Postmortem: Jonas IceCream Stand

Ah my latest game Jonas IceCream Stand is finished and up and running and I’m really proud of it! And thanks for the feedback guys, it’s always welcome.

I spent almost exactly fifty hours on this game and that’s by far the most I’ve spent on a 7day project. To be honest it’s probably more but I’m not really good at logging all the hours…

A Race

This game was a race against time from start to finish. I understood right from the beginning this wouldn’t be easy. Creating a whole GUI from scratch, composing animation and a focus on graphics(!). I’ve never done a GUI, it would be really easy with a decent framework for it… But I don’t have one for it so all the GUI code is really messy and hard to maintain.

I guess I’m learning the coding lessons the hard way. Keeping it structured and maintainable even, no, especially under pressure is extremely important. It’s a good thing I have a fast iteration cycle repeating itself for every new game I’m making.

Heh
Heh

Art

I keep saying it again and again but I’m not a graphics designer but I should stop saying that! Although not wonderful I think my games are looking good and this game is no exception. It’s certainly the most complex graphical wise.

The fading effect on the sky was pretty cool, but it’s kinda crude and it doesn’t fit the overall theme very well. The theme has a few distinct colors with a little “childish” feel to them. I feel the fading adds a bit too many colors to it. But I do think the end points (in the middle of the night with all the stars and when it’s as light as possible) looks pretty good. And I’m not sure it was a very good idea to include a MenuCity silhouette in the background.

A beautiful night sky
A beautiful night sky

Gameplay

Sadly I don’t think the gameplay was one of my best. Sure the first five maybe ten minutes are a blast, they almost awoke my slumbering tycoon feelings. But the game is so badly balanced, it’s far too easy when you’ve passed a point in the game. The problem is that I balanced the game the last handful of hours on the very last day and that doesn’t work, not at all. A great gameplay needs to evolve, it can’t be created just there on the stop. Well that’s my experience at least.

Conclusion

I think the game is really great. Sadly it gets boring far too fast but it does have great potential. It’s almost worth given a remake as a “real” game.