Postmortem: MenuCity

Good times, good times. MenuCity has been out a while and thanks for all the positive and constructive feedback guys, it’s like my food doing this (programming is my air and the fun is the water… err). Anyway here’s the postmortem of my latest, and greatest, game.

Let’s start with a hideous graph: God it’s ugly, but it works I guess. I spent about 32 hours on this game which is the most I’ve spent on an experimental game so far. The bulk of the game was actually done really, really quickly like the second day or so. All the gameplay was there and with pacemaker art too! The last 5 days of production was focused on polish, level design and art.

Art

I spent a lot of hours doing the arty business and I think the game looks really good. You’d think the art I have in the game would be doable in a lot fewer hours than I spent and you’re absolutely right. In the beginning I had a very different style in mind, it was supposed to be a dude trapped in a console (a beautiful one) with all the ground, the birds (yes birds!) and the blocks all comprised of numbers… But as I worked on it I switched more and more to the style I have now, albeit diverging from the theme but meh.

Production

These games I’m doing, they’re more about production than the games themselves I realize that now. Naturally I’m making the games how could they not be about games?

It’s just my impression but when I’m doing the games my focus is more on the process of making them, like planning on a free day which I can get zoned and only focus on the code, instead of playing around with “cool” stuff.

This is good I’d say! But meh - we all like cool stuff, I mean it’s cool! But making things happen, making things work on screen is way cooler than having them all set up in my head. And besides, my very best ideas (and games) have come when I focus on making them work instead of how cool they should be.

What is is always way cooler than what should be.

The Game itself

Ahh the game… This one is my very best; it looks as good as Bugger, it’s more addictive than Balls and it’s even criminal to compare the levels to those of Black and White! So what could be better? There are a few things: + Horrible tutorial. I tried to redeem myself here but still.

Conclusion

MenuCity gave me a great ride, both developing it and playing it. And all the positive feedback doesn’t hurt my ego either ^^. There are things I dislike and annoy me but the games are getting better, I’m learning loads and the most important thing of all: It’s fun :)

Yesterday I checked the date and there’s almost two weeks left until my next monthly experimental game! I might have to start another side project… hum hum…