putting it on my ever growing revisit list where I would spend another day or two fine-tuning the game and touching up the graphics. Not sure if this will happen but you never know.

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