Magical and Revolutionary
Quite a few things to mention this week. Here we go...
Next week I will be at Eurogamer Expo on the Friday and Saturday. I decided not to exhibit (I'd rather spend the funds on development), but will have a big bag of game related goodies to give away. I'll be wearing a black Maia t-shirt so, theoretically, I will be easier to find than at Rezzed!
So what's this then?! We'll, it's a very grubby looking laptop screen that in retrospect I should have given a wipe before photographing. However, it is much more than that! It's our first fully featured OSX alpha! It took nearly thirty years, but now there is finally a worthwhile use for Macintosh computers!
I should have most the bugs out of it on Monday and will release a 10.9 Mavericks application. I can't remember off the top of my head as to whether I can build 10.8 binaries in the latest Xcode 5 beta, but if I can, those will follow shortly.
As well as the new platform, the next build released will include a few other interesting features: Every object can now be damaged and will suffer wear and tear based on their usage and environment. For instance, wind turbines will be worn more by higher winds, they will last months in a light breeze, but in a hurricane they will quickly become damaged, start to spark, smoke or even burn and then cease to function.
A few things won't degrade yet, such as the more solid furniture items. Mostly because it's hard for me to show their damage with a particle effect or sound. I'm not sure it's entirely scientifically accurate for a table start to smoke from overuse or for a horrendously soiled couch to spontaneously combust in a giant ball of white plasma.
We're also adding the “livestock” room, which will be used to contain and breed various critters. This will allow me to add chicken reproduction in the next build!
I'm setting the date for an early access Steam launch as December 3rd. It's still quite far away, but we don't want to rush into it. With the direct pre-orders having scored us £12000 or so, we have a little more leeway and have no immediate need for a big cash injection.
There's a lot of work to go in before we release the alpha to the masses. Although getting everyone of you Steam keys is very important to me, having anywhere from ten to a hundred thousand new testers overnight would be a bit much to handle. Which is the perfect segue to mention...
You may have seen Chris on the forums over the course of development (posting as oldmanbob), I'm bringing him on board to provide community tech-support, and bug tracking. He is going to be spending a few hours a day taking bugs posted to the forum, replicating them on a test build and then entering the details of the issues onto our internal bug tracker. This should allow me to focus on the code and organisation side of things a little more.
He's also local, which means I can rope him into helping me wrap and post all those poster tubes!
Nick's company, Force Of Habit, have just released their new android game called Toast Time. Admittedly I am terrible at it, but it's still good fun!
Paul and I had a little talk with Edge about Maia, Kickstarter, and games development in general.
I think that's it for now.