Overall, this competition went much better than last time. I credit a better understanding of what's possible in 48 hours, and a slightly lower expectation in the graphics department. Tools used:
- Pygame (Python & SDL),
- Vim for editing the code,
- RCS for making sure I had working snapshots along the way,
- The GIMP for graphics (I still don't know how to fill a transparent region ;), and
- Audacity for recording sound, even though I didn't end up using any of it.
What went wrong
I switched "theme" mid-stream (from zombies to ducks). This allowed me to use better graphics, but also meant that the sounds I'd recorded were useless.
I also spent a large portion of Sunday morning (at least 3 or 4 hours) integrating tile-based map drawing code and debugging it. I really should have started with the tile-based drawing in the first place. If I hadn't lost those hours, I could have added more items to pick up, more objectives or even sound.
In the sound department, I still have a fair bit to learn. When played in the game, the sounds I recorded for the zombies ended up all crackly. I believe that's to do with the sampling rate and the rate the SDL sound mixer wants (it's a bad re-sampler).
What went right
Well, I ended up with a playable game. It was based on a boardgame called "Zombies", but the game I ended up with deviates in many ways from the boardgame.
My adherence to the theme was very strict. There's very little about the game that's not random. I have a ton of ideas about more random stuff to throw in, but alas... :)
In all, I timed the development pretty well - though it was mostly about not spending too much time on any one thing (except that bloody map code ;) and making sure I was "finished" at least a couple of hours before the deadline so I could test packaging and make sure there weren't any problems on Windows.
On a more personal note, the comp reminded me why I got into this programming gig in the first place - sometimes it can be incredibly fun and rewarding.
To remember for next time
Don't choose a game style that relies on hand-drawn art - I simply can't do it :)
I have to haul back on the expectations a little more. If you can get away with having your game on one screen (thus eliminating icky scrolling issues and mini-maps for navigation) then do it. There was really no reason for my entry to have a scrolling map.