Block Bounce Postmortem

The development of Block Bounce was a lot of fun. There was some frustration and some burnout, but at the end of it all, I’m glad I made the game.

Very disappointingly, Block Bounce took 7 months to complete.  But that seven months taught me a lot. Each completed milestone was the result of a day (or a few days) of concentrated development. So it was not as if I was working every day for seven months. Motivation was a definite reason for the long development time. But I eventually discovered that all it took for me to get motivated was to start coding, and make some progress, and I would gain more and more steam until I finished a milestone. Then I would take a break. If I were to make it again, and concentrate my efforts, I could probably do it in a month or less. Even more time could’ve been saved if I hadn’t wanted to make a sprite editor (When something like The GIMP is more than suited for my needs).

Another huge problem with my code was that there were no objects, everything is drawn and updated in the main game loop. This caused a lot of problems, and a lot of duplicate code (menu stuff seemed to duplicate the most). This created most of my frustration, and also made me use many instance variables (The game itself was contained in a class, so it was as bad as using global variables). But in the end I learned my lesson; I won’t do something like that again.

On the brighter side, I felt that the menu art looked rather nice, considering it was programmer art :P. I also really liked the level editor. It has a few problems, but overall it is really very easy to work with. Power ups were also implemented well. All you had to do was make the art and the code, drop them into the powers directory, and the game did the rest.

In the end, I’m glad its done, and I’m going to try hard not to repeat my mistakes.

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~ by Tyler Church on August 3, 2009.

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