How I Took Over the World: Postmortem

While I think my game turned out nice (even though unfinished), this wasn't a good Pyweek for me for the following reasons:

1. I haven't really followed other posts. Part of the fun of Pyweek is to see how other people are doing and comment on their work. I barely had time to work on my game, so didn't have a lot of time to do that either. (In the past I would procrastinate my Pyweek game to see what others are doing. I should start doing that again. :))

2. I was hoping I could play the games and write comments about them, but suddenly unexpected priorities appeared and I ended up not playing them at all (at least they didn't happen during Pyweek). I will when I have some more time, but not being able to rate them made me really frustrated this Pyweek. I know I haven't done that either in the previous one, but I don't want this to become a trend. Unfortunately, life is busy and this is hard to avoid.

3. I think I got too used to Pyweek. I felt that I needed to complete my game just for the sake of completing. I'm not sure why, but in this Pyweek I lacked the drive and inspiration I had in previous Pyweeks. At some point all I wanted was to just get over with it. I think that might have shown that a little in my game: in most of my games there is some part of it that's a little experimental, a piece of my personality, even if people don't notice. I guess a side-view TD where you build rooms and carry turrets around is a little different (I have played side-view TDs -- Plants vs Zombies being a famous example -- but not where you build rooms and carry turrets, and I think that changes the dynamics of the game). However, for some reason I can't quite explain, I wasn't very excited about it. I guess I could say that the experimentality of this game is more on the surface rather than ingrained in the core.

My goal next Pyweek is to find a way to regain this drive. I'll try to remember to do something more experimental, even if it doesn't work so well. I also intend to reduce my scope to make something completely finished. Sending something unfinished is unfortunately starting to become a routine and I should consider that as good as a DNF for me.

Still, I'm glad that some people enjoyed my game. However, for the reasons I mentioned above, I don't intend to continue working on this game even if I had time. (I would rather finish my previous game paeranoia, for example, but I don't think I have time for that either.)

Anyway, about the game itself. As I wrote in another post, my original plan was more ambitious than what I submitted.

I wanted to make a Death Ray simulator. The idea was that you would go from planet to planet to threaten and destroy them. I had this idea to make an X-COM-like game in the sense that it's a double genre game (sim and tbs). I wanted to make a sim and defense game in a similar vein: you would have the sim part where you would travel to different planets and use resources to upgrade your ship, and you would have a defense part during the ray charging which would be a more developed version of what I submitted, and there would be interactions between both parts.

Obviously, I didn't have time to do all that. I guess I knew that from the beginning, but part of me was hoping I would be able to make both parts superficially. When I realized that wasn't possible, I decided to stick with the defense part, since it was more playable and I had already drawn that part.

However, as I explained before, I feel like it lacked a little personality from me. Although this game had more work put on than many of my previously submitted games, it ended up unfinished and I definitely don't feel as satisfied as I felt in my previous Pyweeks. I have been doing Pyweeks for a long time, so I guess a feeling of routine is natural, but I would really like regain that sense of satisfaction and completeness next time. Maybe then I will produce something people really enjoy.

On the plus side, I think some of the graphics turned out nice -- particularly the death ray and the research lab animation (for the work of someone inexperienced in art, of course). I also think I'm getting better at execution.

Well, feel free to comment. If any of the Pyweek veterans out there had the same feeling of routine, or if you have any interesting opinion about any of this, I'd definitely like to hear from you.

Thanks to Richard for hosting this Pyweek and to those who made an effort to write verbose comments. Congratulations to the winners! See you all next Pyweek (hopefully more excited and better inspired :))!

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Just out of a mild curiosity...have you ever completely a pyweek entry?
Tee, I've found that using cocos2d has helped me avoid some of the routine as it implements a bunch of the common stuff that's needed in a lot of games. Even if I don't always use it, using it sometimes mixes things up enough.
@john: Yes. Actually, I would say that all my entries except this and the previous Pyweek are finished to a satisfactory extent, even those that I rushed in one day. Sure, most of them aren't "finished" as in well polished, but the scopes of both game and gameplay are well defined.

Realizing that only my two most recent games are incomplete (in this sense) makes me wonder whether this is just a reflection of the fact that the more I get old, the less time I have.

@richard: That might be a good idea. I have looked superficially at cocos2d in the past and it didn't catch my attention, but maybe I should look deeper into it next time. However, I think what I really need is a way to regain my excitement for Pyweek. I really don't mind writing dull code on something that I'm excited about.