Hey! Check it out! It's June!
Okay, so, uh, it's also kind of really late into June. I generally try and make my updates any time between the 20th and 27th at the latest, and here it is the 29th - almost the 30th. But worry not, dear readers, for I come bearing gifts.
Well, maybe not really gifts, per-say. But Updates! Glorious updates. First, a video:
The most important thing this video showcases is that I've been getting bits of Sonic's new menu up and running lately, and with it, I've been going back over some of Amy's stuff to make it a bit nicer as a result. I got rid of that weird, Super-Mario-World-style floating item icon in exchange for hiding it within menus. Now, when you sell the item, it shows its icon in the sell slot, and when you have the item, obviously it shows it in Sonic's menu. Nothing else currently works in Sonic's menu but what I demonstrate here, but at the very least, you can now buy, sell, and most importantly, use items you are holding.
A lot of other little tweaks have been going on behind the scenes, as well, as always. After playing way too much Sonic Unleashed (it was kind of my job) I grew increasingly tired of Sonic's total lack of air control in that game. I noticed this was kind of a trend in TFH, too, so one tweak I enabled was giving Sonic a little bit more air control - it's so subtle that, with any luck, you won't even really notice it, but basically, your ability to change directions while in mid-air has been improved. I also went back through and completely re-did Sonic's underwater physics (something had broken them) and I implemented similar underwater physics for your Buddy character, too. I've also begun toying with the idea of having a homing-attack crosshair, but right now that kind of covers up what you're locked on to, so we'll see.
All of this comes down to the big question: The Sonic Amateur Games Expo is next month; Will TFH be at SAGE? (for those who don't know what SAGE is, see the news post I made about it in August 2008)
That's a hard question to answer.
I've been pushing myself rather hard lately, trying to get some momentum again on TFH. When you get in to the habit of doing something and then you stop, suddenly, regaining that momentum again is probably one of the hardest things. After the demo last August, I kind of got burnt out on working on TFH. Working on something, non-stop, without any breaks or recreational activity, for two or three weeks solid will do that to you. Adding insult to injury, the next items on my "To Do" list were perhaps the hardest, most tedious things to do in the entire game. Those were, funnily enough, Sonic's menu and the rest of Amy's menu. The same two things that I've been talking about for almost this entire year. If it wasn't for me feeling obligated to do these monthly TFH updates, I probably would've gotten distracted again and shelved production (as I have a tendency of doing).
Okay, I'm rambling here - let's get back on topic. The point is, that while I have been working on TFH, I'm not entirely sure if I am at a point where I want to do another demo just yet - and from the sounds of things, the only way you're going to be in SAGE this year is if you have a demo. I am eager as hell to get the next demo out the door as soon as anyone else, but there were people last SAGE who complained about the Dry Savannah demo having all of the coolest features unavailable in a boring, generic, tiny little level.
That shouldn't happen a second time. I could finish Sonic's menu and could most definitely build a demo out of that, but it still wouldn't be totally feature-complete. Granted, the majority of things that are still left on my to-do list are things you aren't going to be seeing until much later in to the game - which means I might be able to cheat and get a demo out and none of you would be the wiser. But, no, I don't think I want to do that.
So TFH probably will not be at SAGE this year. When will the next/final demo be released? I could be optimistic, but instead I'll be realistic: I don't know. Given the struggle I've had to regain momentum on the project (and my horrible ability to estimate release dates), it could be Christmas for all I know.
But it is coming, because updating this profile every month is what keeps me in check. The day I stop updating this profile is the day the game dies, and I can't ever let that happen. If this sounds kind of like a downer, I don't really mean it like that, I just see it as being blunt and realistic. I'm not sugar coating any of this for you guys, because if it wasn't for you, TFH wouldn't even be this far along. Pat yourselves on the back, viewers. I do it for you.
I'll most definitely see you next month (which regardless of my appearance at SAGE, will most definitely coincide with the event itself).