Pirates of Rogue Basin – Post Mortem

Today went about as well as I could’ve possibly hoped. This is my third 7drl, with my first two being successful, to varying degrees.

This year, I dreamt quite a bit bigger, in terms of scope. Rather than just a single gameplay mechanic, like I had in my previous attempts, this yeah has several interesting things going on – perilous sailing, NPCs characters with their own agendas, sea battles, trading and economics, reputation, and skills. I had partially written something similar years ago, over about an 8 month period, but it never got to a point I could call Done (it lacked over half of the above mentioned mechanics). Well, having thought it through a LOT over the past few weeks, I was pretty confident I could get it all done, if everything went to plan.

I took the week off work, and basically spent the entire time working on the game.

After days one and two, I was well ahead of my planned daily milestones. This gave me a strange uncomfortable feeling. Day three, I found out why. Laying out the cities interface was a NIGHTMARE. I spent pretty much 12 hours straight, just wiggling boxes around on the screen, realizing after I’d gotten everything just so that I missed a critical stat in the UI.

Day four, I managed to catch back up a little, but still wasn’t back up to my planned milestones.

In fact, I never got there. The way I planned it out, I gave myself 5 days to get everything in place that I thought of, up front. This would leave me two days for the things that I inevitably forgot to plan (like, in this case, Pirates… see https://github.com/v4nz666/7drl2017/issues/41 for an example, added on Day 6 🙂 Wouldn’t have been much of a pirates game without them… But there’s a lot to think about, so hopefully I can be forgiven.

I was still adding absolutely essential, core mechanics right up until about two hours before the deadline, and spent the last two hours ironing out the bugs I’d introduced, and not had a chance to test.

Thankfully, I had help from a couple awesome folks – @Break-the-Silence threw down some really awesome graphical tiles, and pulled together a sweet soundtrack and sound effects… The guy’s a wizard with a DAW, and @tmathers tied everything together with the main menu, credits and online high-score functionality.

Too many features added today to list, but, some of the highlights:

  • Cannon Fire!
  • Online leaderboard, displaying your randomly generated Pirate name, and gold that you finished the game with (your score is still registered if you quit)
  • Four separate background music tracks
  • TONS of sweet sound effects
  • Interact with passing captains by setting anchor in an adjacent tile
  • About 20% of generated captains are now Pirates
  • Graphical tiles
  • Consistent colors throughout

Here’s a gameplay gif that ALMOST shows everything… if only I’d bought some cannonballs, I could’ve attacked that passing ship! Alas.

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