2004/10/21 05:15:29.531 GMT+1000
Postmortem: DiceMan in The DiceMan Cometh
I started this game about 6 hours after the contest officially started,
since I'm in the UK and the contest started at 3am, I was in bed at the
time, fitfully trying to get some sleep, I got up and was ready to
start at 9am BST. That's when I found out the theme was Random, and it
was time to spring into action.
What Went Right:
- Having some idea of what I would do for each of the Themes was extremely handy, the only one I didn't have an idea about was 1 button which is why I'm glad it didn't win.
- Using SDL. I'd used SDL in my FireTrack remake that's still in
development and knew that I could quickly get something running and
- Encapsulating SDL_Surface in a BMP structure, using my own
structure instead of SDL_Surface allowed me to write the Renderer much
faster since I wasn't having to deal with setting and changing
SDL_Rect's all the time.
- Spending the time on writing my own font system. I had originally
looked on the net, but couldn't find one that would be easy to use, so
I had to write my own.
- Adding little touches to the title screens, like the particles on
actions, or the scrolling letters. The particles started when I added
particles to the name entry screen when you entered a character, and
realised that I could use it elsewhere.
- I ended up with a solid SDL framework that I can use to build other games with.
What Went Wrong:
- Changing Idea part was through the contest. Although the game
name and graphics didn't change, I realised about 12hrs in the the game
as it stood just wouldn't work (it was a single screen and the dice
rolls added/removed one of 36 platforms on a 6x6 grid), so I redesigned
it as a platform game which opened up the gameplay and allowed me to
start making major progress.
- The Font, although it's great on the title and the bigger font,
it just didn't work for the smaller font, I should have used a simpler
font for it, something that's easier to read.
- Levels, I really wish I could have designed more levels, I ended
up with 5 (4 + 1 vanity level) I just couldn't make levels that were
either extremely easy, or almost physically impossible. Using Mappy
with .MAP files is a pain since you have to specify the block size and
tileset every time you reload one, so it made changing and testing the
levels harder. Next time I'll concider writing a simple level editor,
it would have made things far simpler.
Yesterday I spent about an hour porting my game to the PS2 Linux kit,
it ran really slowly, but I've fixed that now, and while not as fast as
the PC version it's still pretty respectable, I'll release a linux
source version soon, and possibly some pre-built versions including a
PS2 linux version.
I'm looking at taking this framework and producing a real game, I've
got an idea for a game and feel that with the code I already have I
could make a really good game.