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Kseh Woa Iv - Post 8 - Post Un-mortem

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You know... because of the undead, right?

Ok let's see here...

Stuff that was good:

  • Well first and foremost I had fun working on the game. It's the sort of feeling that reminds me why I love programming.
  • I was able to balance project time with real life time rather well, I think. Though I could've used more project time, I don't think I'd really have been able to find it without being completely irritating and useless for anything else for the entire week. By my estimates, I spent around 39 hours trying to work on my entry.
  • My wife was very supportive with helping me find the time to work.
  • I got my submission in before the deadline.
  • I like my game. Which is a first for my previous entries to game jam sort of events.
  • I found a couple bugs in my engine code that had been problems for some time.
  • I have what I think ends up being a cool new spell to use in other projects, complete with animations & sound.
  • Experiments with the hand gesture system went well.
  • I was lucky that Endurion shared where he got his music from. The background music I found worked well and I wouldn't have it if it weren't for his journal post.
  • I like that I was able to get a game together where a main element was "Shadows" without the use of shaders (my laptop video card just doesn't support any). For that matter, I think I'd be able to remove the small amount of alpha blending that I'm doing without much impact (although I have a few ideas to use it for some special effects with the shadow orb that might enhance things a bit).

    Stuff that went horribly wrong:

    • Nothing actually felt as though it had gone horribly wrong or had me stressed out or worried. That's not to say though there isn't a lot of...

      Stuff to learn from and look at improving (this kind of stuff was a fair part of my motivation for entering):

      • I was getting burnt out by Thursday. Fortunately, once I'd start working, I'd get back into the swing of things and have to force myself to stop. But as it is right now, I'm not anxious to get back to working on other personal programming projects. I'm figuring I just need a bit of a break.
      • I've only just gotten over the withdrawal migraine from the energy drink's caffeine.
      • An 8 year old laptop is very slow to compile things on. Nothing like tweaking a variable and waiting 1.5 to 2 minutes for the rebuild.
      • That same laptop does not like me to keep browser windows open in the background while programming.
      • I am not setup very well for any kind of rapid prototyping.
      • I have a lot of code that I dread having to add to each time I want a new actor type. That crap needs to be refactored.
      • Collision detection remains the bane of my existence. I do not have a good system for it at all. I'd love nothing more than to replace it with a nice physics system like Box2D but I'm not sure if my hardware can support it.
      • I was hoping to be able to rework all of my graphics. I recently finished playing "Ittle Dew" and I rather like the art style. I'd like to try to get some stuff together that resembles that style and I think that means that some of my graphics code needs updates as well.
      • While I might be able to continue lying to myself about my graphics skills, I have no ability to produce a song beyond playing "Old MacDonnald had a Farm" on my synthesizer and my synthesizer has not been functional for quite some time. Music really added to the feel of the game and I should look at working with someone next time.
      • I can lie to myself only slightly more convincingly on my ability to produce sound effects, but if I can accept the need for someone that's able to do music then I should broaden the scope of that need to include all sound work.
      • I had every intention of having a menu screen. I was all setup with TGUI to get that going but all I used it for was what started out as debugging text and ultimately became the score display.
      • I really need to setup my code better so that I'd have an easier time resetting the game on player's death. It should've been like one function call to reset the game but instead I was looking at another hour or two of work with the potential to miss resetting something.

        I'm not sure what my next step is gonna be. I have an unfinished tree control I was working on for my endless RPG project that I was feeling good about working on. I'd like to look at that art and graphics stuff as well though, I really wouldn't mind testing out Unity or something else to see what sort of issues it might fix automagically and for that matter learn something new. I tell myself I need a new machine before I get into stuff like that though. I have a notion of running through each of the old Experimental Gameplay Project themes for the sake of getting through a number of small projects and learning and evolving code from each one.

        I suppose the thing to do is think about that question that a marketing friend of mine asked once when I asked for advice, "What is it that you actually want to get out of your project?"

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You might be surprised by Box2D. Both of my laptops hail from 2009 and it runs fine. There are plenty of demos around (and even web-based ports of Box2D) that you could use to evaluate the performance on your machine first.

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Yeah, Box2d, depending on how much collision you got going on, is pretty performant.  I wrote a game about five years ago using javascript  (win-JS lols) running on one of those WinRT Surface tablets, which are absolute garbage machines, and my bottleneck was not collision.


EDIT:  That reminds me, you can try hitting up a website that uses box2d.  This one uses webGL, which is probably overkill, but: https://kripken.github.io/box2d.js/webgl_demo/box2d.html


EDIT: Here's a more simplistic one:  https://box2d-javascript-fun.appspot.com/

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