I’ve patched a few bugs and added some enhancements to Karyote, and plan to make several more changes in the next few days as I’m able. There’s a post about it on my Ludum Dare journal.
I thought I’d write up a little postmortem of the enhancement here:
After struggling with the idea and trying to come up with what the game should be all weekend, and being disappointed with what I was able to deliver by the compo deadline, it’s really interesting to me that I’m actually starting to like this game now that I’ve fixed the first two high priority issues.
What I take from that is that I am better at critiquing and improving something that exists than I am at coming up with something new. That’s consistent with how I know myself, too. What’s interesting to me about this is that I somehow am able to switch from being a “whole cloth designer” coming up with a new game design to a “critic” and when I’m in critic mode, I know just what the game needs, while when I’m trying to develop the design that “designer” mode me came up with, I get frustrated and hate what I’m making. Maybe it’s not so weird, though — it could be all I really needed was to play it enough to figure out what it needed.
Comments I’ve received on my game have been generally positive, as well, which surprises me. I wonder whether commenters/raters apply a sliding scale of expectations when it comes to providing feedback. I mean, it’s one thing to compliment someone on an effort that was good relative to their current ability and constraints. It’s another to say that a game stands up relative to other entries, or even among all games of all time. I think it’s safe to assume that the comments I’ve gotten aren’t expecting LD games to be among the all time greats, and that people are generally inclined to deliver positive feedback and encourage the developer, rather than slam it.
I tend to judge myself more along the “all time” basis, though, which is harsher but also a higher standard to aspire to, and pushes me to do better. So it’s surprising to me when people say they enjoyed something I made when I don’t think holds a candle to Pac Man. But it is really nice to know that people have tried my game and that some of them have even enjoyed it. Getting comments, good or bad, is extremely positive for me. Just having the knowledge that people tried it out makes me feel like it was worthwhile to make it.