Thursday, 14 June 2007

Imitation Imminent! (Imitate soon suitable for human consumption!)

Hello again all, (sorry, this one's a biggy!)

Well, I've been a bit slack with the journal updates on this project (last entry was just over 3 months ago!), but certainly not slack with the progress of this and other projects!

So the game (Imitate) has finally been tested and played by people other then myself albeit only f's and f (friends and family), and the overall feedback was better then I expected, not because of the game as such, but rather because of the kind of game it is I guess (different from the usual indie stroke casual fair). It seems the improvements (especially in AI) have given the computer a personality of it's own, and causes you to want to beat it (and your opponent) at it's own game! Because it was
f's and f, I decided it would be wise to give them no help whatsoever, in the hope that it would be like anyone of you out-there playing for the first time. This was very fruitful (especially compared to 'The Qube' testing session, where everyone would ask me 'Leroy, how do you do this' and 'what button does this' etc, etc) and gave me lots of pointers on how to improve and make v1.00 easier to play.

So what's different from the last blogged version of Imitate and v2.00, well, in short, LOTS! Here's the science part...

  • The save and load system is finished and pretty much fully working (still need to fix the quickload). It's a 4 slot (per user profile) save system (1 quicksave slot via F5 key) which allows you to quickly save your game. I was planning to perhaps incorporate the 'casual' game save system (no saving, just maps and dots), but this may delay an already late game and was somewhat unnecessary for this game type (I may switch/add it in an update though).
  • Game modes have been established and working (3 in all, 1 unlockable). There is no longer a mode that tests your hearing as I just couldn't figure how to make it fly, instead you have Grid (ladder style), Pattern and Mixed.
  • If you were paying attention last journal, you'll also notice the backgrounds and click objects have been changed dramatically (I'm saving the pd particles images for another project ;)). There are now almost 2 dozen scrolling backgrounds to enjoy and discover while playing (check out the video(s)). There are also new click objects per game mode to give each mode more identity and visual variety.

There is now also the inclusion of incentives (or bribes) and unlockable secrets to keep you interested and playing. I obviously can't say what these are, but I will say your greatest achievements won't go unnoticed and should you ever get impatient or desperate, you can always try the grid access code input facility ;)
  • The unlockable Goodies window will help you keep up with what's locked and unlocked and how to unlock it when valid, also...
  • Another new addition is that Trophies are awarded if you successfully conquer a game mode. You also be given difficulty stars depending on which difficulty level you completed the game at.

So the final list of things to do reads like this (no majors bugs on this occasion!):
  • MEDIUM: Fix the Quickload function (make sure it's loading all save data)
  • MEDIUM: Add a check to make sure the Top Mimics file exists so data can be written/checked correctly.
  • MINOR: Correct the save status icon showing as valid in 2 player games.
  • MINOR: Make sure various message graphics aren't present during computer/player turns.
  • General clean, update links and a quick final testing.
  • Complete final touches to new gaming division (
  • Finalise marketing angles /messages for the game.
  • Upload to the website and create a dedicated section on website.
  • Possibly finish and upload major upgrade of main website HQ.
  • Begin marketing /advertising and submission of product.
Of course, some of thee above may be subject to change, so it can be released sooner. The planned release date is on or before July 1st 2007, so be sure to join one of the communication methods below to be the first to know.

Right, that's it for now, thanks for reading / looking, be sure to checkout some of the links/video etc and feel free to leave your comments :0)

Great Games
--- New Invision Power Board Forum (some nice features) -
--- ESHQ -

--- See another gameplay video and others at ES TV (Gameplay videos) -

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