Friday, August 23, 2013

7DFPS 2013 Postmortem

The 7DFPS 2013 challenge is over. Since the first game-jam that I ever entered was the original 7DFPS, I felt that even though I was only going to be able to put in around 40 hours towards a game that I would still try and get an entry this year. Moon Base Z chapter 1 is my entry. It is in a lot rougher state than I would hope but is a fully playable game. As usual, here is my postmortem for the challenge.

What went right

I quickly came up with a story for the game but almost immediately realized that the story was way too ambitious for a week. This gave me two options: break up the story into chapters and just focus on getting the first chapter done for the challenge or re-work the story so it can fit. As much as I wanted a complete stand-alone game for the challenge, going with the chapter route would not only allow me to finish a playable level, but would give me months of extra time to properly create the game I jotted down. Seeing how I barely managed to get a single chapter finished, this clearly was the correct choice.

What went both right and wrong

As people who have been following this blog already know, I am getting heavy into using Dart as my web programming language. The decision to use Dart was actually a good one as I find myself far more productive using Dart than JavaScript. The plan to port my earlier 7DFPS engine to Dart, however, took far longer than I had anticipated. What is intersting, is that some of the bugs I was looking into in CQFPS were clearly marked as errors or warnings once the code was ported over. I find I am really enjoying Dart as a language, even with its idiosyncrasies and really hope that the language does take off.

What went wrong

I was going to get help with the artwork for the game. Sadly other things happened making it impossible for my artist to contribute directly to this game. Instead I had to cut-and-paste existing artwork and create new artwork.  I also did not have the time to experiment with HTML5 sound, which is something I really need to do.


Overall not as good of a showing as I would like, but the game is far from finished. As I finish off the remaining 3 chapters I do hope that the resulting game will be much better than this first chapter indicates. My plans are to release each chapter as a beta each independently playable. Once all the chapters are out, I will do a final reworking of all the levels and combine it into a single game. I have no timeframe for doing this but do hope that it is sooner rather than later.

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