My friend, we must part now but I will be with you…

A couple of things kicked in at the end of last year that made me take the following course of action… The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge are no longer available to purchase. What this means is that the mobile versions are no longer available and the Desktop versions are available for free but unsupported.

The main driver for this is my inability to support the games. I have spoken at length about the issues caused when Marmalade pulled out of the SDK market, and my ongoing battle with bringing the games to a new platform. iOS was the first to cause me problems. LoM hasn’t worked correctly since iPhone8, however Apple don’t allow you to set which devices your games work on, so I had to add a piece of text to store description to say that it didn’t work. Up until late 2019 I would get the odd support email from people who had bought it or upgraded their phone and the game didn’t work. To the new purchasers I could easily point them at a refund, and the upgraders all I could do was offer my apologies. However iPhone8 is two years old and pretty much the base phone – which means that more and more people are upgrading and new purchases are most likely to be an incompatible phone. This situation became too much and so late last year I removed the iOS versions from sale.

Google are making more and more demands of the apps on their store. I have had to make a number of listing changes but as of yet not had any requirement to change the actual game, but it’s only a matter of time.

GoG had to remove the Mac versions from their store last year because of the 64bit support requirement of Catalina. At the same time I removed the Mac Desktop versions from the Apple App store.

My work on the replacement version has been very sporadic. I made great strides early last year while I was working away from home in Bristol, and even uploaded test versions for preview, however since taking a contract closer to home, I have had no time to do any work. I made a decision back in July that had I not released the replacement version by the Solstice, then I would stop all work on it. The reality is, that outside of my day to day work, I just don’t spend time developing any more. And the fact that the game sits their uncompleted essentially stops me from doing anything else.

The second driver is that I am making some changes to my working situation. There is no need for details here other than to say that I will be making my company ‘Chilli Hugger Software’ officially dormant for the next six to twelve months. The main issue from this is that I cannot have any income coming in to the company bank account, otherwise it’s not dormant. Therefore the games would at least need to be free.

With the combination of the two things it was just easier to remove the games from sale completely, which I did across the board late last year. Once all the games were removed from sale, I intended to put the latest versions of the Desktop games on the site for unsupported download. However when removing the games from sale through GoG.com, they requested that they be able to keep the game on their service as an unsupported free download – I didn’t have any issue with this as their site listing is really nice!

I hope that this is not an end game rather just an acceptance on my behalf that it was time for the game and me to take a break. I started working on Lords of Midnight DOS in 90/91 and I released the Windows version in ’99 the remake has been available since 2012. I am hopeful that I will come back to Midnight development in the foreseeable future – I just don’t know how or when. I thought it important to make it clear that for the foreseeable future, there isn’t going to be a updated version of the game.

The code remains on GitHub should anyone wish to get involved. The current version works on Windows and OSX desktop, but only in a window. Technically it works on iOS and Android, but the resolution support isn’t there. As always I would be happy to work in conjunction with others, as sometimes, just being a team can make the difference – and I still want to see The Citadel produced.

I must take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me and the game over the years. It really is appreciated.

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The building of a new citadel upon the ashes of the old had already begun.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to briefly discuss the Lords of Midnight rebuild particularly for those people who have found their way to the blog more recently. I have spoken a number of times over the last few years about the loss of the Marmalade system that I was using as the underlying cross platform support for LoM and DDR, and that I would need to rebuild the project under a new system in order to at least keep supporting it, and better add some new functionality. The rebuild has almost been a full UI recode with very little backend game changes other than to get code compiling on various platforms. During the UI rebuild I have taken the opportunity to change the way a few screens might work, but nothing too drastic. In many cases the rebuild has simplified the code in certain areas.

I know this process has taken a frustratingly long time, but happily that process is now almost complete. Both The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge are up and running, and they now both completely share the same code base. I have placed the skeleton versions of the Desktop in test so that I can see if there are any glaring issues with the new build, and will now focus on getting them released for Mobile before coming back to Desktop and tidying up the few features I chose to drop in order to get me to a Minimum Viable Product.

Availability

The first thing to point out is that none of the following versions will be released as a new purchase, so if you already have the game, you should be able to pick up the updates for free as long as your device is supported. And in theory over the last six years most people will have updated to new devices anyway.

iOS

The reason for the iOS focus is that The Lords of Midnight currently does not work at all on the iPhoneX range of phones and essentially it is the version most endanger of being pulled from the store. I’ve had a few reports of the games not working on Android, and none at all for OSX and Windows.

This week I will be testing the game across all the current resolutions for iOS devices to make sure they all work as expected. I will then take stock and the end of the week to see if I can release both iPhone and iPad versions together or not. Either both or one of those versions will go into public beta through Apple, and then I will look and OSX.

OSX

The reason for OSX focus is due to 64 bit support. The next version of OSX – Catalina, due in September, will remove support for 32bit apps. I can honestly say that I have no idea if the versions on the App Store were built 64 bit or not, but I suspect not. Under the current development system, all I need to do is build and submit – in theory!

Android

Android needs a little bit more work. Firstly just getting the new code base building. I have not focused on this at all just because I’m Mac based, using iOS, and needing a Windows version for Drew. However, I have not been concerned at all that it will not build, it will just take a short time going through the motions. The I need to test against a number of screen resolutions. This is the area that will probably cause me more work if it hasn’t already as part of the iOS process. It is likely that the rewritten landscaping technique does not hold up across a number of different aspect ratios. And of course, 64bit will soon raise its ugly head across the Google platform.

Windows

Windows version is already building and the only real work required is Fullscreen and Resolution support. There will also be a little bit of Desktopification required as I look back at all the features and make sure I am not too Mobile centric.

There is currently no real urgency on the Windows version other than wanting and needing it to generally be released as soon as I can. The only real consideration I am having with Windows is whether to consider Steam or Epic Games store as a new mechanism of distribution.

Feature Parity

During the process of getting all the versions released and then immediately after I will take time to make sure that all the features that I have removed in order to hit a release, are put back. Most of these are small things like a few touch gestures and shortcuts.

Gameplay

There are technically no gameplay changes. However, there are a few bugs that have been fixed over the last few years that some or all of the versions have not been updated with.

The Future…

New things can now start to happen… 🙂

Reference:
  1. This time you’ve got me to help you
  2. The Moon Ring lends us the power to change our plans
  3. The way was obscure but he moved onwards
  4. We cannot spare more than a few for such a perilous task
  5. Above the towering clouds simply melted away and the bright stars gleamed in the sky once more
  6. Only Luxor remained with a thousand riders of his houseguard waiting for news

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Each dawn a new hope, a new beginning

I now have a test version of The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge for Windows and OSX. The idea is that these can be tested in order to iron out some of the obvious issues while I now concentrate on getting the iOS version built properly. This is now the most pressing task as I would really like to get the App Store version working on the iPhone X range.

There will be some missing features, mainly small gesture shortcuts etc, but I can add these features back in as they don’t detract from playing the game. For example there is currently no Zoom on the Detailed Map page, and Post/Guard on the think page is missing.

Should you wish to test the games here are the download links. But downloader beware these are not finished products. There is no installer and for OSX you will have to override any popups about being untrusted.

The Lords of Midnight – OSX

Doomdark’s Revenge – OSX

The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge – Windows

If you have any issues then please contact me through this form. I will look at a better testing and reporting process later. You can also check the GitHub issues page for known issues.

Doomdark’s Revenge
The Lords of Midnight

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