“Luxor stood at the doorway of the hut. gazing into the white gloom of the forest. A thin scatter of ersh, the fine powder-snow of the new moon, was floating down onto the frozen ground. It was time, thought Luxor, it was time. An icicle of fear touched him and shivered through him. He drew his cloak tightly around himself, as though it would warm the chill in his heart, and turned from the forest.”
This week we started doing some early tests. A number of people have signed up for the test process and are putting the game through its paces. For that I am very grateful. At this stage, what this allows is for me to iron out some of the obvious bugs and make sure the game is actually feature complete as per the original. It also allows me to take feedback from players and get an idea of some of the directions that we should take the User Interface.
The iPad is a very different beast from the 8bit computers that Lords of Midnight was originally developed for. It is also a very different beast from the Windows machines that I developed WinLom and the Midnight Engine on. Therefore, it’s only when you start playing the game on the actual device that you get a feel for how the game should and should not play. I’m already starting to question some of the assumptions that I had made about the direction of the UI.
Over the next few weeks as the game starts to settle, I will be one by one addressing particular areas of the game. For example, I might spend a couple of weeks really drilling down on the in game map. So over that period all builds will be addressing new functionality or tweaking existing functionality in that part of the game. The the following couple of weeks, I will focus on a new area.
There are already so many great suggestions coming in that I’m not sure I will have the time to implement everything. But one thing is for sure, the more this project goes on, the more exiting I get about the pending release…
A little later than anticipated as I got a little side-tracked with buying a house… anyway, I’m ready to open up the iOS testing.
If you would like to take part in this very early stage of testing, iOS only, then you need to email me your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Most importantly I need your device UDID – you can get this from iTunes. Click on your device so that it shows the summary page, and the click on the serial number. Alternatively you can get it off the device by using this app…
Email this to me with your name and details about your device. I will be rolling out iPad tests first, followed by iPhone4, and then possibly iPhone3.
I have now decided to use Test Flight to manage the test process. Please follow this link to register for Beta Access.
I finished some work on the character select screen last night, which means that that is now good to go. I also built a version that was uploaded to my iPad, which means we are back up and running on the device. This has been sent to our potential artists for them to look at. It also means I have a test to see if we can get the app out to other testers…
I now just have the load & save screen to be implemented before we are green light on functional testing. That is, test the game for gameplay issues. You should be able to fully play the game through on the iPad. This is prior to some new features and the relevant eye candy changes, not to mention final graphics. But it should allow me to check for device and porting issues.
Once the iPad test version goes out I will spend a little time making sure I have dealt with the iPhone4(s) and prior. This is mainly an asset issue and dealing with different resolutions.
After this I will likely make a Windows and OSX version available for testing. Again this is to just increase the scope of gameplay testing, and not necessarily to focus on what a desktop version would look like.
I will spend a little time on an Android tablet version and Playbook version. I will not be looking at Android handsets during this phase.
I am now hoping to be ready to start pushing test versions out from the end of this month.
We have a collective of artists potentially prepared to work on the game, which means we can start honing in on the visual requirements of the game. I can hopefully announce more about that in the coming weeks.
Screencast of Lords select screen concept demo. Running in the simulator.
This shows grouping.
** Work in progress **
** Placeholder Graphics **
Ok, sorry it’s taken so long… but here is a bit of video showing the app running on an actual device. Some caveats…
1. this was taken by my daughter using my iPhone, therefore the quality is poor. But then it wasn’t about showing you the graphics! 🙂 – I will try and do a proper one later. But it may just be that screencasts from the simulator will be better in the future.
2. none of this is final. Placeholder graphics, placeholder ui, placeholder placeholders…
3. this is the first time I have run in on the hardware for some time. I have been through a number of Marmalade SDK changes in that time. This was one of the reasons why it has taken so long – I couldn’t get the deploy to work!
Subsequently, there are a couple of issues. The main one that dragging the main view around doesn’t work, thus the default to click on the left and right side of the screen.
Also, the character selection screen was mid working. So all that you could see was dragging one lord around, with his grouping circle on!