Append: Thanks a bunch to indiedb news article revision team, they even took the time to give a better layout to my news article.
I believe it is already time to showcase the current progress on the game; at the last bimestral report I was busy with a lot of bug fixing for the game(both windows and linux), something natural for a pre-alpha(so not even alpha) of a game which was released for the first time.
I'm happy to say which the stage of "monster" bugs, where many of them affected many users and always blocked a part of or even crashed the entire game have already passed, something which involved a lot of work on the game exe, python code and in minor scale, the game site. With this step done I already went back to work in the game art and its interesting part, this time for good(hopefully) instead of worrying about nasty bugs, as only around 4 minor bugs remain(maybe some intermitent ones). Of course I am yet to implement a good resolution switching feature.
I also made some adjustments to my GDD(Game Design Document) of the game I believe were necessary; its base remained unchanged of course. I also modified the art for the default nightking character, as it makes more sense for an older character to go on hairy adventures through the universe. The character creation already had an older character since long ago.
I also had some off-topic issues, I had to change my wifi router and learn how to boost the signal range at my home, not to mention problems with the way I was using the newly released lubuntu 13.04. I corrected the problems(I finally was able to install lubuntu 13.04 on my vostro notebook), but that took time, a time which wasn't used on the game. I made a couple of guides about what I learned on fixing some of the issues as notes to myself but also to help others "in the same boat" I was.
So, in the order of the oldest to the newest, this is what happened:
- You can now play without the need of the terminal on linux
- The game started asking for "admin rights" to execute on windows, due to the game use of Gnupg. A request common in some games(which I didn't liked though).
- I started the process of not using linux specific libraries anymore, because they take a lot of work to be ported to windows(imagine for other platforms). I started looking for multi-platform solutions instead.
- After plenty of effort libgpgme, libboost and libarchiver got working on windows too
- Fixed a lot of code bugs on python caused because windows use "\" as path separator instead of "/" like everyone else
- Wrong text encoding at the intro video on windows corrected
- The big bug which crashed the character creation right away on windows was solved
- Ancient bugs were solved, like the one which only closed the game window after the game ended on windows after the mouse moved at least 1 pixel inside the game window.
- Added new and useful buttons at different parts of the game
- The game site now automatically detect the size of each game package avaible and shows you that
- Now the linux version uses dynamic link libraries inside a folder, which should solve many bugs of "missing required library" on linux 12.04 and above.
- The game site now disable downloads of a given package if it is being updated at that exact moment, which should reduce a lot broken downloads.
- The build system of the game now can update all the game packages at once, something good, as most of the future game changes will be on the universal python code and game assets.
- The keyboard works again on windows(except Esc key)
- The game site now have a navigator icon
- Added multi-threading support on the game exe, which shall solve the "This application has stopped working" message on windows while it is busy unpacking the game
- As always many small bug fixes
- A problem about the new multi-threading on windows was solved
- Replaced Gnupg and its libraries for my own solution, so the game will no longer require "admin rights" to be played on windows.
- I no longer support some communities which the game previously used, like tumblt and googleplus
- I added support for .gz unpacking of the game, which shall come in handy if I need compressed encryption in the future, as I no longe use gnupg. The game folder size decreased due to that
- I read once more paul schuytema's book to remember some key points of a good game design
- I stopped saying I will support the Android platform, as this kind of support is planned for a distant future
- Discovered while testing the game with andrey which the character creation have a ray cast bug
- I had to cut some game planned functionalities, nothing big
- I had already defined 6 main npcs for the game beggining
- I had to in 1 day learn how to use LMMS, since I no longer can use garageband, which was easier and had better quality, but was too restrictive.
- Created the "generic" music for nightkin gameplay.
For the game first 3 musics(main menu, character creation and space map) I used apple garageband, but since I decided to start using linux notebooks instead(a vostro) I can no longer edit the music I made before on mas OS as I no longer have a mac hardware. Garageband was made to only export the projects to mp3 and its own proprietary format, which means despite the fact I have the garageband projects originals I will have to one day remake them on LMMS(linux multimedia studio), which have a different set of instruments as I cannot open them anymore.
So, using garageband for the first 3 musics was a bad move, the same for using gnupg(since the game also supports windows). I'm already using LMMS now, and you can check the first music I made on it below.
It may had caught your attention the "6 main npc characters" words, that is correct. I hadn't told you their name nor their details, as I want to keep the "surprise factor". As I said above I also had to do more cuts from my game plans, as it became obvious which in the long run it would become very tiresome to do. The game base remains intact still.
I would like to ask you to choose from the six characters presented 3 of your favorites at the votation
below. For the other 3 I would like you to give me the reasons for why you didn't liked them, even if it is just to say "it was for personal preferences". Participate on the other two votation polls below too if you got the time.
Vote if you want to see more of the creation of the arts and musics, or if you would rather want to see them at least mostly finished right away.
I already asked that in the past, but the votation didn't provided much data becase few voted.
Another thing I'm thinking about is to make a better lunarts logo. The character luna really is the base of all this game making quest, so I guess it will involve her again. More work on the game intro video is scheduled to be done too. There is also something I'm wondering about, and that is the creation of a "game editor" for the game, I'm still studying if raw code and blender viewer isn't enough for that; as usual the game editor would make the creation of levels, quests and such much more graphical, and maybe easier. It would take time to do though.
I also ceased to support some communities where I also posted about my game, because it became obvious the bulk of the game followers were gathered on the remaining ones. I did that so I can pay more attention to the communities which I decided to keep supporting, like indiedb for example.
For those of you who followed the game twitter but left because I didn't followed you back, I must say there is no need to "undo" your follow by that. Not following you back doesn't mean I don't take a look at your twitter sometimes and which I didn't liked it somehow. I just follow close friends and very specific things; it is not only me who do that, many on twitter do, like for example winterwolves games. Please don't force me to follow you back without a really huge interest from my part. For those who undestand that and kept following the game twitter anyway without a "follow back" from me, thanks a lot! Know I visit your twitter's sometimes.
So, that is it; thank you for your visit and until the next report. If you're interested, you can help the game project by talking about it to people who may become interested; not to mention your constructive feedback, participation on the votation polls and bug reports, which are really nice.