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Stellar Nurse premature post mortem

First thoughts. This is the first post I’ve written since I updated wordpress, and, what the fuck wordpress. You’re going to destroy a good piece of software.

Why is this post mortem premature? Because we aren’t done with it yet. At least, I’m not. A ‘post-compo’ version is on the way with some gameplay tweaks and performance improvements. I’m going to keep this short for that reason, and just dive right into the lists.

What went right:

Working with an artist and a musician. I couldn’t have asked for better. Participating in the jam with a team allowed me to focus entirely on what I was good at and crank out code. It didn’t hurt that they are both incredible at what they do.

Using libraries I knew. Flashpunk I’ve used quite a bit and I can confidently dig into it and hack things. I’ve got a deal of experience with Box2D, so when I needed a physics library it was the logical choice (And it made for quite good physics). The last library, GUM, is a gui library that I wrote. Can’t know it better than that.

Not caring about how horrible my code was. Arne delivered brilliant art; but he didn’t always deliver it in a sensible layout. This isn’t really the best example of this (I’ll give one of those in a moment), but I could have spent a lot of time re-arranging his tiles, or I can just hack some code to deal with it. I hacked some code to deal with it. I did a good job this time avoiding the itch to make it perfect, and concentrated on just making it work. Of course, without the time pressure, I have to fix everything now!

So what went wrong? Not having a clear idea of the goal. I don’t think any of us really knew how we wanted the game to play. I experimented a lot with it, but some bits of it threw me for a loop. Like detecting completed planets. The method I came up with can detect any pattern at all, but I never actually got around to doing anything interesting with it. The post-compo version will, I promise.

Ambition. I bit off way too much with the world-tile-soup. Oh sure, it looks like it works, but I poured a solid forty hours of work into it over the weekend and it still doesn’t work right half the time.

Play it now at http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=rate&uid=418

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