SHENANIJAM POSTMORTEMS!!!!

Talk about anything and everything game dev-related here!
Did you partake in the 2017 Shenanijam??! Care to share your experience of the jam, how it went for you and any lessons learned?

If you followed the BScothc's team advice, you should have done it straight after the jam, so why not share your experience!?! ;)

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Posts: 16
Location: London, UK

I'll start with mine, but interested to see how others did! I added some BScotch postmortem questions at the end for good measure ;)

My game: Melt' Them All (https://mitron.itch.io)

My theme: Melty Caterpillars

How the jam unrolled: The first few hours were spent thinking about the theme and coming up with a concept. This was half sucessful; by the time I went to bed I only had a basic idea of what the catepillars would look & move like, but no central mechanic. Development started the next morning and I first implemented the caterpillar motion & movement.
My "haha!" moment was 3-4 hours in, where I realised the prototype was a good base for some sort of a 2D splatoon! The rest of the weekend was a blur, I binged worked on the game all day Saturday, then spent Sunday finishing the game & producing the trailer.
I did some small bug fixing & balance tweaks the week following the jam. Overall, I roughly spent 28 hours on the game from start to finish.

What went wrong: surfaces & my choice of colours! The game was plagued by a bug that didn't occur on my computer, but seemed to affect others. The surface on which colours were drawn did not clear after level restarts, which eventually renders the game unplayable. Also because the game mechanic was so focused on colours, one jammer couldn't play the game due to green/red colour blindness.
Bugs ended up being the highlight of the jam for me though - I really enjoyed the feedback loop, and tweakign the game post jam to fix problems. Thanks to Rhornbeck & Sahaun for being my beta-testers ;)

Lessons learned: Melt 'Them All came 23rd. What conclusions can I draw from the scores? Playtests! I think it would have been beneficial to get friends to try out the game during or shortly after the jam, maybe that surface bug would have been spotted earlier. I also worked on this solo, and to this point I still don't know if the game is actually fun to play in multiplayer!

Did you get along well with your team (or yourself)? I think so! I put my work hat on and cracked on with it. Saturday was pretty harrowing due to the amount of work and focus I put in. I remember on one occasion being very distraught at the amount of work left to do, but just pressed on and got over it.

What’s the next feature you’d add to your game if you continued to work on it? Revisit the controls - I want my nephew in France to play the game, but his keyboard will be AZERTY and the keys will end up all over the place!

What’s the worst thing about your game? Why? Graphics. I just ran out of time and the background is a plain and boring gray chessboard. I also feel I could have given the single player a bit more love! Maybe for the next shenanijam!!! ;)

Also, for those who like wordy, long posts I put an extended postmortem on my dev blog here: https://hotchpotch.games/postmortem-analysis

Comments welcome!

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Posts: 16
Location: London, UK


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