Best Garden: V3 Post Mortem

It's been a long 6+ years for this project. It started as a prototype for a shitpost gamejam on twitter, and turned into a bit of a nightmare if I'm honest.

Like, I wasn't really happy with the first two updates, they show my huge amounts of inexperience at the time and it was generally just bad to be honest.

Even the 3.0 update I'm not exactly sold on, it's certainly much better than the previous two updates and it's more closer to the initial vision.

While I'm not 100% on the final release it's still miles better than the first two.

What went well

Game state handling

This is something that I'm really pleased with in this codebase. Basically all the gameplay screens are setup to just work when they are changed to, whether manually or automatically.

It's something that I'll be trying to implement in my other games on a certain level as it makes it easier for transitioning states and setting them up.

New UI Implementation

While I did have many issues with many aspects of Unity, I've really enjoyed using the UI Toolkit, it made it easy to do things like the theming of the UI and other various stylistic things.

I should note, that this is probably due to having a lot of experience in html/css so it was easy for me to pick up.

What didn't go well

Judge building/importing

This probably caused me the most issues during development, mostly because I went through a few itterations on how to transfer the data from the tool into Unity assets.

Firstly, I thought building a painting tool within the actual tool would work well... Turns out that was not the case... It caused a lot of issues when it came to actually making the content.

Secondly, I tried to go with loading and saving a Base64 image to store in json, which actually worked for the most part. On the side of the tool with saving/loading it worked... Not so much with the importing side within unity though.

Which brings us on to my third main issue. It was pretty convoluted to get things importing properly, like I'd have to make individual files for the profile pic, brief layout and brief display, then go and manually change some of the settings for things to be correct.


The music was also a big area that I feel didn't go well... I think the key reason for that is that I only have really surface level music theory and composition knowledge. It was also coupled with the amount of time I spent procrastinating specifically on music.


Speaking of procrastination... I actually spent a lot of time procrastinating on a lot of things in this project, all for various reasons. Like for music it was more of a knowledge issue, graphics + code it was more of a confidence issue.


In conclusion, I'm in a mixed mind with how this game has turned out. One the one hand I think the gameplay could be pretty solid and now the UI + input actually works (mostly), but on the other side it's not really as true to the vision as I would have liked.

There's also the issue with how long everything took really, my next project will certainly not take like 6+ years to complete it.


Look out for my next projects, which will be going under a different brand! Though I will still post updates, details and post-mortems here.

Luke Parker

Luke Parker