Post news RSS Progress... Slow and Steady Progress.

Development Update: Whats done, whats not done, and what feels like it may never be done.

Posted by on

Greetings trackers!

First of all, I want to apologize for the lack of a Developer Blog entry over the weekend. It just didn't pan out time wise for it all to come together by Friday (I post the news Saturday evenings, but am usually too busy on the weekends, so I put most of it together on the Friday before), and this weekend was busier than most. So hopefully I will have one ready for this weekend that will include what I was wanting to share with you last weekend, but because this weekend is also going to be a very busy one, it might not have much more than that in it.

So, you might be wondering, where am I at with development? Thats a Great Question, and thanks for thinking it! So where should I begin?

My ToDo list isn't getting any smaller. In fact, I am sure it has only gotten bigger (sitting somewhere at around 100 items or so), but that is what happens when you take an iterative approach to development. Each time you finish one thing, a few others pop up that need to be resolved.

Each week I take a few of the high level items and break them down into what I hope I can do that week. Here are just a few from this weeks list.

  1. Station Menu Screen => Tech Tree
    • TechData Map Prerequisites : Enhancements (Tech Type)
    • StationScreen_FacilityMenu
    • Art : Move Speed, Move Range Tokens (Hanger)
    • Art : Scan Range Token (Sensor Station)
    • Art : Station Card
    • Art : Action Speed, Cargo Space Tokens (Mining Lab)
    • Art : Resource Consumption Rate Token (Power Core)
    • Art : Build Speed (Factory)
  2. Action Menu => Show Cost Restricted Actions
    • Remove Cost Restrictions for Gameplay and Station Actions Menus
    • Add Cost Check to Gameplay and Station Screens
    • Add UI feedback for Cannot Afford Action Case
  3. Options Menu => Show/Hide Cost Restricted Actions Option
    • Add new Option to Show/Hide Cost Prohibited Actions
    • Write Witty Text Description ;)
    • Add Options Check to Gameplay and Station Actions Menus

Number two and three are just about done, but I am working at getting my backlog of art that needs finishing, and I am starting to think I am just not going to be able to get in as many new features as I wanted. This is partly due to the fact that, while playing the game on the Xbox today, I was really reminded of just how desperately I need to optimize some things. As it stands right now, the game quickly starts hitching, after only a few minutes. It runs much more smoothly on the PC, but because I am aiming for initial release to be on the Xbox 360, I have to make sure it runs smoothly on that platform too.

So that of course adds to the list, investigation work (trying to figure out where I am going to get the most gains from my optimization work, where the bottle necks are, etc), development work (making the changes to the code), and testing (to see if it does in fact give the sorts of improvements I am needing for the game to play at a decent clip).

I have roughly 40 more features I want to add to the game, and with the inevitable load that each one will add to the game, I am going to have to cut a few from the initial release. Its a sad thing to have to remove things from the game, but as I am closing in on my target date (no, I am not going to announce it, because I might not hit it, and then you would all be disappointed) and my list doesn't seem to be shrinking... it starts to make sense why you often hear from game developers "you have to save something for the sequel".

So, progress is being made! There is more art, new UI improvements, and on my list for this week are a few 'Audio' items. So this weeks play test release just might have sound (though more likely next week).

Game Sprites
Just 1 item from my backlog done... 9 more to do.

Speaking about Audio and Sound. I have been given permission from an artist to use his stuff... I am just waiting on high quality versions of them from him, so I can mine them for sound effects... but I hopefully will have something about that to share by weeks end.

and thanks for your support.

Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.