Rainbow Rangers postmortem

The results of Bacon Game Jam are up, so it’s time for a quick summary of what went well, what not so well with Rainbow Rangers.

The good:

  • I’m quite glad about the level of polish, at least code wise; it was the first time I did a game with a large isometric map in Cocos2d-x, the movement controller turned out really nice, a few sprites and tiles I’ve made by hand were also usable;
  • The gameplay I came up with is quite original and non-violent and this for a game made in 48h is an achievement;
  • Some people got the idea behind the gameplay and liked it, as you can see on the result page;
  • I did not crunch myself into the ground making the game;

The bad:

  • Overall most people probably did not quite like the gameplay. I suppose this might be due to nonstandard gameplay and lack of good instructions. I planned to make a short video tutorial and it is a pitty I did not follow through with that plan;
  • The game ended up in 47th place in the jam. That’s right in the middle and I really hoped for a better position. Most likely this was due to the previous point;
  • I did not manage to make any sounds for the game. I traded the time to make sounds for time to polish the code;
  • Some guy actually got a bit offended by the game and gave it really poor scores; that’s sad because I did not mean to offend anyone and it probably cost me a few places in the final ranking;
  • There was some bug with spawning enemies that slipped under my radar and sometimes made the game impossible to finish;

Conclusions:

  • I should practice making video tutorials, since this might be an easy method of explaining nonstandard gameplays to players;
  • Be careful when approaching sensitive subjects, especially in a small competitions where even one bad vote is costly;
  • Put a few of the routines developed for this jam into a public framework, so that I can reuse them in later jams. This should give me time to make the sounds next time around.

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