Yesterday, I finished up the game’s roadmap, so I finally have an excellent picture of what work is left before the game is ready for release. Since I’ve got it pretty much worked out, I figured today would be a good day to let everyone know where I’m at.
There are 6 distinct phases left for development:
-Phase 1 involves a lengthy list of things that need to be implemented/finished. I am giving myself one full day for each item on this list (although a few of them should be fairly quick, meaning some days I will get to multiple items). As of right now, this list is 15 items long. There are 17 days left before the end of October (14th – 30th), and I’ll probably do little or no work on the 31st, as it’s Halloween and the big Minecraft update is scheduled to come out that day. So, I should be done with phase 1 by the end of October, and have already started on phase 2.
-Phase 2 involves creating all of the remaining npcs. There are currently 25 of these remaining. I hope to devote no more than a week to this process.
-Phase 3 involves creating all of the remaining level artwork (tiles, backgrounds, etc.) There are 12 levels, and I hope to devote no more than a week to this process, also. I am actually optimistic that I can clear phase in about 3-4 days.
-Phase 4 involves actually designing and creating all of the levels. This is also where I will create the boss levels, and setup the bosses in them. Again, I hope to clear this one in no more than a week, probably less.
-Phase 5 involves adding in any sound effects that haven’t been already (I’m adding those in as I go, for the most part), as well as creating all of the game’s music. Having never created (real) music before, I am finding it hard to come up with a decent estimate for this one, but I plan on setting aside a whole week for it, just in case.
-Phase 6 is essentially just finishing touches. I make sure everything is working alright, finish up the port work for Linux and Mac (hopefully), and do closed beta testing. As this part involves testing and such, it is inherently impossible to estimate how long it will take, but I’m giving it a week, too.
So, assuming 15 days for phase 1, and a whole week (which should be fairly conservative) for each of phases 2-6, I should be done with the game on December 3rd. This estimate will probably end up being wildly inaccurate, but at least I’ve got one now. Barring some unforeseen catastrophe, the game should be ready for release sometime in early December. I’ll also be taking care of the government paperwork regarding the company somewhere in there. I hope to begin showing the game to online distributors shortly before release, and we’ll see how that goes then. At the very least, the game will be available from this site on release day (but probably not before then, unfortunately).
As for today, I implemented an inventory and added in all of the special items that can be collected throughout the game. Short and sweet.