Status of progress

It’s been a quiet streak in the land of ALWL development. As mentioned in the last post, my computer suffered a devastating blow to its well-being, which turned out to be a faulty hard drive. I ended up having to, colloquially, nuke the site from orbit and start from scratch. But now, we’re back in business, and the big blue cup is back in its rightful place (my Program Files-directory, to be specific), so now it’s back to developing whenever time permits.

So, as you can probably imagine, the game hasn’t really evolved since my last update. But all that is about to change.

It’s all about the details now — since the game design, writing and underlying puzzle mechanics are all pretty much done, it’s time to make the turd shine. The aforementioned animated backgrounds are, as far as I know, still on track, and my main concern at the moment is finetuning the GUI (specifically the communicator and the inventory screen).

Also, without spoiling too much of the story, I was thinking that the end of the game might be too hard — as in, beyond ordinarily challenging and into the realm of frustratingly irritating. I wanted the puzzles to be challenging, especially the latter ones (yes, you have to get out a pen and paper to solve a couple of them), but I’m worried that there aren’t enough hints for the player to figure out what they’re supposed to do. I’m hoping to get a few of my close friends to do some alpha playtesting (i.e. using them as guinea pigs for my cruel experiments) and see if the puzzles flow and make sense to anyone other than myself.

Still don’t know what to do about the character sprites, though. I’m hoping that one will solve itself when we get further into development. Either the actors will have to photograph themselves, or we’ll have to do some caricature sprites. We’ll see.

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