The january game is finished: Relentless Escape!

It’s done! After around a month of designing, searching for and finding game assets, and a few weeks of coding, I finished my first game for the One Game A Month challenge. I’m really proud of how it turned out. The fact that I actually finished it a few days before the deadline gives me the feeling that I might just make it all the way to the finish line!

The main menu of my january game.

The main menu of my january game.

Strangely, the finishing touch was not the hardest part of Relentless Escape. They were more like the more boring parts. It’s true that it’s really easy to make a small demo and then stop coding. I found out however that it’s not true that finishing the game, going past the 90% mark, is the hardest part. To me, it just FELT like the hardest part. As I said before, the finishing touches were kind of boring. But as you near the completion of the core game, other things start needing attention too. You notice you need a solid menu structure, the crappy graphics become more and more irritating, and those little tasks you were too lazy to do earlier start creeping up higher on your to-do list. For me, these leftover tasks were not very hard. It took some time, but it was anything but hard. The hard part was just pushing myself to do these tasks.

And I’m glad I did! If you’re interested in how it turned out, head over to the game page and download the zipped executable. Extract, double-click and play. Enjoy!

Oh, and if you happen to find any bugs, please let me know. I think I managed to squash most of them but ofcourse I might’ve missed some.

– Bob

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2 comments
  1. Simon said:

    Hey Bob, it’s looking pretty good and plays rather well I think.
    The scare of bumping into an object you didn’t expect is really nice.

    However, there are some things that could be improved (and you still have a few days):
    – Impossible scenarios: Sometimes I get stuck where I really don’t have another choice than to walk blindly into the dark spot. That’s a shame because, like minesweeper, it should always be a solvable solution I think. Most interesting to solve from a programming perspective.
    – Ambient sound/music, like the background sound on the menu it’d add tremendously to the atmosphere (some snoring sounds, a clock ticking, weather sounds?)
    – The Story: Maybe could be in the front, or show the text,with an image of the sleeping parents or such after you press play.
    – Added levels: Make the first one about exiting your bedroom, the 2nd about crossing the living room and the 3rd about exiting through the garage. Update artwork to reflect on that. Least interesting to solve from a programmer’s perspective, but would definitely add polish. Also, a very simple start level will definitely help capture people’s interest a little bit longer (first two times I ran into above mentioned ‘impossible’ scenario right at the start and almost gave up on the game).

    Finally, while I applaud your choice of programming language, I’d say that this kind of game would’ve been a breeze to make in Game Maker. Probably would’ve taken only a few hours as opposed to days of coding. I guess you have your reasons, but remember that, while a good programmer can make anything work with his tools, a better programmer picks the right tool for any job.

    Will be looking forward to your next projects!

    -Simon

    • This is exactly the kind of feedback I’m looking for! Thanks haha. I was super stressed out when I was working on this project so I kept the game extremely simple and straightforward. I didn’t look too much into map generation, I let the game generate a completely random map. After that it checks for solutions with Dijkstra’s. If there is a solution it moves on :p I like the ideas! The level idea sounds perfect for a sequel. I think I will use the spare time of january to take a little break/get a headstart on my february game 😛

      C++ is the one and only for me. I would never abandon it for some cheesy programming tool like GameMaker 😛

      Thanks for looking into my game :D!

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