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A member registered Mar 12, 2021 · View creator page →

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For those who don’t know, a post-mortem is a document you write after the fact, stating what’s happened, what went well and what didn’t. I’m writting that right now to consolidate what I have learnt, even if I don’t end up becoming a full time game developer or if no one reads it.

Some context first:

  • I am using TIC80 as my game engine of choice. It is an open source fantasy console.
  • This is my first big game jam. I have only submitted one game before (Bullet Hell Jam 2021’s “Fueled by Honey”) and I sincerely couldn’t do a lot because of my limited TIC80 knowledge back then.
    • Furthermore, even though I have studied a bit of game development before (that before the pandemics, good grief!), I have never made actual games before Bullet Hell Jam 2021.
  • I have spent around 10 hours working on “Teresa and her Sheep”, completing the last changes 22 hours before the deadline. Those were some tiresome hours but I believe I have done everything I could programming and art wise.

The results were:

  • 3.5 out of 5 in terms of score
  • #800 out of 5500+ games

What I have done wrong:

  • One of the levels got delivered with a game-breaking design flaw. While it was one of the last levels, I could blame it on being tired but the fact is there wasn’t enough play test. If I had a couple more people playing the game, I would probably have found this bug, fixed it and ended up with a couple more points in the end. I blame it all on the fact I am a loner and I have a hard convincing people, so that’s definetely something to work on: either get help from someone who can do that or learn to do this on my own.
  • I kept thinking during development that my game was fun and deep enough. The fact is: it is never good enough and I could probably take that as a given always. These opinions could have only arrived from other people playing the game, not myself.
  • Even though I have spent a good amount of time making puzzles, now I feel like I have cut some corners. That’s something to avoid at all costs: there is no easy way to do the hard things. To be able to get good results, I must invest energy and patience to fine tune everything. This includes puzzle layout, learning curve, visuals, music, and accessibility.

What I have got right:

  • My game style is cute and funny based on the comments the game received. I think I have figured it out and I should probably invest on this direction.
  • I was able to deliver a game that’s a lot more polished compared to “Fueled by Honey”.
  • I went on with the first good idea I could think about and went on improving on that. Given I started with a game about boxes and ended up with a game about sheep but following the same basic premise all along, I think I am getting good at design thinking. That’s a wild guess though.

Dangerous conclusions:

  • I have seen somewhere that only the top 7% of game developers can get a full time living from the craft. Given I was #800 out of 5500+, I could say I am top 15%? For starters, I have never sold a game, so that’s a huge stretch. Nevertheless I feel like my games are good but not good enough yet. There is a long way before feeling a tad safe about releasing a full game.
  • I don’t know about the other results, but I am going to assume the average score was 3. Since I got 3.5 out of 5, I feel like I am getting at the same trend: good but not good enough.
  • I am probably learning this really fast? As I mentioned before, the first time I made an actual game to showcase to the public was this year at #bullethelljam 2021 using a game engine I barely know anything about. This is probably tied to the fact I am a professional software engineer but I really feel like I am making progress.

Final conclusions:

  • The game was good but not good enough.
  • I have progressed a lot in the last months but I am still a beginner.
  • I am developing a game style I actually am happy with.
  • To make better games, I should improve my communication skills and my play-testing process. Abundant and varied feedback could have made this game a lot better.

Thanks for the comments!

Thanks for the comments! In particular, this level you mentioned has a flaw that might get the player soft-locked, maybe you have run into that? In any case, the levels after this one are considerably harder than the rest, that’s true.

Yeah, unfortunately I could only identify the flaw on this puzzle after the delivery time. I will fix it after the results are announced.

Hello! No, the dogs either behave like fences or sheep depending on the level.

I am happy someone noticed the palette easter egg :’)

Good job! I liked the idea and it fits the theme really well. Some comments: the music could be more upbeat; it would be nice to know how many towers I still have; I liked the idea of kinda having 2 games in 1

That’s so cute, good job! I would probably also add an option to remove stuff as well.

It took me a while to understand the mechanics but overall it’s a good game. Particularly, I really like the art! Kudos on that.

Good job! I liked the platforming puzzles and the overall idea. I ran into a couple of bugs that you may want to know: 1. Sometimes you can’t jump while running 2. I got stuck between 2 platforms during some sessions and lost all my progress because of that. Probably a checkpoint system would have made this less frustating. Aside from that, it was a nice experience! I would like to see it in a full game, with more powers and some speedrunning.

The narrative is really interesting and the mood is amazing! I would like to see it implemented in a full game with more mechanics and puzzles.

I liked the art style! Really cute.

Thinking outside the box, literally! heheh Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

Thanks for the post! I’m glad you enjoyed the game :)