Hey all, bob_esc and I have been back to work on this. Mainly we're polishing up a few spots and ironing out the rough patches in the original game. There were a few pinch points where most people couldn't progress past and we're working to overall make the game smoother. This involves things like puzzle choices, clearer dialog, many bug fixes, etc. Although the newer release won't have much new content, it'll certainly be a better game.
There's plenty of new content though! We've added a lot more secrets to the game in the form of 16 collectable haircuts for Miles. They're purely cosmetic, but you can more solidly evaluate your completion percentage now. Finding all the haircuts is fairly difficult and involves running errands for cats hitsquads, uncovering fairy circles, and playing hide-and-seek with the world's greatest. The main storyline of the game is the same, but the world should be a lot more immersive.
Release will be coming as soon as the game gets some solid playtesting.
I've been out of the RMN scene a little bit because I was without internet for ~3 weeks. Being internetless meant no updates, but it also meant that I got a hell of a lot done, bob_esc as well. We've finished all the major areas, written in the remaining NPCs, and debugged most sections of the game. That leaves only a few rooms before release. Of course, we're both going to do full run-throughs of the game before the game is set to public, but it's not too far off.
So that means that expected release is sometime this weekend. I'll put up a few more screenshots of the added areas before then just to round out the gamepage.
Okay, so I think I'm going to pull the trigger and put this project on hold, for at least a month. Several reasons:
- It's past its deadline already, but I think we all knew that was going to happen. If this game were running on a tight schedule, it'd be a different story, but I don't want to rush anything.
- It's NaNoWriMo during November. Both bob_esc and I are participating, and we were both busy in the first place. Neither of us anticipate having much time to put towards MBF.
- I'm putting a lot more effort towards a VN project. There's no gamepage up yet, but it's on a much larger scale than this, and I now have real life deadlines to get up a demo. So that takes priority.
As for the current status, the game's about 50% complete, and bob_esc and I have been sporadically making maps on and off. Neither of us have put in a solid day since August. Still, we're making progress. If everything goes as plan, the game will be resumed in late December.
This brings me to my next point... We probably have enough material for a demo, if anyone's interested. The town areas are complete and provide a fair amount of play time, but to be honest, I'm only going to package up the game if there's explicit interest. Otherwise, this project's short enough where I don't see the need for an intermediate release.
Okay, so obviously we didn't release the game at the end of August. We were both working on the RMN summer "game" Zephyr Skies, which is probably not worth playing. But! We'll atone for that game with this one.
The scope remains pretty much the same. We'll be looking to present the full game with all five areas by the end of October, probably earlier. There shouldn't be a need for demos as the game itself is pretty open-ended and there wouldn't be a good place to put any sort of pause.
Anyway, here's a brief area overview:
Waldsberg: Hub town, pretty much all of the NPCs. We're done with this part.
Pirate Bay: Beach south of town. Features pirates, abandoned ships and prisons, and inane trading sequences. Almost done.
Whispering Woods: Forest east of town. Seemingly infinite. No work started yet.
Mt. Colonica: A big mountain north of town. Not as long as the other areas. Not started.
????: Well it's a mystery, isn't it?
But yeah, the town is done. The underground to go with it turned out pretty expansive:
Okay, first two weeks of development on Man's Best Friend are over. So, what's happened since then?
Well, the first level, the town underground, is almost complete. We've got a bunch of mine cart routing puzzles set up and a cow mine cart railroad. It may sound a bit out there, but it fits the level. Half of this "dungeon" is peoples' basements anyway.
We'll have a screenshot of the train in action when everything's wrapped up in the first level.
Most of the time right now is going into populating the town with NPCs. It takes a good amount of time to make a single NPC as they have huge branching conversation paths, but it should be worth it.
Moving on... why does the RTP not have facesets for half of its People charsets? It's very limiting to have to stick to 6 sprites to populate a good-sized town. Expect a lot of Man 1 wandering around, though luckily enough, the NPCs have personalities to tell them apart.
The scope for the game was also planned out... We're looking at one big town level, three smaller outlying levels (mountain, forest, beach), and one final level (SECRET!). Not an epic game, by any means. Here's our protagonist finding some treasure:
There's now a time system in place as well. Morning/Noon/Evening/Night are all there, and time progresses as expected. Plus there's a neat clock system rigged up, and certain NPCs only appear at certain times.
Also, name of the town was changed from Smallville to Waldsberg after bob_esc realized it was the name of a lame TV show. That's all for now. Release coming in less than a month, probably sooner.