It’s been a frustrating few weeks for us, trying to find some time to keep developing, but then we know that this is the difficult part of working in your spare time. We’ve made some progress, and in some key areas, but it’s not been as quick as we’d like.
We’re at a stage now where some of the larger tasks need completing – the sort of tasks that break the game until they’re done, or at the very least can’t be implemented until they’re finished, but that’s where the good news comes in – we’ve finally reached alpha!
Our first post here mentioned that we’d reached pre-alpha, which basically means we have enough of the game core in to be able to play it. Being in alpha basically means that the game core is finished – you can now start playing from the main menu, complete your objectives (or die trying!), and then decide what you want to do next – quit or play again. There is still a lot of content missing, but the gameplay elements are functioning.
The biggest challenge lately has come from killing the player. It shouldn’t really be a surprise that when you try to remove the one thing that most of the game is focused on, things tend to break, so we had to be sensible – and very careful – when it came to implementing this, but we’re happy that you can no longer fly full force into the canyon walls and bounce off. I’m not quite so happy about doing it by accident while trying to test something else!
The plan now involves fixing the many bugs we know about, balancing the player and enemy health systems with all the weapons, adding in all the extra content that makes it look like a game, like sound and particle effects, and designing the actual level layout and balancing that. Oh, and fixing all the other bugs that we haven’t found yet. Easy!
Still, despite the amount of work that still needs doing, it’s a huge milestone to get the game where it is and we’re really proud of it. I’ve played through it a few times now and it’s good fun considering how rough around the edges some elements are, and how terrible I am at it at the moment!
More updates soon! Hopefully.
Don’t forget that we’ve set up a page for mailing list sign-ups here. Emails will be very rare, but we’ll almost certainly be asking for testers via this list if you’re interested in that sort of thing.