Devtober 2019 - Post Mortem


Long time since I shared something here..
So, here is some good news about the game. ๐Ÿ˜

For Devtober this year, I decided to get back on Baby Dino Adventures development.

Remember, I released in July this year another alpha demo/prototype for free of Baby Dino, and then took a 3 months break after that.
Because.. I thought it was time to rest a bit.. After almost 1 year spent on it.
I also wanted to take some time to join my first game jam ever, which was GBJAM 7, during August this year. But that's another topic.. ^^' 

Well, enough context..
Now, let me share a few words about my progress so far during this devtober thing.

What Went Right

Going back on a one year old project kind of scared me, but once I opened my latest stable project version into Construct 3 I was surprised that I was not that lost after all.

I didn't really know where to start so I spent 2 hours writing a to-do list with every feedbacks I got from the past few months — since I published the demo back in July. Ofcourse, this list was pretty huge with lots of bugs, new possible features or improvements.

I tried to not focus on the number of to-do items left, but rather try to find which ones could be done more easily, and quickly. The idea was to get things done first. And not get lost into feelings like "OMG, there is still this and this do".

As I'm not working full time on games, I also decided to try share a video/gif of my progress every 2 days. After a few days doing this, the idea came quite naturally. I didn't really had to think about what to share anymore, because it fluently came to my mind. Like, I mostly did these gif/video record while testing new stuff. Doing this, aside completing tasks daily and getting encouraging feedbacks, gave me a lot of motivations because I really felt like I was going forward step by step despite that huge to-do list standing..

Here is my complete changes list:

  • Features
    • New Forest Tilemap (simplified, and resized to 16x16 pixels)
      • Bridges
      • Removed all past levels
      • Reworked objects library
    • View Up and Down โ€“ While Baby Dino doesn't move, press up or down to see hidden stuff, or secret paths
    • Push objects faster โ€“ Press 'ctrl' key on keyboard, or right shoulder trigger on a gamepad near a pushable object to push it
    • New obstacle - Spikes (up, right, down, and left)
      • Static (on tilemap)
      • Moving (with delay variables) & shake animation right before they trigger
    • New enemy - Chestnuts
      • Thwomp like behavior
      • Trigger once Hero is near
    • New enemy - Bees + Hives
      • Boo like behavior
      • Spawn bees once Hero is approaching a hive
    • itemsCollectible family objects
      • World to HUD animations
      • Current collectible objects are: steaks, hearts, keys, and eggs
      • Animation when a box explodes, and hit a steak or heart (it pushes them off screen, and player can't collect them anymore)
    • More controls for Running added for keyboard input - as requested by @bobbyjackdotme
      • ALT, and CTRL on Windows
      • control, option, and command on macOS
    • Box particles on object destroyed
  • Bugfix
    • Enhanced Boxes collision
    • Start screen issue due to missing caps on objects name

What Went Wrong

Feeling motivated is something very important. But I learned that you have to listen to your body first.

I felt sick for one week, and I think it happened because for a few days I was so motivated working on an exciting feature that I slept just a few hours for 2 days. I finished that new exciting feature, but the day after.. I was exhausted.. The bad thing is that I couldn't rest that day because of life stuff that couldn't wait.. My body was very weak at that time, and I instantly felt sick. It took me one week to get back healthy which could have been avoided if I probably stopped and get to sleep not so late..

On a side note, I also learned it sometimes worth to spend 2 hours on an annoying feature that you could reuse in the future instead of ignoring doing it, and repeating your code. You think you saved some time, but once you want to make even a small change to that XX duplicated feature then you will start crying editing the same thing XX times, and probably make new annoying/non-sense bugs.

What to Fix/Improve (next time)

1. Listen to my body. 

If I feel tired or not motivated at all, then I won't force me to gamedev anything. I'll rather try to sketch ideas, or do something not gamedev-related like going-out, spend time with friends/family, etc. Maybe tomorrow or a few hours later, I'll get motivated enough. But don't cumulate stress or tiredness.

2. Clean, and optimize my code.

If I duplicate some code, it probably means that I can avoid it. Don't reinvent the wheel, but just consider thinking about it to avoid doing shitty 'nightmare-to-edit' features..

Last Thoughts

So, Devtober 2019 is finally over! A huge thanks to the organizers, and the Discord community which were kind, and very helpful all along this period.

I will try to keep this little every 2-days personal goal to achieve something for my game, and try to also share a video/gif of my progress so far. Even if it is a small change, or a short video. In February next year, I'm going to 1UP conf in Belgium where I will get an Indie Booth stand to showcase Baby Dino. So this is my next big deadline: get a new playable demo for that day, and use the same 2-days workflow I used during Devtober.


Cheers everyone!
Antoine

โ™ฅ๏ธŽ

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