January Postmortem

Going to keep this short and sweet, can’t stop and reflect too much.

What went right:

  • Web editor –  having a web editor where I can make changes and just re-launch a level for testing was incredibly useful
  • Music – the non repeating drumtrack for in game music works really well wit the musical queues
  • Title screen fire – Damnit particles just make me happy.
  • Pathfinding and combat –  while it’s not the most dynamic combat (see what went wrong) it’s fairly well balanced.
  • Flexibilty of code – adding new UI elements and restructuring how combat works 4 days from launch and not a glitch.
  • Game website – Im really happy with the new http://www.drakkheim.com website.

What went wrong:

  • World rendering – having to re-write the world map rendering took a whole weekend of progress and as such required that things like traps, and ranged combat got cut. no Elves or Kobold archers.
  • Fun – the last minute changes to combat really improved the moment to moment gameplay elements, but really it’s not something you’ll be playing over and over.
  • lack of animation – lack of variety – essentially more time to create art assets would have been really nice.   I have a feeling this will be a recurring theme.
  • Broken analytics –  I totally messed up and forgot to install analytics on the website until 4 days after launch.. so I have no idea if anyone has even played it.

That’s it for now.

 

Dangit.. noted for prosperity.

So a quick twiddle with the new goblin sprite for January

basicGoblin

Gave me a neat mockup of what the January game will look like 🙂

And I was happy.

janScreenshot

Then I added a shadow behind the goblin.

And that looked funny.

So I moved it up 1/8 of a tile and drew a flat plane below it to give a little bit of an isometric feel.

mock1

Well… THAT looked pretty neat.  But now the difference between the floor and the wall looks odd.  How about a little gradient to imply depth and ambient occlusion.

mock2

NOW we’re talking!   But now I’ve got to run those shadows all around.  And Indicate Terrain types.. and calculate all the possible corner scenarios.   (Which I know EXACTLY how complicated it was for ONE terrain type,  Here I’ll be having inside & outside (and possibly other) types as well.

febMockup

But man..  It really gives everything the look and feel of what I want.   Kind of an ‘anthill’ meets Dungeon Keeper feel.  

So here’s the part where I make myself sad.

 It’s not gonna be January.  Absolutely no way.

.. Maybe February (depending on the release of Spine) or March.  April at the latest, because I intend to be adding digging at that point and the map rendering needs to be pretty gelled by then.