Fire Leaf Studios

Home Escaper Post Mortum


Home Escaper is a game about trying to manage the ever growing population of a small colony on a new world.

What is a postmortem?

I wasn't too sure what a postmortem was so after a quick look through Ludum Dare they mainly boil down to 3 things.

  • What went well - In this section it looks like I need to list all of the things that went to plan during the jam
  • What didn't go well - In this section I will list all of the things that didn't go well
  • A conclusion - Here I'll put a summary of what happened

Without further-ado lets get on with it.

The good

I'm very happy with the outcome of the jam. The game is all that I set out to create bar one function but more on that later.

I was watching the theme very closely this time (a habit I've gotten into in recent jams) and saw that 'A Small World' had come up once again, this is a theme that I saw back in LD36 and LD37, so I've had almost a year to think about the kind of game that I wanted to make. I chose an RTS game because I had been playing them for a while and they really suited the theme so it seemed like an obvious choice to make.

I wasn't too worried about how I spent my time during the jam because that hasn't worked out well for me before. In LD37 I stuck to a schedule and ultimately slept through the submission phase so there is no entry for that one. This time around however, I was more relaxed. I didn't stay up for the theme (2AM) and got an early night. I woke up at 8, checked the theme then had breakfast, got ready for the day then drove 15 minutes to the jam arriving at 10AM. I had 2 hours to really thing about my game and not realise it. This is probably the best way to do this because I didn't feel like I was wasting time and I was able to work out small details before I got working. I watch a whole episode of Dr who on the Saturday, spent an evening out and still finished the game. I'm gonna take this approach in the future

This is the most technical game I have made yet, I used a lot of features of the Java language that I haven't used before like asking for classes extending Building to see how many of that building the player had placed

I'm also quite happy with how the art turned out and I was able to keep all of the art used in the game inside of a 64x64 sprite sheet, a limitation that I've been trying to keep to for the last 2 jams. This limited me to the amount of content that I could create but forced me to think about what I really needed.

The bad

During the first day when I was working out how to draw the planet rotating I managed to get confused between a rotation value and an absolute value... I was transitioning to having planet base coordinates (a rotation value) from screen coordinates (an absolute value) because of this I removed a piece of code that I wasn't able to fix until 11PM that night, that was a 9 hour mistake.

I like to be able to jot down what I'm thinking when I'm working on small parts of games, it helps me to visualise what needs to be done and sometimes give me the answer. For the first day I forgot my notebook so wasn't able to write problems down, instead I had to rely on a nano session in my terminal, which can only do so much.

While I was in the rush for the final 2 hours I put in my win and lose state. However in my rush I didn't realise that the win state was placed inside of a if statement that executes if the happiness of the colony is below 30%, the win state is to have the happiness at 100% for (20 world ticks ~5 minutes) so it's not possible for the player to beat the jam version of the game and by time I realised it was 2 days later and was unsure if I was allowed to post a fix after that much time had passed

The conclusion

Overall I think that LD38 was my most successful and enjoyable one game jam yet. I got to go to a physical location, something I've been wanting to do for a while, I made a game I'm proud of and have received positive feedback for. Although I encountered some problems I managed to over come them and finish the jam on time, which is always a bonus

Really quick here is a bullet pointed summary

  • The Good
    • Completed a game
    • Acceptable art
    • Didn't worry about time
    • Loved the theme
  • The Bad
    • Removed important code
    • Forgot vital tools
    • Un-winnable game

Here is a video timelapse of my whole weekend, some blank bits here and there but that's because I was doing errands all week end

And if you wanted to play the game you can find it here or

Until next time

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