State of the Engine Address

Hrmm… It’s been a while since the last time I gave you guys an update on the coding side of things.  Lets see if we can’t turn this into a monthly thing.  Ladies and germs, I present to you… THE STATE OF THE ENGINE ADDRESS!

1) How it’s lookin’ (build 0.6.149)

We’ve still got our basic stock menu, but now you can choose whether to start a test combat or load a test map to walk around in.  We’ve finally decided on our tile size, and the tiling engine is scaling and letter boxing nicely.  Our target resolution is now 1280×720, which still makes us roughly 4x the resolution of RPG Maker.

The map editor can load map files and tilesets, and you can paint tiles in three layers.  It’s not quite ready to use yet, but it’s oh-so-close.

Oh, we also made Tainted Sword work on the XBOX360, and we’ve drawn up schematics for a comprehensive saving system.  There’s lots of different opinions about how to set up save games, but I think we’ve arrived at the correct solution.  Might be worth a blog post some snowy day!

2) What we’re doin’ (build 0.7.X)

We just finished animating the player with some placeholder graphics, so you can walk around the map in style (instead of looking at a white rectangle).  Next we’re adding interactive objects and maybe thinking about scripting engines or upgrading our architecture for saving and loading games.

Now that our map editor can load files, the next step is to make it save them, which is a bit more complicated.  After that, we’ve just got to fix up the layering, add some way of moving from one map to another, and presto-chango!  We can start making maps!

With the map editor taking shape, we’ve started concepting our game maps and throwing tileset requirements at our artists.  We’re also doing a bit of an overhaul on our game geography and place names in an effort to firm a few details up in time for GDC.

As you can tell, our artists have kindly provided us with our very own custom WordPress template, and doesn’t it look good!  There are a few issues here and there, so you can expect us to be making changes/fixes/improvements leading up to GDC.

It’s worth noting that Scrum has helped us reveal and mitigate a few obstacles that we’ve been facing for the last few sprints, and our expected velocity for this sprint is more than double the previous one.  Go go gadget project management!

3) Where we’re goin’

Lewis mentioned our BHAGs in his last post; those are guiding us in picking our tasks for the next few iterations.  We’re going to continue adding functionality to our maps, combat system, and architecture, while our artists solidify the “Look & Feel” for our game.  Eventually, we’ll have a feature-complete demo of our first chapter, which we’ll iterate over until we’re satisfied with our design and production values.  From there, we enter the Production phase and start churning out the rest of our levels and assets.

It still looks like a long haul.  If we can keep up our current velocity, our projections tell us that we should be finished that feature-complete demo from a coding perspective by Holidays 2011, which puts us in a good spot to start our main marketing swing at GDC and E3 2012, aiming for a Holiday 2012 release.  Standard crystal ball disclaimers apply, of course 😉

Posted in Development, News, Tainted Sword

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