Update #34 - Reading The Roadmap: How Sir Is Coming Along
We thought that the release of this latest update - our December offering which recently arrived on Steam and Humble - might a good time for a catch up. Sit down and make some tea, and I'll explain what's been going on.
We're quite a long way into this ongoing open development thing, and we've done a simply enormous amount of work. Systems have been rewritten, content has been added, configurations have been completely configurated, and there's still stuff to do. But where are we generally? And how close is the game to completion?
Well, since the alpha release in August, we've produced seven updates, which have added the following:
- Three new NPCs: bog creature, scarecrow, and poacher.
- The Industrial biome.
- An in-game map.
- A deployable toy train.
- Leaning (and I will tweak this for next update, yes.)
- A playable trombone.
- A scanner for tracking down fragments.
- A new weapon, the blunderbuss.
- A fixed axe.
- Much improved and rebalanced stealth.
- The alarm clock (tweaked in this update!)
- New player aids, hints, and tips.
- Additional (and edible) wildlife: pheasants and rabbits.
- Mushroom picking.
- Numerous new loot items.
- Controller support (not quite there yet).
- About 200 bugfixes and tweaks.
All this means that we're a long way into the promised feature list. It has also aged Tom over seventy years. Yes, he's an old man now, but he's not dead yet, so we're all set to work him even harder. So what's left?
Well, we want to give you greater access to the world generation tools, and that will happen when we ship the final biome, which will be The Castle. We've yet to start work on that, so it's likely to be the last major content update. Before that you're going to see the final two NPCs. And these are most definite things to be excited by: The Landowner and The Rider. They're going to be the most impressive and potent of the NPCs, and essentially constitute an "end game", which make things tough in the closing hours of your game.
We've already done some work on the rider, and we have it charging around the world. It's already a formidable threat, and should be simply deadly by the next
Then there are all the little things: new bits of music, TrackIR support, things like that. It's all going on. (And a fair bit of it is happening thanks to Dan Puzey, a fancy-pants commercial software programmer who has been helping out in his spare time.)
And multiplayer. Multiplayer? Goodness, yes! We're actually several weeks into that. Our other new chum Tim has been hacking away at the jungle-like codebase of Sir, and has knocked some early dev prototypes for this. We're a long way from being able to play it, let alone release it, but those vital early steps have been made, and it's happening. We're going to enter a whole new chapter of Sir, and it's about as wonderful as any feeling in game dev can be.
Almost as wonderful as seeing people making mods for your unfinished game. And we're not even really supporting modifications! What a wonderful world.
Anyway, all this means that the plan from here is to start 2014 with several more updates, until such time as we reach a content-complete version of the single-player game. We're going to call that "beta" and that will be the point where the game needs throwing under a microscope for serious scrutiny in all its parts. Bugs will be stomped, variables will be tweaked. From there we'll take single-player to version 1.0, and roll out multiplayer as a separate executable, which will have its own version number and be updated alongside the SP game.
We don't have dates on all this, of course, but if the beta isn't underway within a couple of months of 2014 starting, then we'll be regarding ourselves as behind schedule.
We'd just like to finish up by saying thanks to everyone for their meticulous feedback and their patience, and we're excited by the prospect of being able to say that the completion of the game you funded is now in sight. Have a fantastic holiday, all.