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Update, Pico Postmortem

9/13/13 by LDAF
Updated 9/15/13

General updates:

- Still chipping away at that Flash CS5 beatemup. Confident that it'll be a good animation demo. Yadda yadda yadda.

- Orchestra of the Zodiac is coming to a close soon, and I'm VERY happy with how it came out. I'm so glad I did it, it was a really good experience in learning music, what works, what doesn't, etc.

Pico's Mission Postmortem:

This is one of those ones that would be long, drawn-out, and emo if I had the energy to do it. Back when I was but a wee '09er, I was inspired to make a little something for each major NG holiday: Pico, Clock, and Madness Day. I wanted Pico to be the game, since it started that way. Pico's Mission started life as a point and click inspired by what I had seen of Pico 2 at that point. The problem was that I didn't have the skill required to make it; it looked shoddy, and my level design was ASTONISHINGLY bad. I just had no experience, and wanted to make the very best tribute to Pico yet. It was like someone who started drawing two weeks ago trying to re-create Mona Lisa. The project fell behind and behind and behind until I knew I had to take a much simpler approach for the game to survive at all, and it became the action-oriented game that just got updated. Oh, did I mention that the game had been handled by more people than a porn star? Maybe I should've started that earlier in the rant. Eh. Sometime after Pico Day 2011 (if I remember correctly), I got a new coder...then another...then another...until I reached 5+. Half of them I'm VERY sure didn't even look at the file before taking 2-3 months to tell me they couldn't do it. I'm not saying any names, of course. :)

I had to end up finishing a few glitches off myself. The problem is...I AM NO CODER. I spent somewhere around 25-30 hours this week plowing through it, ripping my hair out the whole way along. Though it was an agonizing one, Pico's Mission was a lesson that taught me these key principals:

1) Know your limits. If you're only capable of Ms. Pac-Man, don't try to make Pac-Man Championship Edition DX.

2) Set time limits. A project that's been dragged out for years and years and years loses it's vision. See Duke Nukem Forever.

3) Quality over quantity. Nobody cares if your game has a fancy animation or neat looking background here and there if the substance is weak.

That's not to mention all the little game design things, such as what's boring, yadda yadda. In the coming years, I really hope to focus on those, ESPECIALLY the third. If I put out one thing a year that I love, I'm happy.


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