Tuesday, July 29, 2008

RubyWeekend #2 Postmortem

Here is my postmortem for Playground Wars for the RubyWeekend #2 contest. I hope it will be useful for future RubyWeekend newbies and veterans alike as well present day RubyWeekend pioneers.

What went right:

1. Getting an art partner is a very smart choice, especially if he/she is good. Qubodup is good and he free up my time so I can program. Division of labors kick butt!

2. Prior to the contest, I spent at least 30 hours on the KRPGE engine for the purpose of writing RPG games. Nonetheless, it was quite adaptable to RTS format. Plus, most of the map stuff has been done for me. I had to modify it so it can support terrain images. This free up my time to work on gameplay features. Code reuse ROCK!

What went wrong:

1. Choosing the wrong ideas can be fatal, even if the idea is a good idea. It need to be implementable in a short period of time. I think the lesson is clear here: DO NOT! I REPEAT! DO NOT attempt RTS games in a 48 hours contest. There is no way you're going to implement all the units, the tech tree, the whole 9 yards of features and test, blanace them all, let alone a stripped down RTS game.

2. Do not jeapodrize your contest entry with a bad sleep schelude. 4 hours of sleep each is not enough. Please make sure you get plenty of sleep before the contest start. It might not hurt(Actually it probably does) but you need every bit of energy and focus you can get. I was very tired so I stop coding several hours before the contest end.

3. Communication is hard. Time and time again, I learned that the communication of ideas is rather faulty. For example, Qubodup told me about a bug and I didn't realize what the bug is about after the contest. Qubodup and I had to explain our ideas to each other repeatly or correct misinformation each other have. For example, I didn't realize that Qubodup was asking about the whole map resolution, not the indiviual resolution of map terrain images.

What I Would Do Differently:

1. Write more engine code. Having more code that you can use to create games is a good thing, as well let you focus on writing games instead of writing an engine.

2. Complete the map editor or any other tools that you will need first. It does you no good to have a very difficult map to edit when you got better things to do.

3. Try to choose a less amibitious game so you can actually complete it and have a better chance of rocking everyone's boat.

General Thought About the Compos:

We need a RubyWeekend site, seriously. And advertising. Lot more advertising. We advertise quite a bit more this time around, but apparently that is not enough. We got the same amount of entries as last time(7 of them).

That is all.

I am out!

No comments: