For the 23rd GM48, the theme was sacrifice! Thinking of an idea wasn't as easy as it was for the previous jam, so I went with this platformer shooter where you use your own blood to attack and sacrifice cute animals.
For this GM48, my goal was to be able to offer a real gameplay and more interactivity than in my previous games. Unfortunately, A bad time managment made me unable to make level design. The game was unfinished, but still ranked 15th.
Note: throughout this post-mortem, I might reference The ascension, my previous GM48 game that ranked 2nd.
What went right
1. The art
The visuals tend to be what I do best when making my games. I was rather consistent with that, ranking first and second in the 21st and 22nd GM48 and 2nd for the 23rd. Not first on art overall, but first if we only consider pixel art. :) Considering there were other neat looking pixel art games, I'm happy! It's also what took most of my focus.
2. The base mechanics
If the level design isn't good, at least, the basics are there. You can shoot, jump, move well, sacrifice enemies, kill enemies, etc. It is the first time I really manage to squeeze in a more complex mechanics and I am happy of the result!
What went wrong
This is where the post-mortem gets a bit more interesting.
1. Time management
Too much time spent on art. I was not focused enough on the game itself and got lost into details. Sure, the game looks great, but the level design is horrible. It could have been solved with animation simplifications and spending less time on deciding what to go for.
Lack of preparation. Because it was my first time using GMS2, I was not used to several things and was not properly prepared. Because I used to use objects to make my autotiling and that I wanted to optimize the game, I tried to deal with the autotiling built-in system but understood it wrong. I ended up brushing manually each elements like you would with GMS1.4 base level editor. This instead of autotiling made it far longer to create level, so I was not able to test anything prior to release and had to deal with it. If I had a better understanding on how I could build a level, I could have saved really precious time.
The scope was too large. I expected this and don't regret my choices as my goal was to do something "bigger" than The ascension. In the end, it didn't pay so much and it didn't help level design or immersion.
2. Lack of sleep
The last day was painful. It's a bit surpising because last GM48 for The Ascension, my pattern of sleep was exactly the same. I slept 2 hours the first night and didn't sleep the second night. I guess I was more stressed this time around and couldn't handle the lack of sleep as well. When I was working the last day, I felt absent at times and had a hard time concentrating. It made it more difficult.
3. No immersion
If I don't regret the scope size, I do regret that I was unable to put some of my heart in the game like I did in my previous games. I used to add texts there and there, but the lack of time I had this time made it impossible. I guess it made it less motivating/interesting because I really love to "talk" to the player in some way or another. Unfortunately, I was not able to tell a story in game this time.
Munchun's final state is really frustrating. There is a lot I could have added and I really feel bad for not being able to include my usual speech in game to communicate with the player. On the other hand though, the base mechanic works and that was my main objective for this game jam. The game is not a success, but I still achieved what I intended to, which is pretty good in the end.
Munchun finished 15th, which is better than Max Wax, the closest game in terms of gameplay. This is a pretty good improvment and I am happy it got 15th despite being unfinished. :)