Looking back at what I did and what I wanted to do there are somethings that I learned along the way that I would like to discuss a bit. To me this includes what improvements I could make on Pixel Corruption to make it a much better game. You can see my submission here.
“As you consider building your own minimum viable product, let this simple rule suffice: remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek.” – Eric Ries
My whole approach to this ludum dare was “Minimal Viable Product”. While it is good that it had me focus on what the simplest form of my game could be it may have shrouded my vision a bit as it focused me on the minimal aspects of things. It forced my thought pattern into that of the programmer rather than the designer. It had me focusing on more of the technical then the user’s experience until it was a bit to late. Let me explain a bit about that, the code uses the 0-255 RGB values to produce a configurable number of Red, Green, and Blue enemies. In hindsight it would have been a bit more impactful to figure out how to change the colors of the enemies to be the color of the pixel itself. Along with that it may have been a bit more apt to change some characteristics of the enemy based on the color rather than simply the speed of the enemy.
Why I think this is important because I feel I have failed at being able to get the user to actually destroy any part of the image in any meaningful way that is apparent to them. This leads to another one of my points on how the game could be improved. The fact that it simply ends is detrimental to the overall process of the end user seeing his progress in the image, if there was a continue button then the user might see more progress and stick along further to continue blowing away their image.
“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”
Now the one thing I do feel I got really right was the simplicity of it all. I think with the constrain it was more important to pull something together that felt cohesive and a bit polished. The simplicity of it and the feel is what I like the most about what I have accomplished in my first ludum dare. It looks good in my opinion, as if you are moving along within the computer itself and blowing away the bits that represent a pixel.
Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
The one thing I wish I had done more was prepare more for event. Notably among my issues programming Pixel Corruption, was that the ship was able to leave the game screen. This terrorized my progress as it was a huge issue if the ship left as MelonJS would not render it any longer, even if it came back into view. The reason behind this as I learned was that MelonJS is geared towards platformers, where the level tiles would provide the collision resistance to prevent the user from leaving the games bounds. Needless to say that would not work with what I did, after hours of searching the Internets I finally found an answer, which was to force the ship to always be within the game bounds manually. I sometimes wonder if I had gone with a different game engine if I would have had those issues. My point being here is that if I had look into MelonJS more beforehand I may have been able to determine that it is built more for platformers. Oh well, I made it work!
The last thing I want to discuss is the theme and my approach to the theme. This ludum dare’s theme was “You are the Monster”. To me it seemed too straight forward to just go with the player controlling a monster, which led myself down a road of thinking, “What do I hate when it happens to me?” Eventually I ended up with file corruption, I hate it when it happens and their is no good reason for it to have occurred. This brought me to, you the user becoming the little gremlin in the background that was silently corrupting your own image.
Looking forward to doing another ludum dare in the future, but as for now it has truly sparked my dreams on becoming a game designer/programmer. I will hopefully doing more blogs and such involving video games. Right now I am bouncing an idea around in my head for a game… and I think it’s pretty awesome.
Now back to playing other jammer’s ludum dare #33 games. :D