Ready for prime-time

(Originally posted on August 10, 2006)

I just finished my updates a few days ago.  I finally added a tutorial that goes over all the basic functionality of the game.  It leads the player from building the base to defeating an enemy camp.  I tried to keep the tutorial simple while going over the most important features.  The tutorial should get players into the campaign much more quickly.  The help window provides information on the remaining game features.

I also added a feature that is present in most modern RTS games.  If you double-click on a troop, all of the same type is selected within a 15 block radius.  This is a nice feature as it allows players to quickly move units into the most effective positions.  For instance, players could quickly select all wizards in the area and move them out of range of bunkers.

In addition, I streamlined the interface for leader abilities.  Previously, it was cumbersome to move the leader into range if too far away from the destination of the ability.  You would have to cancel the action, select the leader, move closer, and then select the ability again.  The interface now automatically selects the leader when an ability is used.  If the leader is too far away, the player just needs to right-click closer and try again.  I feel this change really helps a lot as leader actions are performed quite often.

I made numerous other interface tweaks to polish-up the game.  For example, text now scrolls much more smoothly.  I used to scroll on a 1 pixel per text item basis.  This made text fly-by way too fast.  I modified my code to allow scrolling every 6 pixels, which makes it much easier to navigate.  I also improved the look of the drop-down text box by adding a border to it.  The map cursor is more consistent too.

Finally, I fixed several bugs that I found while thoroughly testing the game.  I played a network game the other night and everything ran very smoothly.  I am confident that all the major bugs have been found.  I will create patches for any remaining bugs that are discovered.  I don’t anticipate more feature updates unless there is a big demand for it.  I may consider adding a network lobby in the future, possibly integrating it with future games.  I would really like to get an active community started.  I’m also considering an upgraded hosting plan to allow for better forums.  It really depends on how many games I sell.

With that in mind, I am going to be pushing the publicity now that I feel my game is ready for prime-time.  I will have a press release sent out for the game.  I am adding the demo to game sites.  I also want to seek game reviews.  I will submit my game to the IGF competition too.

I feel really good about Pursuit of Power.  It is a lot of fun.  I hope others enjoy it too :)

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