The Solstice is nearly upon us and Doomdark is already waking from his slumber. We must reach the Tower of the Moon by tomorrow, yet our ride promises to be long and hazardous.
The last few days have seen many issues knocked off the list for Lords of Midnight, two of them were show stoppers! Right now my actual TODO: list has 3 items on it. That said, every night, before I start working, I run through the game and add all the issues that crop up to my list; it seldom stays short for long… That said, I almost have a product that I am prepared to ship, even if not 100% happy with it. But then, when are we ever 100% happy with something.
Tonight I will be finishing off the tutorial system in the game. It’s not ideal and it’s a little wordy, and to be honest at this moment in time it is so in your face that I’m tempted to remove it. But knocking off the rough edges tonight should do the trick. After that I need to finish the manual, which will be online. And that should be it.
I will make another few passes through the game trying to snag issues that annoy me more than anything else. I suspect most of those issues to be cosmetic ones that drop out of resolution changes, or physical ones raised because of small hit zones on phones. I am the least happy with 480×320, the iPhone 3gs resolution. But hopefully I can get it more acceptable over the next few days.
It’s been a long six weeks since I made the decision to continue with the project in its current form. I’m not sure how much sleep I’ve had. They have been longs days that have often finished at 2am, with the following day still starting early. Then straight from office after an hour drive and into the study to start the process again. But all that said, I am really happy with how it has come together, it looks great. Sure there are loads of things that I would change. But every-time that I write a change on a list, I have asked myself, “how much does this really matter to the person playing this version of the game? And that has been the thing I have had to keep sight of, it’s this version of the game, and this version of the game needs to ship. There are a number of things I can tweak, but I can tweak them later.
So, currently, I plan to submit the iOS version to Apple on Friday, with a scheduled release date of The Winter Solstice, That gives me nearly three weeks for it to bounce in and out of the Apple submission process if necessary.
This week has been the first time that I have been able to do any work on LoM since the decision to continue with the project. However, that doesn’t mean that nothing has been done. Jure Rogelj has been working his way through all the artwork, and we now pretty much have everything covered for the first release. All the terrain, shields, and characters have been redrawn, along with splash screens and icons etc… just a few finishes touches now hopefully.
This week I have torn through a large number of outstanding issues that were required to get the game ready for release, and it now feels a lot more polished. I am hoping to release iOS, OSX, Windows, and Playbook versions into test by the weekend.
The desktop versions still need more specific work done on them, to adjust from the hand-held to desktop experience, but they are fully playable. I intend to focus more on these changes post initial hand-held release, while I drive to get the app ready for the Mac App Store.
I doubt that I will be able to give too much focus on the Android version before initial release either, but I promise that it will be the first thing I address in the New Year. I will look at ordering a Nexus7 in the next few days, so that I at least have a reference device to work with.
Unfortunately, in order to have any chance of remotely hitting the intended release of Winter Solstice ( Dec 21st/22nd ), there are a number of features that are probably not going to make the first release. Most of these are ui enhancements that make the game a little easier to play and have no bearing on the original game, they will just facilitate a richer playing experience. I will endeavour to add these features quickly post release.