New Year's Initiations
Happy 2016, Practitioners of the Arcane!
We hope you’ve had a happy and healthy New Year. Himalaya has some exciting plans on the horizon for 2016, for sure. There’s been some major issues that we’ve had to deal with personally (primarily homebuying mishaps that fortunately, finally came to an end), so we’re aiming to get the game headed towards beta testing faster, with those things now behind us. This is a shorter update on the state of progress, but an important one, nonetheless.
Light At the End of the Programming Tunnel
So, what have we been doing since last you heard from the development team, we hear you ask? Well, we're glad for your question, dear Initiates! For the most part, our time has been spent bug-fixing combat issues, as per usual, and playing the now all-too-familiar combat "whack-a-mole", addressing two new issues for every one issue that gets resolved. We know these updates are probably a little on the dull, repetitive side and they probably make it sound like not much has been taking place behind the scenes, but we have come a very long way on this front since August last year with literally thousands of battle bugs being squashed. And now we're thrilled to announce that we have finally resolved every combat bug (that we're aware of) for every spell, monster, and boss in the game -- bar one! Yes, a sole combatable critter remains to be tangled with and we plan on duking it out with him and taking him DOWN over the course of the next few weeks. After that, it's simply a matter of refining gameplay elements, fixing some non-combat bugs, juggling the score/XP and RPG system a bit, and then we'll have our first alpha-release candidate that can be considered for in-team testing and, subsequently, private backer testing!
In the meantime, please enjoy this video sneak peak of the Air Mage in action. On show are some of his spells and a few of the monster types in the dreary Bloodbark Forest of Iginor.
Latest AGS Game Assets & Stats
For those keeping score, here are the latest AGS engine stats for Mage's Initiation: Total sprites: 19049 / 30000
Sprite folders: 865
Total views: 785
Total GUIs: 74
Inventory Items: 300 / 300 (Since the game uses a dynamic inventory system, we have over 300 inventory items)
Dialog topics: 394 / 500
Alpha For Your Thoughts (We Need Your Feedback!)
You’ve all been lovely and exceedingly patient in terms of waiting for the beta release of Mage's Initiation. While we’ve made a lot of refinements to our original, in-house alpha build on account, fleshing out more code and bug-squashing, we’re still a ways off from showing you guys a playable beta version. Yet we know backers are eager to see the game and get a feel for how it has been progressing.
So, we have a question. We're wondering if eligible backers would rather test a rough (but complete) alpha version sooner, in a couple of months time? Or would you prefer to hold out several months longer for a more stable beta build? In either case, the playable build won't have recorded voices yet, as we don't want to record them until the game has been thoroughly tested and any necessary textual changes to the dialogue have been made. It's always a pain to get actors back for pick-up sessions, so we're hoping to work around that by testing the text-only game first and foremost.
Additionally, would backers prefer to receive their test builds via Steam or Humble Bundle? We're still trying to figure out the logistics of getting the test build into eligible backer's hands in the easiest, most seamless manner possible.
Please let us know your feedback in the comments (or via email if you’re a PayPal backer.)
Our very own Rachel has written a book all about tax law for indie developers.
She also launched a new blog to go with her business, Sonic Toad. Go check it out! And if you’re in/near NYC on January 26, check out her class on business basics for indie devs along with Playcrafting’s weekend-long global game jam with NYU and their Winter Expo at Microsoft on the 28th. Make a whole extended weekend out of it!
Aubrey Hodges recently released a fully revamped version of the official Quest For Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness soundtrack. It includes over 60 remastered tracks using real instruments. Well worth supporting, just remember to listen while enjoying a garlic and avocado sandwich.
Don Bluth fans can rejoice as he’s gotten his team back together to make a Dragon’s Lair movie, bringing the arcade classic to life in a new medium. Show some love on Indiegogo!
Well, that's all for this update. There hasn't been much variation in our work for several months, which means there hasn't been much other than combat and bug fixes to talk about! We're very much looking forward to the next phase of development, which should give us a wider range of things to discuss.
Until next time, stay magical, our almost-Mages!
The Himalaya Team