4 Hugues Ross - Blog: Eh, Screw It! - A Postmortem for Doomsday Darren
Hugues Ross


Eh, Screw It! - A Postmortem for Doomsday Darren

Last night I made a tough decision: I'm going to stop trying to port Doomsday Darren Goes Fishing to Windows, at least for quite a while. This may disappoint any Windows users who were planning on trying this out, but hey, at least they got Chainsaw Deathrace. Of course, I do have my reasons for this. The biggest reason is time. At the start of this week, I was already behind schedule, having failed to complete Singularity prior to the jam. With only a month left before it becomes a necessity, I need to complete it and test it now. The cross-compile progress that I was making was quite slow, and I'd already lost a week with nothing to show for it. The last thing I want is a repeat of Chainsaw Deathrace where I decide to make a few simple updates and it becomes an enormous, months-long undertaking. On that subject, I swear I'll get it done eventually. Maybe. With that explained, on to the postmortem:

What went right:

  1. The sounds. I realized partway through making them that I'd already made quite a few for previous games, grabbed a couple of those, and saved myself the time of making them myself. As for the music, Peter continued his trend of finishing the music just late enough to make me seriously worried, but not quite late enough to cause too many issues. Still, I think it's usually worth the wait.
  2. I got a ton of work done on the final weekend. The amount of productivity was mind-boggling, especially during the final 6 hours or so.
  3. As with many of my previous jams, I knew what to cut, and when. I'd wager that's the reason I keep managing to complete these. The game was originally going to be much bigger, and much more open. For starters, you were going to be going underwater to catch things originally. You'd get rumors about Big Red's whereabouts, and you could go to different parts of the ocean to get different catches. Naturally, this proved to be WAY too big, and it took me a while to settle on the design as it is now.

What went horribly wrong:

  1. I slacked off early on in the jam, only putting in 1 or 2 hours of work in some cases. I think this was because of the jam's length being a week, so I didn't feel much pressure until the last 48 hours.
  2. Despite not getting work done, I wasn't making sure that I got enough sleep either. It didn't start too badly, but I was exhausted by the time it really counted.
  3. This was my first time in months using GLUT. Worse yet, I hadn't touched C++ in quite a while thanks to Singularity. Due to that, I made a ton of rookie errors, which led to hacks and weird fixes, which eventually led to the nightmarish monstrosity that my codebase is now.
  4. I didn't bother with an IDE. I spent the whole time instead using CMake, even though I hadn't used it much with C++. Had I just used Code::Blocks instead, porting to Windows would've taken an hour or two. As it is, I spent a week and pretty much got nowhere.

What I might've done differently:
  1. One of the most obvious things I'd do is try to get more work done during the week. That alone would've allowed me to make a much bigger game.
  2. I should've gotten a bit of a start on the engine before the jam began. None of the gameplay, or anything, but it would've let me run into my problems early on, leaving me with more time to create rather than bugfix. Of course, I've always felt a like too much Game Jam prep is cheating, so I can't say for sure that I would actually do that. Still, doing a little project to make sure that everything was working would've been nice.

So, with this over, I'll be back to finishing up Singularity quickly, then I'm going to work on AMAZE and my editor. I'll post on that later.

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