Friday, January 31, 2014

Saga of the Candy Apple Scroll postmortem

My February game is my CandyJam entry so here is the postmortem.

What Went Right

Despite the rather long time that was theoretically available for the CandyJam entry, I knew that I would probably not have as much time as I expected and planned accordingly. Not counting the time spent playing with Unity (see mixed blessings), the game only took about 8 hours to create though had I been under tighter game-jam rules and had not been able to borrow artwork from some of my other games it would have taken a bit longer. I do not know what has been up with the last few game jams but having only part of the time to work on the game is a trend that seems to be continuing into this year! That said, if I did have more time to work on the game, I would spend the time working on my polishing skills as those are most definitely in need of work.

Mixed Blessings

It is never wise to try and learn something new when you are already under a tight deadline. I originally planned on using this project as my first Unity project as it is a very popular engine which may also be exactly what I need for some of my larger projects. I got bits of this project working and possibly could have finished it but things came up and the next thing I knew the end of the month was upon me. While it may have been possible to finish the game on time with Unity, I didn't want to take any chances so went with Flash. This gleaned enough knowledge of Unity that I should be able to create a simple game with it real soon.

What Went Wrong

Companies abusing IP laws. Technically this is not a problem with the project, yet, but the title of this game  very well could result in trademark complaints for using a common English word as part of my title. Far too often patent and trademark offices grant weak patents or trademarks and leave it up to the courts to decide if the patent or trademark are valid. This actually has the result of having the exact opposite effect that the trademark and patent laws intended. Instead of giving small companies the tools to compete against larger companies on a level playing-field, this gives companies with money (large companies) tools to attack companies without money (small companies) preventing them from competing. In the long term this is harmful to both innovation and consumers.

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