Hi! It's been about half a year hasn't it?
Well as you may have guessed I've taken up some other projects for the moment and this is the first of many of them, The Scenic Route.
A game where you make spruce up various space routes and see how the visitors like them!
This was made in little under two months, from scratch and all by myself, so this is the post mortem for the project.
Let's dive in, shall we?
What went well?
Something that I generally have struggled with in the past was keeping the scope of my projects small. This time around I managed to keep the scope small by only having one or two core mechanics and no others.
One thing that did help with keeping the scope was also the fact I set a 2 month limit on the project itself. This helped because I could pace myself based on how much time I had left, it also meant I could take breaks and not constantly be doing game development.
Tying into the previous part that went well, the whole design process was actually really smooth. Partially because of the above and in part because I had a solid idea what I wanted out of the game itself, it's visuals, feel and general mood.
Having both the mechanics designed out, and the technical structure designed prior to actually building the game meant it was easier to code and see how things linked together.
As part of the design, I came up with what I felt was a good technical structure with how certain components and systems would interact and determining if they should even interact. This made for a much easier time to build the code behind it all and to navigate the code when I needed to sort things.
One of the things that I've generally struggled with when it comes to game development and life in general, is pacing myself. This time around where I'd got some good designing down, a good structure and a small scope, I was able to pace myself and take breaks often.
What could be improved?
I feel that there were a few things about the mechanics that could have been improved:
1) It should have been possible to tweak the speed of the transport - This would have reduced the amount of time waiting for the player.
2) More areas and items - More variety in designs would have allowed for more creativity
3) Photomode - While I was making the icons for the objects I found that they actually looked really good a bit more up close, so it would be nice to have a photo mode.
In typical indie dev fashion, I didn't market the game at all in pre-release partially because it's a 2 month game and not a big title. But next time I should at least market to the build-up of the release of a game and work out marketing bits in a m0re timely manner.
Time taken on chunks of work
There were times that I would find myself trying to debug something or trying to solve a specific problem where it took more time than it should have done to solve. All the situations I found myself in like that would have actually been resolved sooner, if I had the same processes I have in-place for work I probably would have recognised I was spending to much time on things.
For the most part, things went pretty smoothly and I'm pretty pleased with it.
If you want to buy the game it's up here https://lparkermg.itch.io/the-scenic-route on itchio for $1.25.
I have another project lined up for the next two months, this one will be an update to one of my existing games.
Anyway, time to sleep!