Birth of Shadows - IGF Release

Last night I submitted the Beta version for Birth of Shadows to the IGF competition.  I guess I cut it a bit close, uploading the release about 1 hour before the deadline :)
I think I’ve provided a version of the game that is fun and contains enough polish to show its potential.  I got a lot done between Beta releases.  The first board is now finished.  In addition, NPCs and strongholds are all in game.  The net games I played during the week helped a lot.  We caught a few nasty bugs and I made some gameplay tweaks too.

The multiplayer games also provided a chance to try out different strategies with encounters.  I’m really happy with the stronghold design.  They can be configured in many ways that require different strategies.  At times, I felt like I was back in EQ coming up with strats to beat an encounter.  Sometimes we failed 4-5 attempts in a row, before finally coming up with a good strat and executing it for a victory.  It was a lot of fun :)
Next, I need to finish up the remaining major features and get all of the art assets in game.  I still need to add the “boss” creatures and finish the portals.  The bosses will be similar to strongholds, but there will be some additional tactics required.  I may also spawn creatures indefinitely until the boss is defeated.  I’m not sure yet.

Portals will enable players to travel between campaign boards.  They will also speed up travel within a board.  Players will need to unlock the destination portal and optionally obtain a required item for the source portal.  This mechanism will be important for multiplayer games.  I may even allow players to respawn near an unlocked portal.

I need to finish the file design so campaign boards will work beyond the first.  I have most of the design implemented.  I’m hoping to provide an IGF update in about 3 weeks that allows the judges to continue from their current progress.  I tried to think ahead and ensure the file design was in a state that would work for that goal.

The user interface needs some more work for the game setup as well as a few other places like the editor and character window.  I would like to display more player stats, especially for the items you gain.  I hope to finally add the cinematic intro in the near future.  The GUI could use some more polish too.

Finally, I just need to finish the game.  I have to add all the quests, boards, NPC dialog, etc.  I have most of the major quests and lore already defined.  It’s a matter of setting aside the time to add the data.

 Anyway, hopefully the IGF judges like my game :)

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