Let's get straight to it:
Past Week's Progress
- Steve is done with his other things, so we spent some time talking over the remaining issues which we want to fix before releasing the new version. Some of these things are not strictly bound to the release goals, but to the next iteration, and just happen to be loosely related to features in this release. This week, we're trying to implement the majority of these things. Fingers crossed.
- Localization is still continously being updated with new content.
- I've ended up creating a total of almost a dozen new UI elements (layout strategies, complex UI structures, logical groupings; ie. poolable menu slides, wired dialogs, input with built-in validation, etc.) for the menu system. Also added a couple new tools and logic for streamlining rapid development. These are now also completely reusable in later scenes with minimal to no setup time.
- My other big task is to make the UI look coherent across scenes. Creating a somewhat comfortable and 'elegant' GUI is a very tedious task (and to some degree, a constant war on the field of subjectiveness), and it doesn't help that we have tried a couple different styles in the various sneak peaks and scenes in both phases. It requires a lot of trial and error on the look & feel, as something might sound cool on paper but will be less than ideal in practice. I'll have to slightly update the CoA Creator scene too to fit into the style.
- Mark has started to group the CoA parts and is creating the initial set of related in-game challenges.
- Sándor has updated his UI graphics assets and continued with his animations tasks.
- In some of my 'free time', I'm starting to discuss some game design choices. There are two open questions posted for our Vanguards. If you're a Vanguard, it's your turn to post your thoughts.
(If you want to become a Vanguard, just start being active in the forums. We're looking for players willing to help us create the best game possible. All it takes is to be active!)
I know it seems we've slowed down in the past few weeks (or months), but this isn't quite true. We're trying to do things in a way it won't need to be touched again for the upcoming releases. When you're thinking about the whole system, not just for the next release, things gets complicated in a hindsight, and you're doing a lot of stuff and extra planning that wouldn't be strictly necessary for the current iteration - and we underestimated it's impact on our release date (or overestimated my ability to ignore long term benefits and focus on short term goals). But I think we're doing the right thing. The same strategy that is currently slowing our release will also shorten up subsequent release gaps - or the time spent on refactoring between releases. So I'd rather seem to be slow now, at the beginning, than later on, when there is something playable out there. We don't want to take long breaks once the integrated CoA is out nor do we want to release hastily constructed, overly buggy demos. I hope you all agree that's a good trade-off.
Now, let me go back coding. :) See you next week!