Spitting polish

The other day I recklessly told Miguel that I would have You Say Jump I Say How High done by Friday. Well, it’s almost Friday. So I’ve been working a bit harder trying to get the game out the door. As you may know, I’ve hit all kinds of different moods with this game (though they’ve centered on despair), so it’ll be good to move along. Of course, to get a game “done” you have to apply some level of “polish” so that you don’t totally embarrass yourself. So I’m polishing.

I actually thought I’d be able to release the game without polish for a while. I figured I’d just throw up my hands and toss the game, half-formed, onto the ground in front of me, then gesture with a grunted “there”. But no, turned out I couldn’t do that. I did redraw the graphics a bit, thanks to some suggestions from Rilla. And then I made the World’s Worst Menu system, thinking I could get away with that. But no, turned out I couldn’t do that either, so I spent some time today making an acceptable menu system instead. And then I squashed a few bugs. And now it’s kind of done perhaps.

Well, at least I believe it to be done enough. This project has been simultaneously a form of progress and of regression for me. On the one hand, I’ve learned a huge amount of stuff about different kinds of game making and design, from physics to level design and beyond. On the other hand, it has veered so far away from what I’m usually interested in: games that explore a particular idea in a simple way. It’s plausible this game does do that and I’m just blind to it, but I rather think that it’s something of a failure on that front.

But c’est la vie and I’m not really prepared to pursue it any further than I already have. I’ve spent weeks on something that would take a lot of people very little time and all. That’s discouraging of course, but I at least have some of the odd thrill of the boxer who’s been punched down to the mat more than once, but keeps managing to wobble to his feet. Woozy, but at least the physics kind of works. Bloodied, but at least it has a level selection screen. And so on. So it goes.

Anyway, expect to see this game tomorrow or Friday. I’m not inclined to show it to testers beforehand just because I’m so unengaged with it, so it’ll probably just pop into existence and be riddled with bugs.

Sorry in advance!

22 February 2012
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