Harrison Short

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6-in-6 July Retrospective: Cyber Sale Simulator!

The first game of my 6-in-6 challenge is done and available for free here now! Sam and I are super proud of what we've been able to achieve in one day, and it's a good way to set the tone for the upcoming 5 months. A big thanks to David Upcher for providing the menu atmos and in-game track, without his help I'd be up to my neck in sound work! Check out the gameplay in the video below, and give it a go! 

This post is going to be a retrospective/post-mortem on the game. As it's going to be a bit of a deep-dive, I'm going to present it more in a dot-point form, so I don't waffle on. In particular I want to highlight what we learned, what we could've improved on the game, and what we'll be improving on the process of 6-in-6.

Stuff Learned/Experienced in Development:

  • Finally grappled the beast that is Unity UI
  • Have a really good idea of what sorts of systems I can quickly put together
  • Got more experience in cutting corners intelligently: for example, the reset feature of the pause menu was buggy, so instead of fixing this, I just removed the button altogether - this was very much fuelled by a game-jam-like mentality
  • I personally have the ability to bang out a simple MVP rather quickly
  • Applied some new knowledge from recent look into physics systems in Unity
  • Learned how to use PlayerPrefs: albeit in a simple manner, I now know something that I didn't four weeks ago
  • We could each identify what kind of workloads we could take on, as well as what the other member could take on

Improvements on the Game We Could've/Should've Made: 

  • Left sound too late: my absolute pet hate, I can't believe I allowed myself to do this
  • There were a slew of features that didn't make it in, which we think would have made the game a lot better, these include but are not limited to: "sale over/out of money" screen at the end of game, reviews that pop up when a game is "bought," pause music when the game is paused, particle effects when games were bought or destroyed on the edge of the screen, power ups (extra sales, etc.)
  • There was a large emphasis on non-critical art that we should be very mindful of in future
  • The red border around the outside of the screen should have been a UI element: as it doesn't scale properly when in a resolution other than 16:9 (actually all game elements should scale appropriately, but it's also a time consuming practice)
  • There was a focus on comedic commentary with the game that was truthfully not that present in the game, if we had maybe moved away from that a little bit, we might be personally a bit more satisfied with all elements of the game

Improvements on the 6-in-6 Process Going Forward:

  • Put less ambition into parts of a game that can take months of development: this is in direct response to putting a lot of stock into the comedic commentary of the game
  • Next time we should really go for an idea that incorporates stuff we haven't done before: some examples could be networking, or augmented reality, or messing around with a new engine
  • May have to downscale the idea in future in terms of game mechanics, especially if we pursue the above point: we made a relatively well polished game this month, so we could make one even better if it was a simpler idea
  • I may have to personally invest an extra day somewhere to work on sound for the project, as programming takes up too much of my time otherwise
  • Should take more screenshots on each development day to show the progress of the game, especially for these retrospectives in future
  • Need to make lists like this about what's going through my mind regarding the project, so that these retrospectives become easier later: this was a bit of activity in wracking my brain about the past four weeks

Overall, Cyber Sale Simulator is a relatively strong start to our 6-in-6 challenge! It's fully playable, has minimal bugs and looks pretty nice! Moving forward I'm hoping we get more experimental and more polished, but this was a really good way to kick things off. Thanks for reading - and if you play our game, let me know what you think on my Twitter!

Harrison Short