Evilware, 7DRL Postmortem

After about 35 hours, Evilware is my entry for 2021’s 7DRL Challenge. I really hoped to have more time to put into it but life had other plans for the week, still the game is very much feature complete and hopefully even fun to play.

Project Goals

Differently from my previous 7DRL, I set for a narrower scope that I couple explore more in-depth. I took a very old idea of mine that worked well with the tighter scope and rolled with it.

The Good

Preparing a Design. In the ten days prior to the challenge I spent some time putting together a Game Design Document, this may seem unnecessary for such a small project, but it came two large benefits: fixing the design in my mind and keeping track of the development.

The former point may be personal, but writing stuff down helps my memory and letting ideas settle on paper for a few days before re-reading them really helps to focus on just the right details.

The latter is more objective, I think. Just having a structure to follow and a checklist to “tick off” is great for time-management and to always know what come next.

I particularly want to highlight that I also did some preliminary design about the software architecture. That really give me an big push at the beginning, and I think the best coding came out where I had at least a general concept to follow.

Version Control. I used a public repository on github, which was a godsend. For some reason my project got corrupted in Friday, so I just rolled back to the previous commit. Worked like a charm.

Feel free to have a look at the repo, but as the hours passed the code became more and more unsightly :)

The Bad

UI. I had to struggle more than a little with the UI design and implementation, learned the hard way about some existing bugs in the engine and with the available time I simply didn’t have much to work with. I also didn’t really spent time designing it the way I did the other aspects of the game, and I think it shows.

To be honest I just can’t stand working on the User Experience side in general. I really should spend some time prototyping a few UIs to get a better feel of how to approach them in a more efficient way.

Balancing. This year I really wanted to set aside a few hours just to balance the RPG mechanics, which are pretty central to the whole project. Alas, as I wrote, life had other plans. This really bothered me as I went for the narrow focus just to give me some more time to get it tight and polished.

If you can, bear that in mind and either prepare accordingly or be sure to set aside some time for balancing. I am sure your players will thank you.

Parting Words

Thanks a lot for reading this far, I hope you will be able to have a look at Evilware and enjoy it.


evilware.zip 7 MB
Mar 13, 2021

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