A Positron Postmortem

Welcome to the Positron Dev Log!

And so, as this projects comes to an end, I write my last entry for this devlog, at least for now. Of course, this means a Postmortem! So let's get to it!

What went well

To be honest, the development of this game went fairly smoothly. Most of the skills used I had been honing them for quite some time now, and they all culminated in this project.

Programming has been my trade for quite some time now, so even though it was my first time (second if you count the last Ludum Dare) using Godot, I was able to use most of my baggage to work with it.

Graphics was quite simple to make, as it was a conscious choice to make it so, since I know this is probably the area I lack the most, and it would take me too much time.

Composing consumed a lot of time, but I was still able to cut most of it time using quite simple harmonies and repetitive patterns, as well as using presets for instruments, though this ended up being a double edged sword, more on that on the next section.

One skill I was still not very used to was shader, but what I needed was fairly simple, and there was plenty of references to follow, so there wasn't much problem. Of course, I do plan to study more about it from now on.

Another point that went maybe too well was my planning. I knew my time constraint and capabilities, so I planned the development accordingly, and well, I was able to complete it even faster than I predicted, which is quite a rarity. Whenever I saw something was starting to take too much time, or the feature creep started to lurk, I would cut them out in order to finish in time, furthermore, the long time I expended building the foundation of the game gave me efficiency to complete the later parts of the game. Of course, since I finished earlier I could've continue to polish some more things, try to add more features, but I decided to end here, more on that later.

What went wrong

I'm still pretty much an amateur, even though it's been couple of years since I started gamedev...ing? Anyway, I try to put the hours into it, but I usually don't have much to begin with, and since I try to make everything by myself, I feel my efforts too spread. I would like to specialize at some point, but for hobby projects, I think it's a nice opportunity to learn a little from every area to be aware of all the efforts required to make a game.

With that said, I still have much skills that need more honing. My composing suffered from the lack of skills with the synthesize, making me expend hours just trying to find an instrument that would fit the composition.

Again, shader wasn't much of a problem, but the lack of experience with them limited what I was able to do with them. Even though I was happy with the end result, I wish I could to do crazier stuff.

My time constraint, though not exactly my fault, was something that hindered the project. I wish I had more time (and energy) to implement some missing features, more types of boundaries and enemies etc, and if one day players ask for more, I will gladly continue developing, but alas, the time has come to stop the development, for now.

Looking at the past

Seeing the end result of +-1 month and half / 100h of development, I must say I am quite happy. It's by no mean perfect, revolutionary or anything like that, but it's something I was able to make from "scratch" with only my own sweat. It's the result of not only this development time, but also the years I spent being a gamer and hobbyist developer, learning how to code games, how to draw, how to colorize, how to play piano, how to read a music sheet, how to compose...

Before this project I always imagined myself doing a full project, not only a game jam, but was always daunted by the amount of work required to finish it. I was never confident of my skills (still not, actually), and never had "enough time" to work on it. Well, a small gap of time presented itself for me, and I felt I needed to prove myself that all those years studying made me capable of creating something. It was a small period of two months, between two stressful semesters, while still having my other responsibilities... But I felt it was time to make the challenge.

And so I started, I was happy, finally working on this first project, and I poured all my energy into it. As you can imagine, soon, I felt my body lacking. I wasn't able to rest enough before I started, and I was juggling with the project and my other works. But I couldn't stop, I knew if I didn't finish it now, it would be very hard to finish it later, and I didn't want yet another project to die like this, so I pressed on. At one point, my body started to falter, and my mind not able to focus. I took a week off, which helped a lot, but still not enough. So it was time to wrap up the project.

Fortunately the development was going very smoothly and faster than I imagined. So, cutting some extra, but not really necessary, features that I was planning, I was able to finalize the project before dying! And now, I really need some rest, because soon I will start yet another semester of stress. Still, I am happy with how this project turned out to be, and I hope you enjoy as well!

Aiming at the future

And so, another semester begins, which means I won't have much time to focus on game dev. But! That doesn't mean I will stop learning. I plan to study how to better use synthesizers, and program better shaders. I also want to have a more interesting art for my next game, so I will continue to flex that muscle as well.

That's it for me. Thank you so much for reading so far, and I hope you enjoyed this rambling! I hope to see you in my next project as well~ Cheers!

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