Development Update - June 2018
The bug testing grind continues here, as we are, if all goes to plan, nearing the final month of testing and corrections! Several things have changed in the final version of the game, particularly two of the bosses. The final boss has gone through five complete overhauls, and we are now happy with the way it looks... and an earlier boss has been wiped out and totally redesigned to better follow the plot of the game.
So the other two big things of note that have been finished up this month are the Blacksmith and the Inventory.
The Blacksmith is probably one of the most critical side-quests in the game, and we dump it on you fairly early on. One of our lucky backers ends up triggering the story that sets the Blacksmith in motion. Find a missing item, and a long lost friend of the King will join the group!
The Blacksmith, as we’ve explained before, can upgrade your weapon level and armor level a few times to max the power out. It also gives you a far greater incentive to explore all of the stages looking for the secrets to power yourself up, on top of finding the Daughters of Lir and the missing dolls!
The inventory is something we felt we needed, to keep track of all the things you pick up along the way. It shows you your available weapons, your armor level, your gold coin total and shard amounts. How many of the three kinds of keys you may have, how many dolls you have along with all of the many quest items you can pick up along the way. Its function is merely to allow you to keep track of objects, and keep some of those objects off of the hud, obstructing your view of Madelyn’s world.
The two bosses that changed were pretty heavy - the last boss in particular. Instead of having Maddi draw them, I had her sit with me to speed up the process and tell me what needed to be done. The boss for Germany, which I don’t think we’ve ever shown, ended up getting trashed completely. This was because I felt that it just wasn’t epic enough, it felt smaller than a mid-boss. So, the writer and I dug out an older idea and rewrote the dialog for that part of the script. The boss ended up being a humorous take on the original idea, but also Maddi meeting a younger, hard-headed version of herself in a way.
The final boss was redrawn and redesigned a few times. Nothing was feeling epic enough. Following the story too close wasn’t cutting it, it started as a rival sorceress girl the same age and size as Maddi, but the first half of the fight felt too plain and samey. I worked with Maddi a few times on how the last boss should look overall. There was a giant zombie woman head, dragon snake things, and I can’t even remember what else now. This one has been redone over and over for the better part of a year. But finally I got a clear head about it, and we sat down and came up with something amazing! We aren’t going to show that obviously but we’re not that far away from you seeing it yourselves!
Aside from that, I’ve had a pretty interesting month. I was slipping back into working my usual 16-20 hour days when I finally ended up doing some real damage to myself . On top of doing my usual work, I’ve been assisting with bug fixing, and it’s heavily added to my time. So when it came down to redrawing the final boss again, the mind was ready, but the body wanted to quit. I pulled a sweet 17 hour day and started feeling funny at the end of it. I thought I was just tired, but, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. When I started working for the next two days, I was getting very dizzy, cold and disoriented. I figured it was a case of my sinus infection ending or something and didn’t give it much thought. That Friday I stopped working around the tenth hour, and I felt really messed up. I went for a walk, as I was very out of it. I thought maybe I just needed fresh air. Got some food felt a bit better and just relaxed for a bit.
At about 3 am I was still wide awake, shivering and dizzy again. But this time my right arm was hurting - my elbow in particular. It was super hot to the touch, and my forearm and hand were cramping. I went and got an ice pack and though… “isn’t that hot thing a sign of infection?”. Everyone who works with me knows what a mess my elbow is from my non-stop working. It’s cracked and bleeding sometimes. The whole callus fell off of it (yeah, it’s that gross) the Wednesday I started feeling off. But I had never really put two and two together until then.
I walked myself over to the hospital around 4 am as I didn’t want to wake the kids up. I was running a fever, and my blood pressure was up on the initial test. When the doctor got around to me I was cold as heck and entirely out of it, I’d been awake almost 24 hours at that point though so I chalk it up to being overtired. So it ended up being bursitis in my elbow, infected. Not on the outside but the inside. I got my very first IV drip around 7 am, got a nice prescription, and was sent home.
Needless to say, that was the first time I haven’t worked on a Saturday in I don’t know how long (well, at my desk working!). I was stuck in bed. And barely able to move. I wasn’t able to move my forearm for most of Fathers day. That was kind of neat! I worked a bit Sunday night when I got the ability to hold the mouse back. Monday I went back at it for what I could, not much brain power until lunchtime unfortunately and it remained that way until almost the end of the week. Thursday I seemed to be coming around, and aside of the arm pain, I’m back to normal again. I can’t rest my elbow on anything for a while yet, but that’s no big deal for me.
So that’s about it. I lost a day and a half of work hahaha! Everyone else has been working diligently to hit the finish line... and we are damn close!
Up next is compliance testing, and if all goes well, we’ll be sending the game off for certification!