I was at a Nordic Game Jam 2011-upstart meeting @ IGDA Denmark @ Spilhuset in Copenhagen Friday. Nordic Game Jam are continually increasing and we've started very early with the planning to make sure that everything is under control and no-one is going to die from stress from making the event.
We meet at Spilhuset because IGDA.dk vicechairman Dajana Dimovska is CEO in Copenhagen Game Productions in there. They were planning to do an all-night, all-weekend crunch to get two of their games ready for Indiecade in the USA. Indiecade is an (fairly succesfull) attempt at creating a Sundance-festival for independently produced computergames.
I'm almost done with TryFail, so I figured I submit a "work-in-progress" demo to Indiecade, - just to see what they would think of it.
I had 4 days to finish the demo and ran into some issues.
I sent a version to a select few testers; they reported back that the game wouldn't run on win7. I've been making the game with Gamemaker 7.0, which can't deploy to any version later then Win XP. Luckily the assets for the game could easily be moved to Gamemaker 8, so I just had to buy a new version of Gamemaker to make the build. I was seriously happy about how easy the transition went; it's never a good idea to change developement tools in the middle of process and even worse to do it right before a deadline.
Secondly, the graphics for the avatar was kindda hard to comprehend. The avatar is 25x25 pixels and I had to make comprehendable, lifelike graphics for this size. In the Indiecade version they look like this:
It's very hard to make out what they are. So for the final release I'll have to remake them. Gamemaker also adjust them when they are imported into the game, which makes it even harder to comprehend what they are.
Here's the graphics in size that I originally made them in:
Now this makes it a lot easier to see what they are.
The graphics was made with G.I.M.P 2.6. It's the GNU Image Manipulation Program; you can download it for free here. I'm not religious about open-source software vs. proprietary software, but I have a great deal of respect for highly educated, highly skilled developers who use their free time to create something free for the benefit of everybody. And G.I.M.P. suits my needs fine so far.
I don't really have any expectations about TryFail's performance at Indiecade; it really requires the player to be a lot more contemplative about the game then usual and this isn't something normally expected for computergames. The players most likely won't do what they "required" to do because it's an abnormal behaviour with regards to games.
Normally I wouldn't expect abnormal behaviour from my players, but this is a non-commercial art game, so I'm allowed to challenge the players a bit. They'll be fine.
We'll see what happens.