So, version 2.6.6 of Pirates and Traders has gone out, and no serious new bugs seem to have been introduced beyond the troubles with the locale settings. I’m still seeing reports of OutOfMemory errors in my dashboard though, which is disappointing – I was hoping to put a bigger dent into that problem with a small fix in 2.6.5. We’ll see if that improves over the next couple of weeks, while I prepare the next release.
Work this week has otherwise been focused entirely on Dwarf King. I built up the Fortress UI, decided I didn’t like it, and will soon tear most of the code down to rebuild it in a simpler format. The problem here is that we (Ashton and I) have a lot of ideas that we’d like to put into the resource-management game, but keeping all of the information and decisions visible in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the player is difficult. Think of the trade goods in Pirates and Traders, and imagine that you now also need to administrate the production and consumption of all those goods, as well as build the facilities to produce them, and you’ll get an idea of the difficulty of doing a good interface to this.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to hear what new developments turn up at Google I/O. Something I’ve been hoping for to happen for several years now is the release of GameCenter-like service by Google for Android; that development seems to finally be happening this year, judging from the rumors. There are also strong rumors – supported by a Google I/O session on the topic – that this new service will support multi-player gaming. That would be very good news for Small Battles, which I really consider to be more of a multi-player game than single player. It also means I might dust off some of my old multi-player designs, and see how they fit into my development schedule.
Actually, on second thought, that’s not really positive – I have way more things to do than I have time to do them in. Why does converting an idea to an actual product have to take so much work?
As those of you who follow the Twitter/Facebook feed may have gathered, Christmas brought a new addition to my household. Given that MicaByte is essentially a one-person, part-time company, that means that the next couple of months will be… interesting. I expect to be able to continue development on my various projects, but it would be naive to think that another little rascal in the house won’t affect my development work schedule. So we’ll see how far I get in 2013 with all the many projects I have planned.
One thing that I have planned is to get this blog active again. We’ll see how it goes this time; the last attempt fell down flat. This time, at least, I have a couple of posts planned out.
Another task for the new year is to wrap up development on Pirates and Traders. This version of the game is almost feature complete; any major new features at this point will have to go into an entirely new version of the game – i.e., not until and unless I do a sequel. However, there is still a deal of material that is planned for the game, including two long quests (similar to the “Crown of Montezuma” storyline), minor events, and additional backgrounds for the Gold! version.
I have been doing work on new features and ideas for the game engine for some time, however. I hope to show off the new game engine in two projects that will hopefully be released next year: “Dwarf King” and “Small Battles”. More to come about those projects in the weeks to come.
Until then, Happy New Year, all.
I have been somewhat amiss in not pointing this out earlier, but if you enjoy historical games on the ancient world (as I do, and I assume you do, given your presence here), then you really mustn’t miss Troy Goodfellow’s excellent series of blog posts: A History of the Ancient Game.
As mentioned on the forum, I was going to be a bit distracted for a while, and I ended up not getting the latest done last week. And then this past weekend, I went on a short vacation to the Eternal City … Roma itself. My second time there, but had to review everything again, as I had my parents along: the Vatican, the Fountains and Piazzas, the Catacombs, and of course the Forum Romanum. Below, a view over the Forum from our trip.
For anyone contemplating Rome, I have only three words: Go. See. Marvel. And try to make time for a visit to Pompeii, if at all possible.
I will try to have the second part of the SPQR post up this weekend.
Well, I got the theme fixed on the blog, so it resembles the rest of the site (well, at least a little bit). Just need to redirect comments to the forum, and we’re set to go… well, once I figure out what I’m going to write, that is.