BlackBird: Menu Progress

Posted by (twitter: @timbeaudet)
October 7th, 2010 7:24 pm

Well, I don’t have any screenshots to share tonight.  I could make one of the MainMenu, but really – not worth it.  Just take my word.  I do have drop-shadows on some text, which is pretty neat.  But besides that, it is extremely bland, rotten colors and just needs to be touched up during the next phase of the project.

Alpha is all about getting all the features finished and working, and the main menu is working.  Both keyboard (up,down,enter) and mouse (movement, left-click) selection support.  I wasn’t planning on starting the MainMenu and linking up a few other game-states (with no actual implementation yet), until later, but I made a mistake yesterday that I need to be aware of in the future; especially on this project with such limited time.

BlackBird’s Lesson:

I hope you can learn from my simple mistake; Don’t get caught up in things that don’t matter. Yesterday I was working on the editor, I got the track textured – looking a bit better now, and a handful of other little things.  But most of my time 3hrs or so, was spent on a specific tool.  It does have a use, but it also was a waste of time to spend more than 15 to 20 minutes on such a tool.  Yet I added all sorts of little features/behaviors to this tool and I must brag, it came out awesome.  But afterwards I realized that it didn’t do anything to the actual track.  It helps edit the track, but it doesn’t edit the track.

So I didn’t actually make much progress since the tool I added is just a nicety, and not a requirement.  I decided to take a step back from the editor tonight and start working on the gamestates for a change of pace.  I know a lot of you LD’ers are shooting for Oct 31st to release by, but I won’t be releasing until early to mid December at the absolute earliest.  Although, I will be completing Alpha by October 31st.  Any features not completed by that date, will effectively be cut from the project.

I expect it to take the full month of November to polish up the features, and reduce the bug count as much as possible before releasing.  This process will likely go into December, however after October 31st I can not, and will not, add any new features.  I promise I won’t.  (Hmm, will I?)

3 Responses to “BlackBird: Menu Progress”

  1. MrPhil says:

    Why not shoot for a rough first release by Oct 31st? You can still do a second round of polish in November. What have you lost? You never know, a fan might show up and give you valuable feedback. My plan is continue to make improvements down the road. It’s one of the strengths of indie development. Look at Notch’s success with Minecraft, it is still in Alpha!

    • blackbird04217 says:

      Fairly simple answer here being the lack of “proper” content. What I mean here is I am fine with making colored blocks and simple shapes for placeholder art, but I can not, and won’t attempt to make final art – or anything even remotely releasable. Alpha for me will not include “art / content” alpha, it will be the entire feature set.

      During Beta I will be finding someone (with any luck) to do some art and other content for me. But I will have a fully functional Alpha build so that they know the game, and while I am integrating their work, I will be polishing those features to add the ‘final touch’.

      I understand the “release early” idea, but I also won’t release something “too early”, which will be the case for the Alpha build.

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