Friday, March 19, 2010

I call Foul! On myself

So the release of the little flash game called Hacklaster Mow-Down has come and gone rather quickly. I created it to advertise and also to put something on the Lylian minigames page.
It has done it's job in creating some interest in Lylian, and that's awesome. But I was wrong in my thinking while I set out to make Mow-Down.
I set aside a weekend (turned out a week by the time the scoreboard was working correctly) to get the game out.
I thought that's all it needed, simple game mechanic, using optimized versions of pre-existing art and audio borrowed from Lylian.
But I didn't take into account testing and balancing; which completely failed the game.

I'm not much of a flash gamer myself and didn't take into account how saturated the market is, nor how serious it could be.

The game hasn't done awfully bad, it's averaging 2.5 - 3 out of 5 in portal ratings. But honestly I wish I could bury it now and move on. It's kind of leaving a sick taste in my mouth as I think "why did I release that?"

If I had put a month into the game, it could be a whole different story; it could have very well done... well! More enemies, stage tweaks and whatnot. But that would mean less time for the main project, and I wouldn't have felt good about that.

One thing it has made me feel good about, is when I jump in and have a play of Lylian, I feel very relieved it's a vastly better game, and the multitude of extra time put into it really shows. Well, it's pretty silly for me to even compare the two.

These things you learn from, right?


Jack said...

Whilst it's not the most earth shattering flash game, for the effort you dedicated to it... it's still way up there over many games.

Yup.. it's also not your main project.. but a nice side project that hopefully breathes some fresh breath & gives you some inspiration into your main Lylian project.

So don't be too hard on yourself. Take the mini-game as just that.. a 'mini' game.

It's handy for a quick game.. but remember your main focus is Lylian.

Hopefully the mini-game helps you keep fresh, give you new inspiration and ideas for the main game. ;)

Above all.. happy coding and gaming! :)

Darkness said...

I hear you man.
There is no such thing as fun easy to make minigame, balancing is not worse evil, its when you actually begin to take serious interest in how to better it, and million little things that could improve this aspect or that.
I'll be damned if mini/casual games don't take as much effort as many AAA-games, for game designer.

your minigame has this "I'll play one more level and stop, just one more level and.." effect, so you deserve to pat yourself on the back. but balancing that thing man.. it will need at least 1 month or so.

Rob D said...

Hey thanks both of you for your great words of encouragement!

It's all good though, I just needed to vent that out really, to get it out of my system and concentrate on Lylian 100%.

It has been a great lesson learned and I am glad I've experienced it.

BrandFeelsGood said...

Yes, I've been there too.

My partner and i spent a year building a web application only to run out of cash before it was released.

In order to raise some quick cash we put aside 6 weeks to build a nice simple photo gallery tool. It was completed on time and was good but not great. We would have been better off spending that time to refine our web application.

Polish, polish, polish is better approach. At least then you will have something to be proud of instead of two projects that are lacking (in my case).

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