From the very beginning, I had planned on creating a 2D puzzler involving the player as a ball, consuming others balls in the process.
The theme "memory" was just an added bonus to what I had planned on making as well. So, before starting the creation of the game, it was fairly enjoyable.
I've worked for quite a few years as a website developer, never as a game developer, so I had to organize myself in ways that would (for the most part) turn myself into a 'one-man-team' (ref: one-man-army).
I know that most successful games are made with a team of different people, who all share divers skills. Computer coding, sound composition, character design, marketing, etc.
So while on my own, I had to spend the few days taking in tutorials after tutorials from Youtube, start-up forums, conversations with my friends. All while not creating a single line of code.
Once that was done, and I had a general understanding of what to do, and how to do it. I made myself a mental list (DO NOT MAKE A MENTAL LIST).
- For the graphic, I concluded to stick with mostly primary colors. Basing it on the concept of the seven(7) colors of the rainbow, as those are pretty common use in my personal regard. Make them geometrically accurate by using vectors, and exporting the files in SVG to accommodate player with 4K screen resolution, as well as players on Tablet.
- For the marketing, I had planned on advertising as best as I could on Twitter and Facebook alone. Since I did not see a reason to create more social accounts, solely for the purpose of advertising a FREE game.
- For the coding, well, there were no issues except finding the right game engine to use. One that would be both Freeware AND packed with a lot of features. The reason why I wanted this, was to have a huge community to help me whenever I would be stuck on an algorithm, provide simplified version of my codes that would be both effective, and less consuming on other people's computers. As well as still being able to use said game engine. And not be forced to "pay up" after a 30 day trial. In the end... Godot Engine won the price of being selected by ol' me myself.
- For the audio, well, I re-installed FL Studio, started a quick overview of what I could create, and how. Watched a few tutorials, but never got myself to actually produce something at all.
I started creating the player, integrating it with the Arrow Keys, then the WASD keys. Made it's movements as fluid as I could with the possibility of modifying the player's speed if needed.
I immediately created a "factory" to generate the enemies. Link there creations with a emenies-per-level list that was stored inside a *.json file.
Then, applying the player, along with the enemy, and have them survive one another (implementing a game-over, and level-cleared mechanic).
Once done, I should have continues with implemening more features, but during my 'marketing', I wanted to provide an alpha build of the game.
So I made a splash screen, a menu, then the options to change the resolution, should there be any need to. And shared a few of the builds on all three well known operating systems (Win, xOS, Linux).
On the end return, I received a few feedbacks about the fact that the game was boring, too difficult, or just not interesting enough.
However, most of those remarks were made after I had received the confession, that a strategy puzzler was one of the games those players were never used to partake into. Always found interest in FPS, or MOBA games, and did NOT want to have to think while playing.
That was until I tried to appease those potential players by modifying the game concept itself. I slowed down the enemies, made them easier to be consumed, added a few animation to make things look lively. All in all, something that I regret ever doing at all.
That was when I decided to ignore those potential players. And refocus on the game itself. Because in the back of my head, I somehow knew that they wouldn't even download the game to begin with, on their own accord.
At that point, I had one week and a half before the end of the GameJam. I was considerably behind my schedule. I had not implemented any core functionality for the game. And the audio was nowhere near ready on a conceptual level.
That's when I STARTED TO PANIC. My first GameJam, my first Game, and already, I thought I would be considered a fake for participating in a game, without delivering a single kilobyte of data to show for it.
That is when I remembered that, in the Discord server of MFGJ, there was a channel for those who were seeking partnership.
And that's when I posted a short message, doing my best to NOT appear desperate, requesting for a sound composer to help me with my game.
And by the Goddess Sacrieur, and God Ecaflip. And Oh! Poukram! Did they answer my call in the form of an angel with black hair and kind heart.
Laryssa Chan came... to my aid. And was kind enough to compose not one(1), but two(2) audio soundtracks that I could integrate inside my game.
And with that, I was able to complete most of the game by 70%.
However, the deadline was still closing in shortly. And despite the help provided, I still had to catch up the my tardiness so far.
I had spent a few sleepless nights coding what I could. Sought a few advice from people on Discord, not related to the game, but instead, it's performance :
x86/x64 architecture, memory leak, CPU usage, compatibility in Windows, xOS and Linux, screen resolution, resolution ratio, FramePerSecond, etc.
Finally, and with that done, I was successfully able to submit the game, three(3) minutes before the deadline, on itch.io.
In the end, I believe it was a great experience for me. Mainly due to the fact that I was able get the job done in time. Although, just barely.
And had the support of most active Discordians who were able to provide whenever necessary, as well as the Godot Engine community.
And most notably, the help of Laryssa Chan who was able to surprise me like she did when she created two soundtracks for the game instead of one, during her spare time.
So I guess that, this event was able to ingrain in me, a few good advice, that I would no doubt carry on until my last breath on those two worlds.
That of the real, and of the Void (Internet).
Thank you for reading up until the end.
P.S.: The edits were to include the URLs, and correct as much grammar as I could (native French user)