Wherefore Art Thou: Post-Mortem

I’ve now done my last commit, finished off the itch.io page and all that is left is this post mortem reflecting on the past 4 weeks and talking about what I need to do in my future projects now the development for Missile Command: Sarah Morris Edition is completed.

As with every task and project, a lot went wrong and a lot went right wrong and I can look at this project to improve my work ethic and methods and improve for all of my future work. So let’s start off with what didn’t turn out well, which felt like a lot…

A screenshot from Missile Command: Sarah Morris Edition

What didn’t go well.

  • Pitch
    As I’ve talked about in a previous blog post (goo.gl/TPxw2L), there was an oversight on my behalf in regards to pitching my idea for Missile Command: Sarah Morris Edition to all of my peers. I was never able to convey my idea to my peers and receive their thoughts and concerns on my concept for the project. Although I was still able to proceed to the next step in the project (Planning), I never truly knew if my game concept was flawed, just terrible or good and it was a genuine concern whilst developing the project. I’ve definitely learnt that ‘If not to help you and collaborate with, what good are peers?’. In the future, I will need to write all of my thoughts on paper, so that if I am unable to present my pitch in a video format, I can still present some aspect of my idea to my peers or clients.
  • Coding: GitHub (Committing)
    I most definitely need to revise my notes and do more research on GitHub, SourceTree and .gitignores. During the project, I wasn’t able to create branches and then have it combine with the main branch again and sometimes SourceTree would simply struggle to make a commit, let alone pushing the commit. I’ve come to the conclusion that my branch issue was due to the crazy amounts of binary code from the Unity Files that I ended up finding that the .gitignore missed. I will be doing a Research blog on git, repositories and most importantly for me, .gitignores as I am certain that the .gitignore one provided for Unity by GitHub is not good at all for my needs.
  • Effects of being on Different Computers and Devices
    Different screen resolutions have had an impact on how the game appears and plays. I have quite a few friends who use OsX (Macs), I thought I’d package the game for not only Windows, but OsX too just to capture a larger player base for my project, as I want to start getting used to packaging my games for larger audiences. However, when I gave my friend the packaged version for the Mac, she wasn’t able to use the middle or right towers because they required the middle mouse button and right mouse button, which she did not have being on a MacBook Pro, not only that but because of her resolution, there would be too much fog on the screen. I found out the right click for a MacBook isn’t a thing but ‘command + click’ functions as that but isn’t registered as a right click, so in future projects, I’d have to add extra control schemes for those without a mouse or maybe even touch controls for mobile. In regards to the resolution issue, I found out that I can artificially add resolutions (8k, 4k, 480p, etc.) as well as different aspect ratios and this will allow me to run a project at the artificial resolution, allowing me to test a packaged version.

What went well.

  • Scheduling
    This is the first time where I’ve had this much spare time and so much being accomplished simultaneously in one of my projects. Usually, I would half ass my feature and technical spec and then spend days doing something simply because I’ve never thought about it or realised that I’ve overscoped and need to redo everything. This was greatly helped by doing a proper technical and feature specification as I knew what I wanted to do and didn’t end up overscoping, it was also helped by having a hack n plan I regularly updated. Not only that, but I was also able to conduct playtesting for the first time in a project I’ve worked on, allowing me to improve what was wrong with the project.
Screenshot of a completed Hack n Plan milestone
  • Meta: Store Page (itch.io)
    Usually, I just through a project up onto itch.io with a title and a download and leave it, but after talking about it at university, I decided to put more effort into the page as I’ve already spoken about in a previous blog (goo.gl/o4GpZu). I’m now aware just how important first appearances are for any project, even the meta things need to be appealing.

What went perfect.

  • Nothing
    The fact that nothing went perfect, is perfect within itself.
    I don’t want to grow complacent in my work and become lazy, I always want to keep pushing myself and luckily for me, this project was a wake up call that I need to try harder.

Last trimester I had to defer due to technical issues with my computer and I did nothing in regards to video game development. Now I’ve thrown myself straight back in back I didn’t find my work ethic until the final stretch of this project. In the future, I will plan my projects and conduct research beforehand to minimise issues like the ones I had with GitHub and my pitch.