Today marks the beginning of the TinyWars Demo Production. Previously we had completed our gameplay prototype, which was not 100% representative of the final product. Now we are beginnig to develop the TinyWars Demo which will be as close as possible to the final product, this includes: finished animations, enhanced controls, story cutscenes, and the implementation of the first four levels from the proposed final project.
So what did we accomplish on day 1? Utilizing the project files from our prototype as a base for the final build, we went through and began refining the code and fixing a lot of inefficient code in the game. It was a very tiring and frustrating day and there’s a few more days to come. So while we have not produced any new content to our game, we are refining and bringing it to that higher, commercial quality level of code that one would expect from an ambitious project such as ours. Unfortunately, I foresee these “refining” days as taking up the rest of 2016.
While the prototype might seem like a simple piece of software, there is a LOT that is happening. All of the features have been currently built out, so we aren’t looking to add anything new at this time in terms of technical features, just improving what we have already assembled as our “template” for the final project. I strongly do not wish to add new content to the project until we can refine the technical features of this game as much as we possibly can.
Fan art from Starlipop.
I spent the past few nights, drinking coffee and staying up til 3am ~ 4am improving the prototype as much as I possibly could! Most of it was spent just remembering what some of this code was even doing. Going by, feature at a time, doing my best to convert some functions into reusable scripts and just refining a few other things. I am basically just going down the list of things one at a time, starting with the most pressing issues such as the “summoning circle glitch” which still has a few holes in it. We will get through this phase! It’s for the best!
As we continue to develop and improve the project we will release updated packages for the TinyWars Prototype which was released on PC and Android. (It has not been published to GooglePlay yet, but we have added the highly requested, “double tap to summon” feature.)
Any New Content?
While we have not added any new content to the project build yet, we are still simultaneously working on gathering the assets for the final build. Most of the music for TinyWars has already been established, we will not be spending any more funds on music at this time. (I know a lot of musicians and composers have been messaging us lately since the reception for our prototype was very high on the music side of things.)
This is a WIP of our new menu design by our primary background artist, Chibionpu. This reflects the new “book theme” which I briefly discussed in previous updates. If you notice on the left page, there are various objects taped to it. The leaf with tiny footprints on it is the most obvious, the theme for TinyWars menu system is that of somebody who is obsessed with the “tiny people” and is trying their hardest to gather any scrap of evidence they can! As you unlock new characters, that page will begin to fill up with items associated with the newly unlocked character.
The key with this new demo is to get it as close to as final as possible, and this is why so much time is being dedicated even to the menu system!
*You might have seen an interesting option in this new menu design, a “Multiplayer” item which we will discuss in a future update.
Who is the “tiny people” obsessed freak who spends her days gathering clues and proof of the existence of tiny people? It is this girl!
This is how much we care about the menu system of our game. This girl, who will not appear in most of the TinyWars main story (in fact she isn’t even alive at the same time, obviously, she is guiding us through the events that happened in the tiny people’s past.) She will be useful in helping to tell the story from the perspective of a “big” person. Since the game will mainly be played by big people, we needed to make sure we had an appropriate “guide” to take us through the game and make it a little more appealing to the average audience.
People who I have pitched this idea to has received it with enthusiasm. I think it’s really going to be a great story telling mechanic.
Where Are Our Priorities?
Some people might look at this, totally revamped menu design and new character exclusively for the menu system, and think that we do not have our priorities in the right place. I hope to alleviate those concerns by reminding everyone that we already built out our gameplay prototype, and rather refined compared to some other early prototypes I’ve seen in the indie game world. The core mechanics and system of the game have been put in place. While we spend time refining them a little bit, I do think it is important to start dressing up this game in a way that is commercially viable.
Bear in mind that there is a lot of small details and things in this game that we are working very hard on, right down to the menu system having its own story! This does not mean our priorities are not in the right place, rather we hope people will see that we are passionate developers who are putting everything we can into this project and not skipping over any details!
Demo Development Timeline
There are a lot of things I can not account for, or predict accurately. TinyWars is not a one man development team, we have many talented artists working every day on this project and, depending on the type of art, it is very difficult to predict accurate completion dates. What I am able to outline for you are our general development goals.
- Refine the Prototype
- Implement New Menu System
- Implement New Interface
- Implement Overworld Map
- Build Out Tutorial Level
- Create First Cutscene
- Build First Level
- (Repeat previous two steps for the rest of the levels)
That’s it! The demo should feature 4 highly polished and very refined levels! These should be the first 4 levels from the proposed final project. I can not accurately predict any deadlines for these items at the current moment, however I am hoping that this will be completed around Q3 of 2017. I know it sounds like a long time to develop 4 levels, but there is a lot going into this project and it’s not going to be MPV status, we’re talking about pumping out the most refined demo we possibly can.
Thanks for keeping up with the development of TinyWars. Be sure to LIKE our facebook page for smaller updates and posts!