October Challenge : Postmortem

And so this is Halloween - and what have we done?

Well, I did manage to get a fair bit of progress done on Dethtank, and the project’s certainly not dead. It will get finished, and at least a couple of people have expressed interest in buying it (and not just my Mum). Thus I win!

In the negative column, I had way too much fun playing Architecture Astronaut with the component system, and then completely crapped out when it came time to build an actual game on top of it. Bit like the old joke about the engineer, the physicist and the mathematician who each wake up to find a fire in their hotel rooms. The engineer and physicist, each by their own quirky methods use the nearby extinguisher to put out the blaze. The mathematician looks at the fire, looks at the extinguisher, says “a solution exists to this problem”, and goes back to bed.

Guess which one I am…

Yeah, I have a nasty habit of building all the tools I need to do the job and then sitting back and congratulating myself on a job well done, and no change this time. Funnily enough, the two games I have completed - Sheep Snaggers and Markie’s Revenge - have gameplay more rooted in emergent behaviours, while the several that I’ve still got outstanding are the ones where I needed to do some level design.

So, now that I’ve identified this gaping hole in my game, the question is what to do about it? Ideally, I’d like to fix it - teach myself to actually do the level design “grunt work” - which is what I’m planning to do with the remainder of Project DethTank.

Failing that, Plan B is to team up with someone who can do that stuff. I’ve got an outstanding collaborative project going that might be a good step in that direction. Otherwise, I can always stick to more classic arcadey stuff for a while, where the only real level design consideration is to make everything faster and more aggressive every time you beat them. That’s worked pretty well for me thus far :)

Anyroad, for the TL:DR crowd. I missed the October deadline cos I’m a big slacker but I’m still working on it and there will be a release happening sometime (hopefully) soon. Nothing fancy, just 4 or 5 levels of stuff trying to kill you…