So WOA V has come and gone. My submission was supplied just barely under the wire, flaws and all. Over all, I'm fairly happy with my submission and I don't really want to point out all the assorted negative things to the judges that I see when I look at it but those are the things that I had hoped to find and learn from by entering.
Thanks to everyone for making this jam possible. To our hosts at GD.net for providing the venue, to Slicer for setting up and running the show, to the judges, and to the participants. This all is a very different experience than just coding whatever I want at my own pace with no worries about bringing assorted features together to serve a purpose.
Things that went well:
- I was able to submit something.
- I'm generally happy with my submission.
- I had fun.
- While there was a need to quickly hack together some bits of code to make stuff work, the majority of the code changes needed to the base engine felt much less like a hack and more like a natural extension of the code than last year's attempt. I consider this a really nice personal success.
- Avoided energy drinks on the late night development sessions and thus no post project migraines.
- Level editing stuff that I did put together worked ok. You can actually still add in some stuff if you right click (should've turned that off for release, I suppose).
(quick editor instructions if anyone is interested)
- If you press F6 you get a bit of debugging info including which actor you can place.
- Press F9 and F10 to actor selections. Right click to place actor.
- Towers and Wizards are the only actors that really have properly defined behavior.
- Pressing Ctrl-O saves actor positions to binary file.
- Level terrain file saved as text can be edited.
- Level list file allows you to enter the terrain file, actor position file, and size of the level.
Level number should then be selectable from the main menu.
Things that just sort of went:
- I spent more time this year on a main menu and on having a few levels to play. And with having a few levels to play I figured it'd be a good idea to allow for which one the player would like to start from and to put a small break in between levels. This all took up one of the late night dev sessions I had available to me. I wonder a little how things might've turned out if I had left these details and instead focused on other things.
Things to learn from or think about:
- I struggled with figuring out what to do with the theme more than I had hoped. I ended up just with starting to work on small bits and hoped that an idea would come together, which it actually did in the end.
- Level creation/editing is something that I found to be like smacking into a brick wall. This is likely to be my focus for the next several months, particularly since I'm at the stage of needing to look in this area for another personal project.
- I had hoped to write more about my progress each day but I just didn't end up leaving enough time at the end of each dev session and was way too tired.
- Could've planned time better.
- (hiding some flaws from judges)
- Didn't spend as much time on sound as I had thought I might.
- Should've spent more time thinking about the game name and backstory. "Wovanosh" is basically inspired by "WOA V" with nosh at the end because I happened to be pretty hungry when I was trying to quickly think of a name.
- A few components I had planned to add didn't make it in. I had intended on adding some alien soldiers you could "beam" to the surface to deal with the wizards on the ground by mutating them into more soldiers. The alien soldiers would be faced with human soldiers on the ground to defend the wizards and there were to be houses that the alien soldiers could convert to something the UFO would pick up to restore shields. In theory then, I could've added more wizards to shoot at the UFO and the player would have to plan the attack more carefully than just flying up and blasting at the castle.
- I think the graphics ended up being way too simple. I had envisioned having more interesting looking human sprites but I got too hung up with proportions and perspective early on and didn't get back to revising the sprites at all.
- Animations were less than I intended. The wizards were at least supposed to bounce a bit as they moved around. "Explosions" didn't really look like I had hoped and could've been worked on some more.
I tell myself that I'd like to do some finishing work on this when I have time to sort of bring it all closer to the point that I had envisioned. But I do have another personal project that I'd like to get back to. I'm not sure yet on what would be the best way to take things forward from this project into the other one. But eventually, forward it will go.