“closeness” postmortem

Another week, another game! And like with the last one, it’s time to see what I did wrong… but also what I did right, because I did much better this time! (I think)

screenshot_2

Small and clear focus

One of the things I criticized myself greatly for on group was having poor focus, which resulted in a game that was confusing, had too many mechanics, and ultimately felt like it didn’t transmit the message I wanted (or any message at all really). closeness had a pretty simple message that translated into mechanics in quite a direct way (I would explain it… but it’s more fun if you play the game and interpret by yourself!), so even though I felt the gameplay was maybe a bit too simple, I avoided the temptation to add more elements so that the message was clear. It’s worth noting though that I decided to keep the gameplay simple because the base mechanic was fun as is, I felt that I could play for a while and get into flow.

The advantage of a simple game is that I had a lot of time to polish. As I mentioned in the last postmortem, polish is important not because I want to make a game that looks really nice, but because a lot of the things that transmit and reinforce the message are in the details. But you know what I realized? Detail is hard! I’ve seen tons of talks on articles on the importance of making your game “juicy” and reactive to player input, so while I was conscious of what I had to do, I was absolutely no good at doing it. As I started to add audio cues, I also realized how ugly my assortment of free sounds were. While these are not things I want to focus on now, I’m glad I’ve noticed a weakness of mine.

Gameplay a bit.. too simple

Yeah, this is definitely contradictory. Wasn’t I saying simplicity was a good thing a couple of paragraphs ago? Well, yes, it was! The fact that the gameplay is too simple is not a problem with the game itself, but a problem when looked at from the perspective of my long-term goal: making games with meaning through mechanics, and making a living through these games. It’s much easier to try out these ideas and experiment in the small scope of a experimental web game, but if I want to make games I’ll sell, I need to make games with deeper and more interesting mechanics. The challenge then becomes, how do I make games with complex systems that contain intelligent and clear messages? I’m not sure, and that’s what I want to learn… but I won’t learn it if I keep on making simple games like closeness.

So yeah, making a simple game was a good experience! But I went a bit too far and need to try my hand at something more complex… The only problem is that I barely have any time this week… But we’ll see what happens!

Advertisements

One thought on ““closeness” postmortem

Say something

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s