Auro Update for May 2014 – Super Crunch Mode!
We’re half-way through our CRUNCH MONTH. According to our schedule, we should be done with everything in… 18 days!? Yikes! Anyway, here’s a status report!
– Polish phase largely complete! (Medium workload, ~95% complete)
I thought that the polish phase was going to be way more of a problem, but in the past couple weeks I have put a major dent in it. Probably 98% of the final art is now in the game, just about. All that’s really missing is a few feedback things like actors shaking when they get hit, shadows, and a few other things. I can definitely get the polish phase completely release-able in another week.
– Metagame coming along! (Small workload, ~80% Complete)
We’re now on about the 3rd draft of the metagame, and we’re making huge strides towards it working properly. I expect that in the next week or two, we’ll get the metagame to be good enough for release, but I’ll probably want to continue tweaking it post-release.
– Gameplay (Huge workload, 99.9% Complete)
Blake and I have been playing the game a lot recently, and we both feel so confident with it. It’s just really working now. It’s fun, it’s tense, it’s hard, it’s interesting, and it’s surprising. Every time we sit down to play, we see something new. Of course, about 5% of those “something news” involve some bug that has to be fixed or some crazy edge case that has to be decided upon, but that’s all just part of having super-deep gameplay… which brings me to the next section.
– Bug Fixing (Huge workload, 95% Complete)
Bugs can be hard to quantify, since new ones get discovered (and even made) from time to time, but in general we’re doing pretty good on bugs due to my involvement and being on a constant bug-watch. Also thanks to our testers for doing an awesome job of sniffing them out!
– Story Mode (Medium workload, 80-90% Complete)
Basically story mode has been done for a long time, but we want to spruce a couple of things up as well as fix some chunky issues that are currently in the game. Depending on how things go, we may have to save some of our additions to this mode for post-release. A high priority is adding in an initial “first room” area that shows Auro getting chased by the Head Royal Guard, Chaunko. This part teaches the player about movement. It won’t be much work – in fact, by the time you read this post I might have already finished it!
– Tutorial (Small workload, 90% Complete)
The tutorial is actually almost 100% complete. For the remaining 10%, we need to get a bunch of NEW beta testers who have never played, and watch them play with the tutorial on and see what happens. We need to make sure the tutorial really teaches people the game. Other than that, it’s good to go.
– Saving and Loading (?? Workload, 20-50% Complete)
This is one issue that does cause us some concern. Mike has been trying to work on this but between his actual real life events going crazy and also my needing him to help me with some of our messy conversations system, he has been a bit backed up on it. Hopefully things will go smooth in the next few days and we can be done with this in a week or maybe two.
– Device-Specific Issues (Medium Workload, 0% Complete)
This is another issue of some concern, just because we really don’t know how much trouble this will give us. I actually assume that it won’t be too bad. We’re actually mostly Android users here, and we all have the same phones – Samsung Galaxy S4s. So, we’ll be doing a lot of testing on that. I also have an old Droid 3, which will be good at testing a lower end phone. On the Apple side, I’ve got an iPad 2 and I just ordered a refurbished iPod Touch 5th gen, which I’m told is basically equivalent to an iPhone 5. So if we get these devices all looking good, plus some feedback from our playtesters, hopefully we’ll be in an OK position. Also, it should be mentioned that between June 1 and June 15 – when we submit – we’re allowed to work on something like this.
– Art Asset Creation (Huge Workload, 99% Complete)
I could really write this number as 100% complete – we could easily launch with what we have now. But Blake is pouring some extra gravy on top of the game, basically, making sure it looks amazing.
– Walls System Recode/Fix (Small Workload (hopefully), 0% Complete)
The walls system, as it is now, is kind of broken and weird. Mike intends to re-write it, but if we don’t have time we might just have to patch it up to be ready for prime time, and then re-write it for version 1.1.
– Blake’s Music (Medium Workload, 50% Complete)
Blake is churning away on his music pieces as we speak! From what I’ve heard so far, it’s pretty amazing – I can’t wait to get his stuff up on our Auro Bandcamp page, which currently just has my compositions. Anyway, this won’t hold up the release of course.
So that’s where we are now. I’m not sure exactly how to feel about our status. I think that if we have a couple of really good weeks, we should be fine. It’s definitely going to be tight though. The good thing is, the game totally rules. Even if we had to release it today, it’d be one of the best mobile games out there, I think.
We’ve also had some tumult recently about the title of our game. We’re not 100% sure what we want to go with yet; we’ll have news on that in the next week or so. And by the way, we should be posting more often now that things are in super-crunch mode.
On a totally unrelated note, the Dinofarm Games forums I must again remind everyone to come to. If you’re interested in talking about game design, check out this great thread. Come on by!