Where We’re Going

It’s been a while since we hit feature complete. That shifted game development into a different phase: making everything work. This is both a matter of finding and fixing bugs, and balancing and tuning the economic game and the overall story to make sure things are fun. There’s usually not a lot of interesting things to say, which is partly why there hasn’t been a development blog post in a while. We found bugs, we fixed bugs. Day after day.

We did notice that two of the story themes could intertwine a bit more, so Robin Laws wrote two scenes to deal with that, and another three that deal with individual leaders. Those are now coded.

We invited a small number of outside playtesters to give their feedback, and have been trying to improve and clarify things based on that.

It’s possible to win the game without encountering bugs: one playtester said, “I’m embarrassed to report I haven’t found an obvious bug yet. Did complete a play in easy.” But there still are a lot of issues we need to fix. They may show up only when you get two scenes in a particular order, or have a specific combination of advisors, or choose a play style. Any one player won’t see them, but they need to be fixed. It’s hard to know how many of these there are. And analyzing them can be tricky. Did someone run out of cows because the game is broken, or because they made poor decisions, or because the user interface let them trade away more than they intended?

Between QA and playtesters, we’re still finding enough issues that I don’t think the game is high enough quality to ship in the near future. And a few areas aren’t completely tested (such as making sure every achievement can actually be earned).

the goose peopleThere’s another complication to figuring out a ship date: we’re moving. After five years in Philadelphia, A Sharp will be returning to the Pacific Northwest next month. (We’re heading to Tacoma, mostly for family reasons.) Coordinating this and physically moving across the United States is going to take a fair amount of time.

Without a reliable completion date, and with relocation thrown in, it doesn’t make sense to try to release the game this year. (“This year” would realistically mean “before the Christmas holidays,” so there are only 2 months left anyway.)

So we are moving our guess at a release date to 2018. We want to make sure the game is done right, and we want to have some lead time to start marketing.

I’m disappointed that we aren’t done yet, but I think the project is in good shape. As a complex bit of software that’s in alpha, the number of bugs feels reasonable. And one playtester wrote, “I have been spending waaaaay too much time playing this game. I am every bit as addicted to it as I was to KoDP the first time it was released, and I thought I was over that kind of behavior.”

Author: David

Creator of Six Ages and King of Dragon Pass

18 thoughts on “Where We’re Going”

  1. I’m a native Jersey boy I wish I knew you were that close!! I am personally happy it’s just been made.

  2. For what little my opinion’s worth, I think you made the right decision to postpone. Hitting the market in the late holiday season would be a killer, frankly. Better to aim for the April-May-June time frame, before the summer doldrums hit. As a side benefit, you’ll be able to tweak out any bugs and fine tune the game further.

    If you’re looking for another playtester, let me know. I’ve never hidden that I consider KoDP one of the best PC game titles I’ve played or reviewed, and a great RPG/strategy/sim hybrid. Wouldn’t mind at all getting into its successor and supplying feedback.

    If not…I’ll buy it, in any case. Best of luck, regardless.

    1. Fat chance, you will never be a play-tester for SA.
      I hope game comes out not before late 2020 when it is 100% bug free(not as single Orlanth damn bug) and has at least 38 unique endings.

  3. I am a fan of Glorantha, but never was able to get into the KoDP game. Hopefully this will draw me in!

    1. We are trying to make the game a little more accessible, while still keeping it close to what others did like about KoDP. I’ll probably do a blog post about our attempts when we’re closer to release.

      1. I’d really love to see a log post about some of the major differences from Dragon Pass. Has clan management changed a lot? Will there be hero quests? How will battle work? Is there a major change in what the scenes are like? That sort of thing.

  4. I’m prompted to cite the old joke about debugging…

    One can take as axiomatic that any given piece of code has a certain degree of inefficiency — you can always find a way to reduce the machine-code layer and make things tighter.

    Likewise, one can be sure that there will always be at least one more bug in the code.

    Via induction, it thus follows that any program can be reduced to one instruction that does not work correctly.

  5. I’m a huge fan of KoDP and have been following you for a while. I look forward to your next game. Please take your time and and make sure you’re happy with the product. If you are, then I’m sure I will be too.

  6. I have never been more anticipating of a game as I am this one. If this game reaches even close to the quality of KoDP, it will be a masterpiece.

  7. hello out there … 🙂
    KoDP was such a fond childhoor memory, that 2-3 years ago i found Mr David on FB and thanked him for all his love put into KoDP. I playes the game for years on every holliday, whenever i had enough time to go into this epic word of his making … now i am 48 and so happy to hear that there will be a successor game. Wish you all a bugfree weekend for ones 🙂 and let the game be a huge success. All the best to the A Sharp team as well ..
    Greadings from Belgrade, Serbia

  8. I still play KODP on long airplane rides, no internet connection needed, and still fun! Looking forward to this.

Comments are closed.