#15MinGameJam attempt 2

Play the game here

So I didn’t manage to do a recording today due to an issue with Camtasia massively slowing down my PC when it’s recording, but it’s probably for the best: I failed!

I bit off way more than I could chew in 15 minutes and foolishly decided to make an infinite runner. In theory I would have been fine, but I spent a lot of time needing to tweak values (e.g. gravity, jump velocity, platform min/max width, min/max difference in platform heights) and chasing stupid bugs, and ended up going over the 15 minutes.

However, I wanted to have an actual finished game so I decided to keep going and until I had the minimum of what I could label a ‘game’ and count this challenge as a fail. I stopped the timer at just before 40 minutes (!), which still isn’t bad for a game, but I should have made nearly three in that time!

Lessons learned:

  • Sometimes a bug really can be a feature: I initially wanted the platforms to have a static y position and spent ages trying to fix this. Eventually I realised it was actually pretty cool having the platform collapse when the player falls on it
  • Balancing gameplay variables takes a lot of time: in yesterday’s game, I had far fewer gameplay variables to balance (enemy spawn frequency, enemy min/max speed) compared to today. Not only that, but each of the variables today were critical to the gameplay (i.e. any one variable being too high/low could make the game impossible). In future, I’m going to have to find gameplay ideas that keep these variables to a minimum
  • Minimise context switching: one of the bugs I was chasing for ages should have been picked up when I was coding the platform spawning, but since I was quickly switching back and forth between what I was working on I didn’t pick it up at first. I should really focus on implementing one whole feature at a time
  • Either keep it simple, or do something complex that you know how to do: I’ve never made an infinite runner before, so I ended up getting caught up in a few places as to the best way to implement something. Usually I’d grab a pen and paper and work it out, but when the clock is ticking I don’t really have much time for that.

Play the game here
Download the source code here

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