My lizard is the Lizard of One Year
It's now been one full year since I launched the Kickstarter campaign for Lizard. The Lizard project actually began a long time before; the first lizard files appeared in my source control server on July 28, 2013. I'd been thinking about the game for a while before that, but that's really when development started.
I originally thought it could finish the game in 2 or 3 months time. I guess by the time it's done it will have been 2 and a half years.
Every time I give a time estimate for this project, I've been wrong. I don't know what to say, other than I still need more time. I'm working on it, but there's still a lot left to do. I want to have a complete beta ready for backers to play soon, but it's at least a couple of weeks of work away. I really don't want to be working on this game in 2016, it's been so long already, so I will try as hard as I can to prevent it from taking that long.
I also must apologize for the scarcity of updates. I don't like showing off things that I know are in an unfinished form, and so often I end up working in a manner that is more breadth-first than depth-first, leaving me uncertain what I should show you.
It's hard to make a list of the things I've been working on since the last update, a lot of things I'd say wouldn't be meaningful unless you could actually play the game. Here's a few things I've found I've done since then, taking a peek at my source control logs:
✿ Added a timer and other statistics tracking, and a few debugging features. This is for players that like to have ways to quantitatively compare their play. Maybe you'd like to do a minimum-jumps run? This also will be used to implement achievements for Steam, or other platforms that have an analogous feature.
✿ When you change lizards, the game will now remember the last one you left behind, and you can go back for it. You'll always be able to recover a lizard from its original location, but this gives you a way to "undo" if you don't like the new lizard or need to change back.
✿ You can disable music, in case you're bored of my soundtrack and want to supply your own, but you still want to hear the sound effects.
✿ I hit the limits of my original data structure for storing sprites. The way I'd designed it, the game had a limit of 255 unique sprites, but I recently discovered that I need more than that! On a modern system I would probably just be able to change one number somewhere in the code to allow more, but on the NES the limit was anything but arbitrary. It's funny how things like this that seem like they should be insignificant become a real hassle when you're working under strong constraints.
✿ Added a way to record logs and play them back, similar to TAS movies for emulators. My primary motivation for this was beta testing, since I can have you send me a play log if you find a bug, but you may find it useful too.
✿ The Volcano Zone is complete. Here it is next to the Mountain Zone that is its neighbour on the flip-side of the world:
There's a whole lot of other things that I made partial progress on, but nothing I can think of that I want to show yet, sorry. I imagine there will be a lot I can show as it nears completion, but by then I'll probably be almost ready to just let you play it. The major tasks left are finishing up the world (still a bit left to do), and several bosses that are in various stages of completion right now.
Thank you for your patience. It's been a long journey for me; a lot has happened in my life while I've been working on this game.
On another note, while you're waiting for Lizard, perhaps you'd like to play a strange game by Loren Schmidt called Strawberry Cubes?
I don't really know how to describe it. Its a platform game, with no jumping but you can climb things, plant flowers, or sometimes duplicate yourself... or create birds?? A lot of the background art seems to be procedurally generated by cellular automata. Bits of the world seem to randomly corrupt themselves. It doesn't appear to have a very traditional goal structure, but I found it a very interesting experience. Try it out!