Nibbler postmortem

Nibbler was my first Flash game, and more or less served as a learning project. I’ve made it public on various sites however, and closely monitored how people reacted to the game. Here I present you a little postmortem. I’ve gone through the development and publishing process once now, so why not learn from it?

The good…

The game was polished. I’ve spent some time tweaking the menu’s, making it all look consistent, stylish and, well, just trying to think of all things that a Flash game needs, like a pause and mute button, and so on. This was noticed, luckily – although it also looks like I could make some things more obvious, like which hotkeys map to what actions.

I’ve actually finished it. I’m a perfectionist by heart, and that’s why I’ve only released a handfull of levels in over 6 years of amateur level-design. Auch. For this game, I was determined to just get it done. I wasn’t happy with all of the levels, and I wanted the game to be longer, containing more gameplay elements, but at some point I decided enough was enough.

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Nibbler postmortem

Aural Fighter progress

It’s been a while since my last update, but that’s because I’ve been busy. Aural Fighter is moving along nicely, even now that school has started I managed to continue development at a steady pace. Behold, the main menu (including flying aircraft for decoration):

Aural Fighter main menu

I’ve also been working on the collision system a bit – I’m rolling my own routines rather than the standard movieclip hittest functions, because all I need are some basic rectangle-rectangle tests. No real problems here: I’ve done it before and I did it again, everything’s working fine. So, I can now blow up some enemies or blow myself up by crashing into them. Fun!

However, I started running into some performance issues. Nothing bad, it seems it was most troublesome on my own system, but the game just wasn’t playing 100% smooth. After some research I found another approach at rendering the game: using BitmapData objects as surfaces instead of movieclips for everything. It’s a bit more low-level, but much more how I’m used to work with 2D, so I quickly wrote a small rendering framework around it. It works like a charm. Too bad there’s no neat way to compare the performance, but at least it feels a bit smoother now. It runs fine on the other systems I tested it on, too, so I guess it won’t be a problem.

I’ll soon move into the art phase: large parts of the logic are done and dealt with, except for a few menu’s and the weapon selection system, so after that, it’s creating tiles, levels, enemies and scripting enemy waves. Yay! :)

Aural Fighter progress