Day 7 (last day)
Final game Jam Day
So this is a long form postmortem. Not just a small update. Firstly we very happy with the game and are already talking about what is next. Some of that will be talked about here too.
What we like about the final product.
- Card Battles The card battel system is simple but combines well with tactics of movement. Having two numerical dimensions to play in and then adding the physical location and tile stepping tactics leads to a fair range or opportunities and tactics that can be played.
Things we would like to add.
- More cards of course.
- Some cards that effect location and position of players and mobs.
- More dungeon/card integrations.
Things we know needed to be better.
- Juice, there is no juice at all.
- Better matching of sound effects to the specific cards being played.
- Better card UI design there is a lot of information we are not showing on cards right now.
- A history of plays you can look back on to see what happened. (Because sometimes you dead and have the time)
- Flow The flow turned out okay. We almost seamlessly move between motion and cards. This is an area we could improve on as the state could be handled. The flow is okay for the most part, disruptive when you move between stairs and locations. Smoother more player friends transitions will aid with that.
There is a temptation to expand the menu out into a small area you play in, if the flow is smooth enough that would be an option.
Things we though went well
- Generally the game feels very real time (with a few exceptions that could have been improved on).
Things that we know should have been better
- An ability to look around easily.
- Better behavior when interacting with items in world. (Too much giant UI)
- Dungeon The dungeons are probably the weakest result it’s a bit disappointing when it was for a Dungeon game jam. We had features planned out but as it happened we simply had to cut things out and the dungeon features were the least cross integration to the other systems so they could come out. It does speak to a failure to integrate the dungeons deeper into the systems and needs some additional consideration.
Things we think went well.
- The BSP splitting turned out to be a pretty reasonable way to build some dungeons.
- The overall look didn’t clash too much with the cartoon style of the 2D monsters.
Things we know could be better.
- More 3D objects.
- Lighting (where are the god rays).
- Secret passages, traps, treasure chests, shops and all the trapping of dungeons.
- Areas with multiple heights and bridges over them.
- Different generation techniques for different maps and areas to create a more interesting series of experiences. (The BSP levels alone do not create nearly enough shape diversity.)
The Humor This is frankly very subjective and since we have many laughs making it (Not least of which were at our own overly optimistic ambition). We will look for feedback to evaluate this aspect as it’s just hard to be objective.
The Jam Well this went well. Easily we built the biggest game we have in 7 days before and it’s mostly not broken. What we did do was plan for the week before. most features and screens were identified and I spent a fair bit of time planning specific technologies that would work well together.
What went well
- The planning.
- The comradery, there is something stress reliving about building a humorous game.
- Support from our (my specifically) families really did help.
- Staying focusing on one thing at a time till it was done.
What didn’t go well
- Honestly it’s hard to think the jam could have gone much smoother.
- Some small issues where we had dead time waiting but limited.
- Audio We as often happens in jams treated the audio like a second thought. It’s always challenging to get enough gameplay up to make the audio design tie in well. We left the jam with more then half the audio not integrated as we ran out of time and a fair bit forced in because there was not enough time early to match audio up the flow.
Things we did well
- Audio clips were specified in a Gridless DB that allowed for easier integration of many audio effect to events and items.
- Sound tract was considered early on and we happy with the result there.
Thing we need to improve
- Better planning on UI sounds early there really is no reason the can’t come in almost from the start.
- More structure to allow the audio engineer to test tease and work without requiring the project.
- A much better implementation of audio, this was only the most basic and we really could tell a lot of the game and events through audio.
-Graphics We happy with the overall humor that comes through in the imagery. The large factor drawings are great. The small factor things like Icons we tried to be too detailed and had to revert. Better planning on screen use and spacing before would have alleviated that.
Things we did well
- General humor in illustration was good
- Most of the communications for cards was on point and leaned into the humor well.
Things we could improve
- Sometimes the comedy and darkness are fighting and comedy is not a clear winner, with more time and consideration that could be better.
- Lots of under-rendered work as there was not enough time.
- Perhaps fewer things with a more versatile approach to reuse could have been considered.
-Data State and Management We picked this up from the very start building suitable models and controllers. This made it much easier to scale with external tools for UI, Quests and Database building. Doing this first in the project made things much smoother latter. Trying to retro fit a Data system in when you need to save or load is a minefield. Having a clear distinction between construct data (that from the database) and fluid data (the instanced localized made things a lot easier too. It was clear where you would get what data.
Things that went well.
- Integrating the data into Unity was seamless. We dropped Unities JSON libraries in favor of the System ones in .net and it was well worth the switch as they handle Maps.
- Having centralize and levels of data knowledge helped keep things from becoming too much messy.
things we could have improved on.
- A better approach to the singletons we needed. They evolved over time and the considerations were often too late to refactor while in a jam. More planning on that next time.
-Last thoughts We had a really great time and learned a few valuable lessons along the way. This was my first attempt at a card game mechanic and I am pleased with the results. Certainly a skill I plane to develop further.
Thanks you sticking through my typos and various errors. I have not slept is 36 hours so it’s probably worse the usual. I reserve the right to come back and fix things up.
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