ld#31 postmortem-ish

as I couldn’t find time to post anything during the development of the game, i decided to provide some initial thoughts now on the outcome of my compo entry for ld#31.

first of all, before the theme was announced i was actually planning to do a simple rhythm based game which i wanted to make some music snippets for a while. oddly enough, after i saw the theme, i suddenly came up with this ridiculous concept of people yelling at each other in an abstract environment – an online debating arena – and went for that instead. so far so good, i got this multiplayer 2d online shouter game worked out at the end.

why was it a horrible idea at start?

  • for starters, i haven’t done any real multiplayer games before and had no idea how to create and manage a non-stop running server (probably I also suck at the terminology :) ). while unity provides really useful stuff for network implementation, as i wanted all the people playing the game to join the same arena, the authoritative single server concept was still a complete mystery to me, which led me struggle tediously the whole day on setting up the connections and all without any real work done on saturday.
  • that being said, i should admit that, as my very first compo entry for ludum dare, it was yet too ambitious to go with it anyway.
  • last but not least, even when everything is set up and ready to go, it remains as a risky choice to submit a solely multiplayer game without any single player features.

what about the end result?

even though i was totally aware of all those above, obviously, i went for it anyway! :) gladly, it didn’t come out as horrible as expected at the end. i was able to actually finish the game and made it to the deadline working more or less properly, without any disastrous bugs and all. however – here comes the but part,  there were of course a few unexpected issues after the submission.

the major one was when i realised the server was crashed for some reason and not running at all after i woke up the next day. as a result, the very first people who tried the game could not run it at all. it was slightly disappointing on my side to suffer from that kind of technical issues, though, i recovered everything as much as possible the next day, and it seems like the server runs almost stable now. so, one problem down?!

the other issue was the lack of players in the server. as it’s a fairly short-breathed concept and players often come and go, there were many times people could not find anyone to play in the arena. after some point, i also tried to stay in the arena whenever i’m available to keep it live, but still it’s been so rare that more than 3-4 people played at the same time, which i’m still really curious about.

anyhow, all in all, it was quite an experience at my end, and was a really fun one too! i am frankly grateful to finally be a part of the event. also, muchly appreciate all the people who gave great feedback!