"Let's remake everything"! (Dinomelt)

2017-03-14 15:27:28 by Butzbo

Hey Newgrounders!, time for a bit of dev-blogging on my game Dinomelt!
But first, a little comic ...

































More than once (and specially on a looong project), as one grows and develops better and more efficient ways to make things (an evolving artstyle, a cleaner way to program, new approaches to world and level design…), it becomes reaallly tempting to just go back and re-do the whole thing.

During the 2+ year development cycle of Dinomelt, this has happened more than once: The protagonist, Gwrep, had a complete sprite-re-drawing halfway through the project. Also, recently, plenty of the main background assets and platfoms got a color, line and overal polish update, so that most aspects of the game had a more consistant line.

As an example, take a look at this gif from version 0.4 (late 2015)

It was looking and working fine, but the animations on the protagonist, Grwep, weren’t the most convincing, they were stiff, and the ‘run’ was a bit off… Months later I went over its whole group of ~15+ animations to make them smoother with stronger poses, and a better sense of weight (specially on the runcycle)


In that sense, my current goal is to get the upcoming web release DONE before I get the ‘itch’ of remaking everything again, otherwise, you may expect the game to take another year or even more!!

Music production is halfway through, and in the meantime I've been heavily into 'post-production' details, so despite the tone of the comic and the last sentence, it's not something I expect to happen ;)

More updates on the game's blog.

As a little BONUS I’ll leave you with this fun and insightful micro-documentary by Adam Butcher; a good documented case to remind us of this issue... and maybe consider releasing projects instead of remaking them for years.


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2017-03-14 16:37:49

The story of my life...

Butzbo responds:

Turns out I'm seeing this is a lot more common than I thought!
I didn't mentioned it on the post, but this makes just as much sense in animation, sometimes getting the impulse of redrawing whole takes..


2017-03-14 21:29:54

Yep, I totally relate in many ways! Here's a similar post I made way back when:


Butzbo responds:

Wow, even with the same 'case study', hahah!
Now I'm starting to guess all mid-large indie projects go through this 'phase' at some point, at least once they take more than a year.
My favourite bit of the video is when he mentions the 'consistent lightning' feature, really shows how ambition can get you stuck on such a complex yet... not particularly relevant detail.


2017-03-15 10:50:39

This has happened a lot with the game we've been working on... Some day we'll have to gather up a bunch of before and after comparisons. When a project takes a long time it's hard to resist revamping things, especially because you get tired of seeing them and you forget how fresh it will be for everyone else who is seeing it for the first time.

Butzbo responds:

I hadn't considered that last bit, but it's true! it begins to feel so 'outdated' not only because of "evolving skills", but you can also get sick of the same graphics and engine after soo long... may be another good incentive to keep testing with new players.


2017-05-14 15:52:14

I can totally relate, especially with the programming bit. It feels so awkward looking at a bunch of old code, knowing you could clean it up / do better, but sorta having to force yourself not to otherwise you end up getting stuck in a loop-of-'improvement'.

Good luck on the game, aesthetic looks rad, I'm excited to give it a play :)

Butzbo responds:

Thanks man!, it's good to see its a relatable thing; At least in this case I've moved on with the game and I'll be soon announcing a release date :)
(otherwise the loop would keep me stuck for who knows how long!)