So the game’s end is finally in sight. I wanted to drop by the blog and update you guys on how things look on our end. This is somewhat development heavy so I hope you will find that interesting.

To start, we are pushing to have a beta build up by Monday. There are still features that are missing and tons of bugs but it’s important to test as soon as possible.

Depending on how playtests go, we could potentially have the game in the app store as early as July 8th. (Please never quote me on that (history has proven that every time I estimate a launch date it DIES a horrible death (like a teenager right after losing their virginity in a horror movie.))) If that sounds like a long time I apologize. Mike is going on vacation and has a real job that works him harder than I do so his time will be sparse (bastard.) Which means the game is mostly in my hands during the end of this month. We’ve never actually put a game out on the app store so figuring that out may take time. Same with the android marketplace. I would really like to get both out at the same time.

There are a few other things slowing us down right now…

First off, the game still isn’t done. There are a few small features here and there but the biggest missing piece right now are all the variations on combat.

Second, we have no idea if it’s fun. That’s what the playtests are for. If people hate it… we may have to put it back in the oven for a few weeks.

Third, BUGS! I have a bad habit of putting in every feature 80% and then moving on. This was important to get the game to a playable point but now it’s starting to drive me nuts. Not to mention that this game has been my teaching tool for learning to program. A lot of my initial code is terrible! It’s hard to strike of balance of re-writing and working around that junk.

Fourth: We still have like 20 shipments for Kickstarter backers to make. There were some errors in the shirt orders so we had to buy more. Also, we messed up some of the international packages so we had to order new packing materials and we just got those in. We have to take the night off next week to ship those out. It’s been quite burdensome, if I may say so. But I guess if we can earn the love of a few more fans it’s ultimately worth it. It’s just easy to forget that when you are at the post-office for hours.

Fifth: Next week is Chicago Tech Week. We were invited to show our game there. I have no idea what to expect. I was told it’s mostly for business people so I don’t know how many of them will care about us. But It’s hard to turn down a convention with all my awesome local indie game friends going. (Especially since it will be free for me.) Stop by Sunday or Monday and check out the game if you live in Chicago.

I feel like I need a graphic to break up all this text. Let me go grab something we did recently…

A few good notes: We have most the music ready for the game, we still have to actually hook a lot of it up and get the final in-game assets. That should be rolling into the game soon. We also have tons of new art in this version. Big thanks to one of our artists, Benn Marion, for going the extra mile and making assets for things I didn’t even ask for (or pay for)… And although I curse his name (because I have to implement those things) it’s a good sign when someone is passionate about the game like that.

As well, the indie life is becoming a little easier. I took on a few too many things at first. I had to drop regularly working out and waking up on time. I’ve been biking everywhere and I make my own mostly-healthy food like salad and other foods that make my inner child sad. I haven’t had a drop of coffee since I quit my old job so I think that’s licked.

Finally, a few things that are big question marks in our books. I want to send out review builds before we launch. So there is the possibility that we hold the game for a week while people play it and get those ready. We need to launch big, or we risk falling flat on our faces. So I need to figure out how to build buzz. It’s not easy to switch from developer to PR man at the end of a game you could keep working on. I hope you guys can understand that any time we hold the game back is to try and make it the best launch we can. As you may know, how well this game does determines if I can really make indie games for a living or not, so I’m going to be a little cautious about it.

I do hope to make a few promotional materials before the game launches. Possibly a game or video or other fun stuff. So look out for those as we move forward.

Alright, I think that’s enough wall of text for now. Cheers.