One Year Project
Published 5 years ago
The post-mortem of Sidefect
The game originally started off as a 2 week project. The theme was "Synthetics" and there had to be something about the game that was man made (parts, drugs, etc). Being inspired by the bath salt incident in Florida, I decided that the zombies would be created by the substance, thereby beating the synthetic requirement. My peers enjoyed  how the game was progressing, So I decided to work on the game for one year, with a specific checklist:
Title Screen
Pass condition
Fail condition
Game Over Screen
Pause Screen
Functioning enemies and Waves
It has been almost one year since The checklist was reached and I wanted to discuss what i felt went right, and what I could have done better. First, I'll Start with What went right:
1.The Unity Asset store really save me a lot of time. I originally wanted to do it all myself. I am a decent 3D artist and only a beginner in coding (the last game that I hand-coded was in AS 2.0). I always talked about how a friend of mine told me that there would be assets I could use that would help with the development.This would assist me with what I wanted to focus on: the flow of the level, and the difficulty.I picked up UFPS, Playmaker (my life saver) Shooter AI (now Paragon AI) and Core Gamekit. they all worked together beautifully. Most asset store sellers were polite and fixed the systems quickly if something broke during updates.There was some setbacks when depending on assets, but that is for another section of this page.
2. The Sound. I come from a Hip-Hop Background, with multiple albums both producing and performing. I was still in My comfort zone, and created a Hip Hop beat for this game. The beat itself made the game more uptempo and helped with the flow and speed of the Player and the Zombies. the Zombies are my voice that was changed and pitch-shifted.The gun sounds did not need to be changed, the asset already came with great gun sounds.
3.The Difficulty. Because the game only had one level, I decided that It had to be one difficult level. I played the game until I was able to beat it myself and was able to have a good strategy for the waves that works. Death did not come as a surprise, it came as a bum-rush of zombies. I was satisfied, since the game did not feel cheap. 
What Didn't Work:
Bugs: lots and lots of bugs. zombies were flying into the air for no reason, The robots could shoot through walls, The big zombie would not attack. the Original robot had AI from the UFPS team, which was discontinued due to bugs. waves stopped running, the collision was missing in places. there are numerous bugs that appeared during development, that I squashed after the one year period was over. I can at least say there was no game breaking bugs when I posted the game on my site.
Story: the Story is missing. the containers of bath salts that I wanted to put in the game, as well as the collectables are absent. I want to add them into the game, as well as another level, depending on how the game is being viewed / downloaded.
Breaking the system: each time something updated, I had to deal with a system break. UFPS would break Shooter AI, Shooter AI changes would stop the waves. Systems would become obsolete and new assets would need to be purchased. I purchased 4 AI systems due to discontinues or broken systems after UFPS updated. I changed my partition to make room for a new OS and Windows crashed. the game was left un-usable for a month, the last month before the due date. For my next game, I will make sure to back up before doing something that big again.
There hasn't been many reviews on the game, and it will continue to be free, since it is only one level. I enjoyed the game development process and this game has given be the confidence to continue with my dream of telling stories via games.
Anthony Risker, Jr
Solo Game Developer - Asset Store Publisher - Owner