Post-Mortem: "Journey to Plague Island"(CN)
It’s time for a brief post-mortem about “Journey to Plague Island”, a contract work for Cartoon Network based on the FlapJack series. It started as a pitch/prototype that we sent them and was accepted three months ago.
What went right
Hear the tester and adapt the game
We tested the game from its very first prototype with new players. From little girls to full grown men, everyone offered different feedback and wishes. We think we succeeded at figuring out a good solution to every problem and an elegant answer to every wish. That is, in my opinion, the biggest achievement we accomplished in the project.
Balance the overall gameplay constantly
We played the game constantly, making the gameplay a part of us. Playing a game every day will let you see right to its core, when designing one this is essential to balance levels properly. We did it, and it worked.
Design will change
The first design of any game (in my experience) never reaches its end without being critically modified. In this one, we weren’t afraid of making big changes until the last minute, but every one of them had a good reason behind them. For example: the “dots” in the aiming system were added two weeks before the releasing date and improved the gameplay big time.
What went wrong
Produce art before time
We produced final art for some features that weren’t accepted by the client later on. That’s valuable time lost for not double-checking some concepts before starting to work on them.
Work on a feature and not showing it off
David worked a lot to get the water feel right and it came out great. But in the end, levels didn’t need it as much as I expected in the first place. We could have saved that time with some trick that would have done the work just fine.
Constant testing proved once again to be one of the most important actions when developing a fun game. We tested this project with everybody, everyday and now that’s been published people say they love it. Join them!