Work on Project One proceeds, though admittedly, not at as quick a pace as we would like. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, Dan and I, after visiting the Apple Tech Talks a couple of weeks ago, made a commitment that everything would be perfect before it saw the light of day. Beyond just being good for our players, this is important to us as a business because buggy games get bad reviews and bad reviews stop games from being sold. So, we’ve been going the extra mile to ensure that even small bugs or glitches are as perfect as we can conceivably make them.
Which leads me to the other thing that has been slowing us down.
I’ve always been right up front about the fact that I’ve never written a game before. And that means that I haven’t always known the best way to implement certain things. Most of the game can be coded by just following best practices that any programmer learns. But some things are game specific. One of these things is managing the state of the game at any moment. We reached a point where almost every bug we were running into had to do with improper state management.
So… I went back to the drawing board and designed a state manager specifically for this task that handles 99% of the cases with the other 1% handled on a case-by-case basis. But, in doing this, I’ve had to rip up a fair amount of plumbing already laid down to replace it with the new state manager.
In the long term (ie. the final game) this will pay off since there will be one central place where state is managed. But, in the short term, it has unfortunately delayed the demo. The question that Dan and I wrestled with was whether to keep patching up the old system and potentially create more problems while supposedly fixing the old ones or whether to scrap it and do it right. Obviously, we opted for the latter because we felt it was important to the final development cycle.
That said, we’re dangerously close!
Dan’s been spending the last couple of days making a gameplay video for investors while I’ve been working on the new state machine. We hope that by the middle of next week, we’ll be ready to give out demo versions to investors and beta testers while we enter a new round of fundraising.
This has been a long, exhausting process, honestly. One that’s really tested our skills and patience. But with the light at the end of the tunnel so close, our mood is beginning to lighten as we get closer to actually being able to show people what we’ve been spending all our time working on.