Ecstasy of Bomb: First Game for GameDevSchool.pl Project
This was a first ever game I completed in which I made every possible mistake I could make.
We made this in team of random 3 people: Rafał Majzer, Marcin Szustak and me.
It was a first challenge that was given to us during GameDevSchool.pl course.
The task was: Create a remake of retro game from the 80s.
We chose a Bomberman remake from the list of 20 titles given.
The tool of our choice was Game Maker as I had a tiny experience with that tool and the alternative we could use was LOVE Framework which I knew even less.
The team was totally random. We haven’t known each other before the course and we knew nothing about our skills or about game making as such. Moreover we were left alone without any supervision or tutoring. We had 1 month to make a working game. We created a google document and spoke regulary on Facebook to brainstorm the ideas. Rafał at the beginning acted as our main designer however the ideas he proposed where quite controversial so after some time we decided to go with Marcin Szustak concept – Bomber Man in Wild West theme, hence Ecstasy of Bomb idea emerged.
The first concept assumed we will be using clay to create figures and animations. Marcin said he would take care of it. Unfortunatly after 2 weeks of having nothing but placeholders we had to go with a Plan B – Pixel art and stock GFX assets. Rafał turned out to be very productive graphic designer and created most of the GFX assets that ended inside the final game.
So here comes the first lesson taken: ALWAYS choose an art style that is consistent and within your reach.
At the begining I was very open with our progress. I even opened our code to anyone from the course. However after a while I found out that I was the only one sharing and being active in the DevLog process. There were other teams also making a Bomberman remakes in Game Maker but they were less willing to cooperate. After 2 weeks I decided to focus on coding and getting the job done instead of being mr. Nice Guy.
One week before deadline we received a surprise challenge to create a trailer for our project. This was a total surprise for us. Not only Marcin has just came back after two weeks of being away from the project and we were already tired of creating and debugging the game in 2 people.
Fortunately Rafał took initiative with this task and created this trailer which you can currently see above this post.
After Marcin jumped in the project he quickly produced the sounds and music for our game. Everything would went smoothly if we didn’t come up with the most stupid idea to implement another feature instead of debugging what we already had.
Second lesson here: You must stop adding new stuff at certain point.
In the day of presentation we quickly came up with a plan to show our game to the rest of course folks. Our plan was to show our funny trailer from youtube then run the game build on given machine to show the gameplay. The plan got ruined when we realized that we could not open the movie from youtube so we lost the momentum. Then the build crashed several times on the given machine as it was missing several libraries.
So third and final lesson here: Bring your own tech to the presentation and don’t rely on risky factors to just work. Have a backup.
We delievered the game in the end but the team was exhausted.
I was more happy from the fact that I managed to complete something 100% for the first time in my life than from the game itself.