0.1.0 - BSJ Build - Postmortem
It's just past midnight local time when I'm submitting my entry, and it's been a bit of a harrowing 40 hours. To be honest, due to fatigue built up over the last few weeks from school and assignments and just being busy in general, I didn't go into this jam feeling the most rested. I made the decision to nap on Saturday afternoon, which in retrospective I really needed and don't regret doing, but it's still a pity it had to be done during jam hours. All those sleep hours probably did contribute to me not having as much time/energy as usual though, which could be a factor as to why this entry wasn't the most polished thing I put out.
I got the idea to do this game from the theme 'Step Ghost', which seemed a little nonsensical. First thing that came to mind was DDR, which I thought, hey, ghosts don't typically have feet (fog feet, traditional bedsheet ghosts and stuff), so how would they play DDR - then I jumped to a possessed object, then a stick laid across multiple tiles, and that's how I got the general game concept.
Unfortunately, due to me having never coded a rhythm game before, nor having any idea how to do one, it took quite a while to get the core scripts up and running. Still, I'm pretty proud that I figured out how to make a rhythm game from scratch - it's always something I wanted to do. It's actually not too difficult to do - it's just really tedious, and involves a heck of a lot of math. But yeah - that was two strikes: physical fatigue, and not going with something particularly safe. Electric Space Jelly, my Ludum Dare 38 entry, at least had that benefit of going with very safe game mechanics.
But hey, every jam's a learning experience, and I'm pretty proud of what I did get out of this one. Still, just for posterity's sake, here's the full list of dropped features that were in planning stages:
- Variable scroll rate (Hi-Speed) - Provisions made for it while scripting, but ultimately unimplemented. Scroll speed is set at 1.0x at the moment. If this was to be implemented though, it would be pretty simple to do so.
- Themes/Noteskins - You'd have the option to change how the frames and the arrows looked from an option menu. Lack of time to make assets, and the one we're stuck with for the default is honestly a bit ugly on the eyes, and doesn't blend that well with the UI. This one needs a priority fix soon, at least for the default theme.
- More Songs/Stages - I was originally planning to compose original music for the game, but sadly that was a luxury I wasn't counting on to be able to do, what with running solo and all. In the end, we went with music from my previous game jam games. Further, the game only has one song, which acts as the tutorial and the sole Easy/Hard pair. There's a second song existing in the code, with the timings and offsets all calculated out already, but I didn't have enough time to implement a chart for it and test it either, sadly. (Man, charting manually is a heck of a complicated thing; just see the second attached picture - and that's just planning!)
- An Intro - There was supposed to be a simple little intro depicting said ghost entering the arcade and figuring out the stick idea, which would segue into the tutorial stage and after that the song select menu. Replaced with the placeholder image you can see as the third attached picture.
- A proper song select - All the song jackets are placeholder images, an example which you can see as the fourth attached picture.
- Accuracy Scoring - Right now, the game only counts hits/misses. Originally I wanted to figure out different accuracy scoring, but that was a stretch goal I had to drop pretty early on. I do have a good idea how to implement it, though.
- Quality of life animations/sfx - The arrows pulsing to the beat, buttons having animation when you mouseover/mousedown, SFX that would play on menu navigation, pause functions - the usual stuff, most of which simply had to be dropped to make sure the game at its core functioned.
Sooooo... yeah, you can see how a lot of things simply didn't go through. To be honest, this is probably the most unpolished game I've made for a game jam yet. (Not like I've jammed that many times, but still...) There's a lot of polishing I wanted to do, but as it is, all I have is a proof-of-concept. I sure hope the core gameplay ideas will be enough to carry me through, and I'll take any feedback I can get. If Butterscotch Shenanigans ultimately does look at my game, their feedback would be all that'll be needed make my day.
Anyways, just posting this to preempt that, yeah, I'm pretty aware of the above issues and what I'm missing. If I revisit this, I'll definitely address the above first and foremost. I envision a final release as a small novelty rhythm game with maybe 10 songs, just something small and fun that you'd spend half an hour clearing.
Get Dead Do Dance
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