Lessons Learned

Backcountry was a huge project for us. We prepared for it for a few months prior to the competition, and we learned a lot about game design and architectures, JavaScript, WebGL and 3D maths. We also made many mistakes. Following are some lessons we learned.

What Went Well

What Could Be Improved


This book is a testament of all the fascinating things we learned thanks to js13kGames. It's a lot! We hope the learnings we have shared will be helpful to many other developers creating web games and size-constrained demos.

We also wrote it for our present and future selves. When memory fails, we want to able to return to a detailed written record of how everything works. It can serve as a reminder that things that look trivial on the outside can hide a lot of complexity, both in terms of design and implementation. As players of other games, we often only experience the end result of thousands of decisions, each of which represents a small universe of requirements, constraints, processes, timelines, interests, and emotions.

The Lessons Learned chapter was particularly challenging to write. Admitting to mistakes is already no easy task; putting them in writing is harder still. It was a therapeutic experience which gave us a closure after shipping Backcountry, and equipped us with a better understanding of what to improve going forward.

Thank you for reading.