These are the items left to complete for the next alpha. This will be a private alpha (invite only) and will include everything planned for the first release except:
- Random Events
- Tactical Ship Combat
All of those things, especially ship combat, have logically felt like the final things to be added since so many other systems need to be in place before they can work. They will be in the beta.
Anyway, here is what remains to be done for the alpha:
- Saved games
- General polish
- AI polish
My current plan is to work on polish items until the 1st of December, when I will start on the remaining functional piece for the alpha, diplomacy. I have written this code once before, with the original Java MOO, so I expect this to go pretty quickly since there are no significant UI changes involved.
AI polish consists mainly of teaching the computer how to use the reserve to speed up development of new colonies and to increase output of colonies with research or industry bonuses. In addition, I will be significantly enhancing the AI ship design, thanks to expect advice from the RealmsBeyond forums.
Saved games is something I’ve never done but I don’t expect it to be too challenging since this is a commonly-solved problem.
I believe that artwork will take the most time since there is a considerable amount of artwork remaining to be done for the game. The goal is for the alpha to have all-original artwork with the exception of ship icons, which are planned to be updated in the beta.
The artwork cannot be rushed since we have one illustrator and he has to sleep occasionally! However, his work is so amazing that I am willing to wait as long as it takes. This has the advantage of giving me more time to polish the game and the AI along with not having to devote every waking part-time hour to work on Java MOO.
That’s where the project is at after about 9 1/2 months since it began. I’m pretty happy with the progress.