Post-Mortem - "Blob Slaying Game" (Prototype)

So after a belated delay, caused by delayed evaluation. I can now release my thoughts on my development journey, alongside the playable prototype itself, in brief.


I was procrastinating planning on the foundational framework for a long-term project, to develop under an role-playing game basis, stats and all. But I was taking too long on the planning phase to justify further thought, so I had to do a "game jam" to keep my technical skills sharp, instead of rusted. The idea to rush-do was relatively simple to work on in contrast. Due to at the core, nostalgia for a deprecated Flash Game; Amorphous+. It's awesome, you should play it, if you can. And it's a good example of simple game design!

So, yeah. This prototype is a sort of spiritual fan game, under a limited "game jam" scope, of no more than two weeks worth of dev time.

However, the actual development took longer than it should. Under technical reasons leading to delayed inclusion, and even refining of core features that went buggy during development. This led to missing my internal deadline, to just over two months in total. Before I had the core 'minimum' that no doubt, could use further refinement if I ever do further development on this.

Hassle aside. It's been a journey, where I've learnt a notch more in some functions on Unity, alongside gaining more experience in porting games over to the WebGL format, documentation fun. And yes, even experimented in trying to triangulate my evaluation with a business evaluation (which really, delayed this release further, but worth it to me!)

What went right

One word, simplicity. As the core "game mode" for the rapid-prototyping of the assets themselves. With the initial scope being the inclusion of up-to four enemy types, while refining the 'player character' to at least be fun to play, on a control lens. With some last minute additions under a high score feature, along with a keyboard-dependant ability to change the played soundtrack, among other basic audio options.

Second word, iteration. It may have delayed this project by a month or two. But I learnt a few new tricks to be mindful of under audio. Speaking of audio, whilst being mindful on copyrighting in citations, outsourcing wise. I stuck to the sounds under "Creative Commons 0" so I wouldn't worry on having to hack-implement credits, when I was already strapped for time on delayed development.

In particular. I have to really thank "szegvari" from for the sample music loops (with all samples edited, under CC0). You may not be Revolution Void, or Sungazer. But for a lack of licensing, you were close enough. Para-socially I mean.

What went wrong

If I can cite just three things. I'd start with time-keeping. Since not only did I missed my original deadline for this project by months, but it was a struggle keeping enough time for this project, when my attention was also 'split' in trying to look for work/employment within the games industry, or something-related to that.

The second, was how this alongside background context. Led to a "lack" of planning, like the inverse of that tarot card, "Temperance". I did some thought, but I did not give thought on what all the pieces could look like, before I started development. Which may have led to unwittingly having to do the same function twice, just to get things to just work. That spiraled into a delayed project by months instead of weeks.

Lastly, on a more personal note. Is mental health. At it's nadir, it outright sucked motivation and effort I had for this project. Especially when my split focus led to being 'scatter-brained', tiredness spells (I blame winter, more than 'lack of oxygen!') among other negative headspaces probably ruined what 'focus' I could have had for this project. Still, I persisted to get this project done. Though if I wasn't that negative on myself, I could have done this project a bit faster?

Lessons learnt

Bar a continued learning journey on an independent, technical and iterative lens using the Unity Engine as base. Among other things involving what went un/well. The core lesson I can think of in iteration, is "Temperance", or balance. In needing to balance "thought" with "action", as too much or too little, and a project could not exist if we go by "deadline's first" land.

Speaking of planning. Though I had a delay, figuring out a simplified business lens for rapid prototyping is also vital, as I'd also need to think of if I continue development, the core question of "how do I profit/make a living out of this" as an independent developer. Which let's face it, is generally under the lens of "the starving artist" if you think of it broadly.

The Business lens.

Though I haven't done it fully, under that awful feeling of 'damning evidence' at the time. I've at least done a take on analyzing the overall "market" under key competitors in the Steam Platform alone. Alongside some rough desk research on the overall marketplace of independent game developers, and potential thought on how to market/sell my game, if further developed within any digital platform. Alongside projected earnings on how many sales could be expected in a lifetime, and other revenue calculations.

On the features some compared games have. I'd need to at minimum, do to the "core" spiritual. Before it could even be worth something, subjective wise. Those features however, depending on scope, could end up taking more time than what the final game's worth could be in terms of revenue generated.

On pricing. With a comparison to a refurbished flash game as an example. At minimum, my gut instinct tells me that a refurbished game would be worth no more than "£5" in value, in contrast to a 'free (deprecated) flash game'. At a stretch, this could be up to "£10/15" if I can cram in additional gameplay modes, features and more to give more playtime value. But at the other end it'd be to the trap under how much value an independent "2D game" could ultimately have, in contrast to 3D games in terms of customer bias.

This is of course. Before I have to also take into account any revenue generated, being cut due to the tariffs imposed by the digital platform itself, publishers (if any) fee's, taxes and any additional revenue charged by Unity if I ever make above a set amount of revenue annually. (It's around $100K by US Tax standards.) 


Overwhelming reality check aside. I feel that if I can do business evaluations on top of "paper prototype" brainstorming early. Not only could this be a means to be mindful on how to ethically make an income as an aspiring game developer without compromising on game design. But also as a means to think of or identify a unique selling point that I could work on for a future prototype. On top of the desk research done over potential avenues for funding that I can pursue, without compromising on my long-term ownership of any content I create myself. Assuming I don't set up a Patreon account.


Though I doubt this project would be worth further development right now, under a "could I make money on this?" Standpoint (in contrast to that 'free-to-play' model.) I still feel it's been viable under a "keep my development skills sharp" lens in a programming and 2D animation  perspective. Among other little notches involving features and functions learnt during "game jam" development...

That, and well figuring out an idea on if I want a more assured prototype to release, to consider mixing light business evaluations as a lens, alongside gameplay development. Precise ratio, I'll figure out in due time, whilst hoping I don't end up with pressure to make another "snap" game instead.

And lastly. If I do, aim to make another jam game. To try and make sure y'all get it within a month fortnight, instead. Or at least figure out means to avoid getting stuck under a bigger sunk cost fallacy, even if it means being mindful on having to kill my darlings cancel future independent projects.

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Jan 26, 2022

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