Friday, August 28, 2009

Bug Squad post mortem

I made and release this game a month ago, but I've only just had time to write it up here.

It all started about 4-5 months ago when there was the first swine flu scare. I had an idea for a dumb game about shooting pigs and got it as far as being able to shoot circles with other circles. I then got a contract and forgot about it. After that was finished I had a bit of time off and finished it off. I decided to keep it as a dumb game about shooting pigs and concentrate my engergies on the production values.

I think I succeeded in making a game that looks really nice and has rocking music, but I'm not so happy with the gameplay. It works to a point, but I think that I may have over-simplified it. I was aiming for a combo building high-score game and it's works as that, to a point. The mistake I made was than I didn't make it short and snappy enough (check out Boomshine for a good example of this) to work as this type of game. Also it has a huge problem in that if you don't go for the combos it's possible to survive for a really long time just by being click happy, but that if you do this it's a fairly boring game.

I did put it on the forums at flashgame license and I got some good feedback, but no-one picked up on the last point, and I was too close to the game to see it myself. I only realised after the game had been released when I was showing it to my family, and I actually got to watch them play. I'm absolutely gutted about that because it would have been fairly simple to have cut down the shot speed and thereby eliminate this as a viable mode of play. This just shows the huge limits of bedroom development. I'll have to make sure I can watch people play any subsequent games before putting them out.

Given it's drawbacks I can see now why I was unable to get what I would consider a decent payment for the sponsorship, and I'll just have to take it on the chin a try to learn the lesson for my future projects.

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