Sunday, November 30, 2014

Z Escape postmortem

For the zero hour jam, which takes place between 2am and 2am on the day daylight savings time takes place, I created Z Escape. Considering the very short timespan, this is a pretty good game but was not what I was hoping to put on my One Game A Month page. I didn't have time to create anything else so here is my rather late postmortem of Z Escape.

What Went Right

Thankfully the jam has very lax rules which allowed me to make my own rules. My rules are that I could use a template for the relatively generic loading/title/instructions/about screens. I also allowed myself to prepare any art assets that I planned on using. Most of the starting assets are in the zip file I included on the game page (posted the previous day, not that anybody else would ever use them). The only thing I wasn't allowing was the actual coding of the game. This did not prevent me from thinking about the code so I had the code pretty much written in my head before the challenge began. This resulted in me being extremely prepared for the challenge.

Mixed Blessings

 Writing a game, even a simple one, in one hour is a challenge. When you are doing so at 2am it becomes even more difficult. As I am use to going to bed much earlier, I had the a hard time keeping my eyes open. Once 2am hit and I was able to start coding, I found my second wind hit. This, along with a very good idea of what the code would look like, allowed me to finish with time to spare. Still, this is not healthy behaviour so if I ever do this challenge again, will do so differently next time.

What Went Wrong

This may sound like bragging, but I did too good of a job. Now when I have adequate time to create a game but don't do as good of a job as I want then self doubt may kick in. I am going to have to continually remind myself that this jam had a lot of pre-production and things could just as easily gone the other way. Pride is, after all, a double-edged sword. I am proud of what I accomplished but know not to let success get to my head. Lets face it, if I had more time there is a lot I could have done to the game. Still, for spending 0 hours of work on the game it is not too shabby.

I think this jam worked well but if I do it again, I think I would go from 1am until 1am. This still technically works, and allows me to go to sleep an hour earlier.

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