This weekend should see the submission of Version 1.06 of The Lords of Midnight. It has a number of fixes and a couple of new features.It will likely be the last update, aside from a major bug fix, for the next month or so. Once reason for this is that I think I have exhausted a number of minor additions that I wanted to include. Over the month since the initial release, I have added about 20 new features, tweaked a number of features, and obviously had a number of fixes. I think somewhere in the region of 60 work items have gone into the last month.
Most of the bug fixes have not been major, but they do polish the game. Luckily, most of the changes should not had too much affect on players, unless you are particularly familiar with the workings of the original. I’m pretty happy now that the next release will bring the game as close to the original game play as I can get. I have a couple of more tests to do on a couple of possible problems with the AI over the next few days – just to ascertain if they are problems or not. But my initial gut feeling says they are not, but the proof is in the pudding.
Some of the feature changes again give the game more polish, but also help move toward Doomdark’s Revenge. So they have been worth the extra effort.
The main reason for not pushing out any more changes is that I need to move forward. I need to spend the next month getting the Desktop version complete. To be honest there isn’t much to do, but some of it is fiddly work. The identified changes are currently:-
1. Mouse Pointer – There needs to be one along with the context of what it is doing.
2. Resolution selector – The user needs to be able to choose which resolution to run in.
3. Full screen – The user needs to be able to toggle running full screen or in a window.
4. Graphics – The underlying assets need streamlining.
Of the above, option 4 is of interest, because I am hoping that this will help reduce the size of the assets required for the mobile version, and make it easier to include graphic sets in later releases.
After that, I can’t honestly see much that must be changed to make the desktop version. I play it all the time on my desktop. The above changes just tidy it up.
Once the desktop version is complete and shipped, I can then move on to Doomdark’s Revenge.
Over the months that I develop Revenge, I will trickle more features into LoM. But I will only start that once I break that back of the initial development. I would like to release a version by the middle of the year that includes some difficulty level changes and new scenarios. I would be nice for you to be able to replay the game a number of ways with different challenges.
Lords of Midnight is currently moving through its project life cycle. The Android version should be live tomorrow and I will be focusing on the Desktop versions for Windows and Mac, and any other possible mobile variants like Kindle Fire, and Windows Phone. As well as this I will be adding new features and rolling them out over the coming months. This I see as being an ongoing project. I don’t see any real reason to put an end date on it.
This brings us to Doomdark’s Revenge. Let me say this very clearly, and to be beyond a question of doubt. I WILL be releasing Doomdark’s Revenge. That was always the intention. It is important for me on two levels. Firstly, it’s only right that the tribute to Mike be both games. Secondly, it is important for me to finish this thing I started so long ago; I never did manage to get a Windows release of the The Midnight Engine that included Revenge. So, aside from everything mentioned above, it will be the very next thing I do. I have spoken with Jure and he is completely on board to produce the graphics in the same faithful retro style. See Tarithel sitting pretty in the corner!
The intention is to get Doomdark’s Revenge out before the end of the year. The hope is that it will be much earlier.
The current status is…
Art: We know all the graphics required, and Jure can just work his way through them. All things considered, we know it should take less than 6 weeks for that to happen. That would then free Jure up to get back to his other commitments. Worse case, we can have the game running with original graphics again until his work is finished. But I think I will be bottleneck, not him.
Code: The Midnight Engine, which powers Lords of Midnight now, covers most of Revenge, and the database is all in place. I have once already, to show Mike, run the engine and walked around the Icemark, with all the lords in place etc… The tunnels work. The Mist works. You can recruit characters. What is missing is the Revenge specific enemy AI. The data to drive the AI is in place. So I just need to do a full evaluation of the missing features, and work my way through it.
That is my total commitment for this year. I would like at some stage in the future to address The Citadel, and I need to give consideration for Eye of the Moon. Also, Jure and I have talked about the potential for an updated version of LoM with none-retro graphics etc… And then of course, there is 2014. However, all that will have to wait and be thought about with clear hearts and minds.
But, my commitment to myself, and therefore to you, is to release Doomdark’s Revenge. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying Lords of Midnight.