Not even COVID can stop this train, though it gave a good run for it.
The best part of this week – beyond being able to implement missing Kickstarter backer rewards – was the creation of The Big Board, which will track our progress towards v1.1. We are still on schedule for an October release.
Creation of The Big Board
By far the biggest accomplishment was creating The Big Board.
Every single task I have left to do on v1.1 is listed, categorized, and now tracked via The Big Board. When the bottom line reaches the left side we’re ready for release. Not all tasks are weighted equally (for example, art and writing issues are generally much easier than code / testing tasks, etc.), but it’s good as a rough guide.
Code Refactor refers to slower and more measured manual code migration from the corrupted source. Features include testing / implementing / reimplementing features of the game.
Feedback and Bugs are similar to each other. Both have been reported by players and testers in the last year, but the latter are defects, while the former represent suggestions or ideas to improve the game.
Finally we have Art / Graphics / UI and Dialogue / Writing. They are probably self explanatory.
Kickstarter Rewards Implemented
All the missing Kickstarter rewards have been implemented into the game. About 30% in total were missing, which is too many though thankfully less than I feared.
There are a number of backers who never got back to me, or perhaps their responses were eaten up by KS’s survey tool or email. In any case, as far as I’m concerned there’s no time limit. If you never sent me anything, or if you did but it’s still not in the game as of v1.1, then please reach out and I’ll get you sorted.
First Day Blues
I discovered a number of crashes that could arise on your first and second day in the village. The reason has to do with the scheduler: villager schedules are purposefully simplified so nothing goofy happens while you’re trying to meet everyone.
But the scheduler wasn’t playing nice with everyone, especially visitors, which could result in a seemingly random crash depending on the time of day and the visitor who was trying to barge in. Thankfully it’s fixed now, but what a mess that was.
Technical Slog 2: Electric Slogaloo
The technical slog continued through this week and I’m ready for it to end.
Terrible Night for a Curse
Sometime last year I was joking with some friends and family that Village Monsters was cursed. Seemed like whenever I began to work on the game in earnest, something bad would happen in the real world to yank me away from it.
Last week I made the formal announcement on Kickstarter and Steam that development has resumed, and what happens? Myself and nearly everyone I know gets COVID. The curse is nothing if not consistent!
Thankfully everyone is fine. For the two kids it was just a bad cold, and for me it was an issue of extreme joint paint, a sore throat, and a killer headache.
The weirdest part is that getting COVID in 2023 feels very… othering. Absolutely nobody wants to deal with COVID anymore, and that includes doctors and nurses who seemed generally annoyed about answering questions.
But I suppose that’s a subject for another time.