What's New this Month?
I've been working on making more puzzles playable, and integrating some of the feedback from the playtesting I mentioned in the last update. All of the puzzles are now design and have a prototype of some sort. Several have been polished with final art, and as I write this update I'm also working on the "storyteller" component that generates the story arc and ensures the game flows smoothly.
Happy 2016! It's nearing two years since I started working on 39 Days to Mars, and as always it's slowly but surely getting closer to a fun, finished game. In the next update I'm going to talk about how the consoles, markets and audiences have changed since I started 39 Days and how this is going to affect my release plans. But today, I'm going to talk about what I'm working on to get the game closer to that elusive release.
For the most part, Puzzles. And more puzzles.
The final story arc will have 10 co-op puzzles (including the 4 in the introduction), and 3 supporting minigames. These are now all designed and have playable prototypes! Four of them are completely finished, another four need the final artwork to be drawn, and two need more work before they're stable. There's still more work to integrate these into the story, but it's a big step in the right direction and it's a relief having the whole gameplay mapped out.
Here's a teaser from the mining vehicle:
As part of the shift from individual puzzles to co-operative puzzles that I talked about last week, I've also been putting some energy into making sure the interface is smooth intuitive. I'm already happy with how the single player interactions work, and so I extended this system to allow for two players:
The HMS Fearful
It's been a while since I've shown pictures of Albert & Baxter's ship, so here's a high resolution picture of the current state. (Yes it does say day 56 - much like the game, Albert & Baxter are well overdue to Mars).
The rooms and internal details are much more polished, easier to read, and don't interfere too much with the characters. This month I implemented controls for the generation to ensure that room "attachments" such as the balcony and the EVA/vehicle don't overlap other rooms. As you can see, it's working well. After I've done some more work on the puzzles I'll be returning to the artwork of the ship to tidy up the graphics and add more ship-like details.
Until Next Time
I'll be working on artwork for the puzzles, as well as integrating them into the story and finishing the code for the final two.
Don't forget you can follow @philipbuchanan on Twitter for more regular updates and development pictures!