Lately we've been working on...well lots of little things. Tons of little things. ENDLESS LITTLE THINGS!!! AHHHHH!!! Setting up weather effects, getting the saving/loading system to work smoothly, animating little tiny UI details, replacing placeholder sound effects with better ones, fine tuning the encounter system, making sure the quest and dialog and inventory and battle systems play nicely together, and about ten thousand similar tasks.
It can be a wee bit frustrating because it always seems like the alpha just around the corner--only a couple weeks away. There's only little things left after all. But then we work ourselves crazy for two weeks and it seems a whole new two weeks worth of tasks have suddenly materialized. It's like a sewage pipe spontaneously burst all over the game. And it's like, "hey, where'd all this crap come from!!!" Again it is frustrating, but that's just the way it goes sometimes--especially at this stage in development.
One of the less little tasks has been writing dialog. Not little at all. It's a great deal of fun but can certainly take a while. There's a lot of behind the scenes scripting that needs to be done to wire the dialog up properly. Certain lines of dialog need to interact with the quest system, with the inventory system, with other NPCs, and with future lines of dialog. But fortunately we have a pretty robust dialog system in place, which helps make things go smoothly. The alpha is going to have roughly 30 NPCs--I hope you all have fun with them!
There's still a handful of little things we need to get squared away before the alpha. Once we wrap up the remaining issues we'll then need to test everything pretty extensively on PC, Mac, and Linux. If you remember (hopefully you don't) our last build ran fine on PC but wouldn't work at all on Mac or Linux. So we certainly want to avoid that sort of thing this time around.
We are going to distribute the alpha on Indie Game Stand. We already have everything set up and ready to go with them, we just need to plop the build in once it's ready. Through Indie Game Stand you'll be able to download a DRM free copy of the alpha, you'll automatically get all future builds we release, and when we launch on Steam you'll automatically get a Steam key as well.
When the alpha is ready we'll send you a link via IGS as well as an update through Kickstarter. We'll start out with the higher tier backers and work our way down until we get to everyone. If anyone has any trouble downloading the alpha or getting things to work please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a bug reporting system (courtesy of our friends, the awesome devs of Hive Jump) that will let players conveniently report issues from within the game itself.
I want to sincerely apologize that we haven't had an update in a while. I know a lot of you really appreciate seeing our progress. I will try to be more consistent and at the very least get one update out each month.
I know this is taking forever. We are all working as hard as we possibly can, trying to finish this game out as soon as possible. This what I work on all day every day. It's just a complex project for our small team to tackle. It's going to be awesome when it's done--believe me we are all very excited about where AOG is heading--but it's just taking a while to get there.
We can't thank you enough for your patience, your enthusiasm, and your support. We hope you all really enjoy the alpha!