Ploppem Postmortem: My unknown game

In this postmortem, I’ll discuss the game project that I realized for my portfolio in the past months. It is called Ploppem and I developed it for the mobile market, it is currently free to play on both Google Play and Itch.

What went right

A solid core

Even if, at first, I have considered the idea of exploding colored spheres too simple for a game, over time I realized that I was wrong. Whenever I tried to increase the depth of the game mechanics, I found myself returning to the starting point, to the core. It took me months to realize this, but, after that, it was easier to develop systems that didn’t ruin the game loop and instead increased the fun.

I have started by replacing the gray background with geometric drawings that changed randomly with each match and then adding the ability to select your favorite. Following the same principle, I have allowed the player to customize the appearance of the enemies to a certain extent. These and other’s additions were originally designed around the idea to add a ‘Pay to unlock’ system, which in theory would have created a small income from the game, but, ultimately, I have decided to remove these limitations.

I have improved enemy spawning and tested the game multiple times, aiming to find a balance between fun and difficulty while trying to protect the core of the game.

Fast prototyping

During the months of development, I have modified the game numerous times; doing so, I had to learn to prototype quickly, in order to find out, in the shortest possible time, if the modifications were valid.

Enemies variants, with pros and cons.
September 2020 → October 2020Choosing the right engine

Ploppem was not my first game, before starting it I had already completed several personal projects with Unity, so the decision to continue using the engine was a natural one, which helped me avoid some big mistakes.

Sooner or later I will start learning another software, like Unreal, but for the moment I think I will try to improve what I already know.

Time management

The beginning was littered with errors and delays, but once I was able to define what I could and should do, I started planning the work every day, and, even if it didn’t always go well, it still helped me enormously to complete the project.

Junior Game Programmer, making videogames. (he/him)