WarClicker 2 / MiniLD66 post-mortem

Yeah! I finally have time to write on my blog! As promised in the last post, here comes 3 post-mortems, one for each game jam I participated to at the start of April.

First, the Mini Ludum Dare 66 which I started on 28 March and ended the 02 April.
The theme was “You must construct additional RTS games”, I collaborated with Ted Wennerström, a swedish composer / sound designer who created the musics and sounds of the game.

The theme and the game

WarClicker 2

WarClicker 2 isn’t a Real Time Strategy game, you can download it on this page.
In this game you must defend helpless villagers who are assaulted by an army of orcs, you have to kill those orcs by clicking on them. If every villagers die you lose, the orcs will come by waves and you can perform different attacks depending on the mouse button you use.

I started my reflection on the theme by defining what is a RTS and more precisely what makes up the 4X genre: eXplore, eXploit, eXpand, eXterminate. In the limited time of the game jam I thought that focusing on exploration and extermination related mechanisms would allow me to have a more interesting game at the end.
This approach blurs the line between RTS and more action-oriented games, also I was more interested in exploring the interaction with the mouse than making a classical RTS with few chances to finish it in time.

The game concept I wrote for this game contains a lot more features but I wanted to work on the core gameplay: clicking enemies and mouse combos. If this core can be appealing then I’ll try to implement the rest, with just the core the game is similar to Whac-a-mole physical arcade game with slightly more complex controls.

Whac-a-mole game

What went right

  • The communication between Ted and me went well and he made a great job, the sounds fit well in the game.
  • I learned a LOT of things on Unity, mainly in sprites’ usage and creation of simple interface. Also the use of Raycast2D and filtering the results. And many more things…
  • I used the sprites of WarCraft 2 as they are exactly what I needed for this game (and that’s one of the first video game I ever played :p), and this has the visual result expected.
     I don’t own any rights on WarCraft 2, this game was created by and is property of Blizzard Entertainment. I’ve got no intents to use it commercially or make any revenue with it.
  • I made a little settings menu with few customization options including a colorblind mode.
     For the colorblind mode it covers deuteranopia and protanopia, I used the colorimetry tool of Illustrator to define which colors to use on important gameplay elements.

What went wrong

  • The first test was too late, thus preventing me from really working on controls and implementing the mouse combos.
     I took too much time on less important things like the background tiles when I should have test the game with just color boxes right away.
  • There’s only one type of enemy, I wish I had the time to make one or two more.
     With fixed speed and behavior for each, this would have enabled pattern based learning and so improved the learning curve and the coherence of the game.

In general I’m happy with what I managed to accomplish in 5 days and the amount of new things I have learned during those. In its actual state the game isn’t the funniest on earth but at least it’s not totally boring :)
I’ll work on it again later, right now I started to work again on Spirit Run with the team I had at the Global Game Jam 2016.

In the week to come I’ll write my post-mortems of Nordic Game Jam 2016 and Ludum Dare 35, until then, have a nice day/night!