Post Mortem – BoxedIn!
Things that went well 

Included the features I wanted 

When I started out making BoxedIn! I decided I wanted 3 levels, with the first level being a basic “pick up and drop boxes”, a second level where you have priority packages that punish you if not processed in time, and a final level where you also had the issue of illegal packages that you had to scan, inspired by Papers Please. 

I also wanted the player to be able to pick up and drop boxes, rather than just be stuck with the box they’re carrying. This main feature, and those three levels are included as planned in the released version of BoxedIn! 

Mood

I really like the mood of BoxedIn! The sound effects and the jazz music make the game seem super chilled and kind of fun to play. It’s arguably a relatively dull game, and it’s certainly very repetitive. All you do is pick up boxes from a “shoot” and drop them off at a conveyor, but the music and sound effects I feel make the game genuinely enjoyable and I loved playing it. 

As well as this, I also had a lot of fun writing the splash texts that pop up on the main menu. These were really fun to write and were definitely a lot more fun to write than the game itself. There’s Easter Eggs to previous game jam games I made as well as movies, TV and other video games, and personal references to things that mean a lot to me. 

Playtesting 

I don’t usually get people to playtest my jam games but because of this game jam lasted 3 days as opposed to 2, I managed to get a few people on my official Discord server to test the game to give me feedback and report any of the bugs they found. 

This resulted in me fixing some glaring bugs that I missed and modifying variables such as the number of boxes to pick up per a level or how long it took you to be punished for failing to deliver a priority package in time.

I am truly grateful to the people who helped me by playtesting the game. I appreciate it tremendously. 

Learning experience 

Game jams are a great learning experience and this being my fifth game jam, I felt this was my best game jam game yet as I’ve learnt a lot from previous entries about what I can and can’t do in such a short space of time, and what people like and don’t like about my games. 

From this I made a game that I hope people enjoy and that I’m really proud of. I just wish more people had played it as it never got as big a reaction as my Global Game Jam game from this year. 

Things that went ok 

Bugs

Bugs will exist in any game jam game. That’s one of the downsides of making a game in a very short period of time. Bugs are very common in a jam game because of the lack of time to playtest and polish off the most glaring ones. 

However, I found a lot of the more glaring bugs and fixed a lot to the point where I think I didn’t notice any major, major bugs in the final version uploaded to itch.io. A lot of this was because of the play testers as mentioned earlier, but I’m also glad that with the extra day I could work on fixing more bugs. There were some issues in the end, but I think thanks to feedback I managed to fix these in the most recently uploaded version. 

Things that went poorly 

Not including couch coop 

I originally designed this game to be a couch coop game. It’s partially inspired by watching people play Overcooked but I didn’t have multiple controllers to test if it would work as a couch coop game so I decided to make it as a single player experience, and then I’ll expand it a later date when I get access to multiple controllers so I can test it out as a couch coop experience. 

I’m disappointed that I didn’t include couch coop but I’m excited to try and add it a later date. Now I just need to find local people to play it for when I finally implement couch coop. However, I enjoyed this game and I definitely look forward to adding more features to it at a later date.