For Midnight! For Midnight and the Free!
Hear me, Shareth Heartstealer;
we ride to tear the Frozen Empire asunder!
It’s with a heavy heart that I write this. While working on Doomdark’s Revenge this eve, I had to accept the cold realities, and admit to myself that it is very unlikely that I can make a Christmas release.
It’s not that the game is very far from finished, it’s almost there. It’s just that there are so many things going against me at the moment. I had hoped to upload a test version to Testflight at the weekend, that never happened due to spending time with my parents. I’m working away at the moment, so I get nothing done at the weekends. Having been away all week, it’s important to catch up with the family. I couldn’t build a test version on Monday because I left the licence locked on my home machine.
This time last year, Lords of Midnight was in test and I was still working from about 6pm till 2am every night including weekends. At the moment, because I’m working away and in a new contract, I can only manage about 4 hours a night.
The real issue is testing. Apple close down over the christmas period, which means I have to release on the App store on 20th at the latest. That means submitting a good week before. That would be Friday the 13th. Now I’m not a superstitious person, but I will be driving home for 4 hours that evening. Therefore it must be done by the 12th. And that is exactly one week away. That means I must put a version into test this weekend, and at best it will get a couple of days testing… I think all of you who know the difference between Doomdark’s Revenge and The Lords of Midnight, can see that that just wouldn’t be wise. I’m pretty sure that most of the UI stuff would go through test, and the little bits that turned up could be resolved in that time, but the AI?
I would have to work all this weekend in order to make sure that all the AI code is indeed finished. I think it’s pretty much done. I haven’t tested through all aspects yet. I spent this evening watching Lords wander around on the map. But they have battle’s to fight ( not written ), objects to pickup, Lords to recruit…
If I did submit on 12th or 13th, I would have no chance to remedy any last minute hiccups, and then I couldn’t fix anything on an Apple Device until the New Year anyway because of Apple’s closure.
I need to make a final definitive list of all the areas that need finishing off. They might just be little things, like a bug I’ve noticed on the overview map screen, but they might be a little bigger, like the fact that I haven’t coded any of the win/lose conditions, let alone tested them.
GoG can’t release the Windows Version until the New Year due to time constraints, and even if I could finish the game, I’m not currently able to build the final OSX version due to a problem with the Marmalade SDK. Added to that, I haven’t done any real device testing other than loading onto the iPad.
Then I’ve got the Website to build… PR to do… a trailer to make… the Manual to finish…. Stores to decorate…
Just typing this is exhausting me! 🙂
In all my time in development, there is nothing in the above that says anything other than… “Don’t Go”. The only reason to launch, would because I said that it should be ready for the Winter Solstice.
So here is what I will do. I will continue all guns a blazing to get this finished as soon as possible. I will attempt to get a test version on Testflight this weekend. This gives me two weeks of testing to iron out as much as possible. I will then aim to release an official BETA on the 21st ( Winter Solstice ) – on all formats. The Apple devices will be covered by Testflight. I will let you register one device on there for testing, in order to give as many people as possible a chance to play the iOS version. ( I only get 100 testing slots from Apple ). The Android devices will be covered by Google Beta on Google Play ( I think! ). And Windows, OSX, and Blackberry will be on this site.
That way, many of you who have been following this release closely can get the chance, if you so wish, to play a pretty final, if not an actual final version, before release. Hopefully, that will also mean the game gets a good testing over the Christmas break, and I can do an all formats release early in the New Year.