I never thought I would really have to do a post-mortem yet on my game, but considering that it made it as one of the Highest-Rated Submissions for Insanity Jam 2014, it’s basically called for now. First off, I want to thank everyone for their support, whether you played the game and got to vote, or just spread the word around for this wonderful jar of jam! As my first game jam, it certainly will not be the last. I learned a lot from it and it was an amazing experience, aside from meeting other awesome devs doing some crazy stuff. I was also able to play some fantastic games, some of which on the list here that I was even surprised I was rounded up with.
After all, let’s face it, the poor game can get pretty buggy, not to mention I ran out of time to do a walkthrough. I guess it added on to the challenge though, some players were able to make it to the end, others not so much, so I wonder if I was able to add in the walkthrough like I wanted, if that basically would have been a cheap way to give Charlie the golden ticket to the Wonka factory. Perhaps it even could have rated even higher than it did already, though honestly I’m still happy it got the 7 out of 10. That’s pretty awesome, all things considering.
With that said, I’ll break down the pros and cons as far as feedback was concerned, cons basically being any bugs or any other features that could be enhanced or fixed when the game is fully completed (rather than this demo run for the jam).
- Positive feedback on the narrative and overall story. Many players liked the humor it contained, and despite being stuck on a puzzle or certain elements not working in the game, they were compelled to stick with the game a little longer since they appreciated the story.
- Positive feedback from retro gamers in general, particularly from text adventure fans. I played these games growing up as well, and I was surprised myself that others were still making text adventures and other interactive fictions today. It’s a great way to improve reading and vocabulary skills, while still making the experience less passive and more engaging.
- ASCII art got a lot of nods of approval as well, though I admit that’s thanks to the power of technology and free license material. I generally do all of my own art for games, but I really wanted to focus on code and story since the projects have to be done solo for this game jam. For those that miss seeing my art, don’t worry, there are plenty projects I’m doing that has it!
- Certain verbs were either not programmed into the game to respond to the character’s commands, or just weren’t working at all. While much of it really was the fact that I didn’t know what other verbs players would use besides the ones I would use, a percentage also went into how Quest programs certain words and verbs. It doesn’t like spaces in names, for one thing; like how post tags are separated with commas, Quest separates the keywords with spaces. Heaven knows why. Either way, I took the game jam as an opportunity for feedback, and noticing others’ problems or bugs they spotted helped me figure out how to improve on this moving forward.
- As I mentioned earlier, no walkthrough. Really wanted to add one, and as other feedback came in, it needed one badly. If the game worked fine it probably could have gotten away without one, but I always appreciate anyone writing a walkthrough for any game though, even if I use them sparingly.
Either way, it feels amazing to actually finish a game that people enjoyed for what it is, and for it to have done as well as it did. Moving forward, I’ve continued back on the Lua game for my brother’s movie, though I regret to say that due to everything the past few weeks, I had to put my visual novel on the backburner. I haven’t forgotten about it though, in fact I’ve spent time in between polishing up on character development as well as my artwork, so expect scattered tidbits of these three projects within the next couple of months. Until then, I look forward to the next game jam!