November « 2015 « Tidepool News

(day 1 of 30 till Alpha 4 and the Kickstarter)

Today is “knuckle down day”, or the day I start putting in consistent hours on Tidepool again.  I’ve had two months of post-release burnout, ending with a nice relaxing Thanksgiving break.  If I want to release Alpha 4 and start the Kickstarter on my Jan 21st birthday (which I do), there’s no wiggle room left.  I have 30 work days left … three weeks before my holiday break, and three after.

The schedule’s tight, though if I timebox features and stay consistent, I should be fine.  I’ll aim to release a version every Friday:

0.3.1 on Dec 4th (auto-updates, new java, home free all)
0.3.2 on Dec 11 (card decks, tab completion, compass nav)
0.3.3 on Dec 18 (colossal cave adventure)

0.3.4 on Jan 8 (improved map, timeline)
0.4 RC on Jan 15 (forum, reverse execution)
Alpha 4 on Jan 21 (kickstarter video, finished trailer)

My first goal is to have a full version of Crowther’s original Colossal Cave Adventure for people to play during the holidays.  It’ll be exactly forty years since his daughters played Adventure during their holiday break.  I’m hoping to honor that history.

My second goal is to finish Tidepool’s core functionality before the Kickstarter.  Alpha 5’s cognitive agent and Alpha 6’s realistic terrain are nice-to-haves.  They’ll make things much cooler, but you can play without them.

I’ll be posting daily to my devlog, morning podcast, and Let’s Play channel, so stay tuned.

Starting 200 half-days of Tidepool work till September’s gold release.

It’s been 3 months since I’ve added anything new, and half that since I’ve touched the project.

Our Kickstarter will run for a month starting January 21st. The goal is to raise $9000 so we can port Tidepool to Oculus Rift.

Stretch goals will be in multiples of $9000, each for a new month and platform port: Android, iOS, web browser.

If we don’t make our Kickstarter goal, Tidepool development will end with our March beta release, which is 80 half-days of work from now.

Every player in Tidepool gets their own “parcel”, which is a hectare-sized square they can build on as they wish.  It’s where they put their stories.

At the center of the Tidepool world is the “hub”, a four-parcel area where we can showcase the best content, teach new players, show off educational courseware, and otherwise experiment.  The “sandbox” can be changed by anyone, so it’s likely to be a place of constant creation and destruction.

Player parcels start north of the hub and circle around in rings as new players arrive.  So far we’ve filled out the first two rings with 32 players.  Players with a parcel closer to the hub will ultimately get more visitors, since it’s easier to walk from the center.  Location, location, location!

In other news, Tidepool development has stopped while I make some money.  I hope to begin the next milestone on Thanksgiving (Nov 26th).  Till then I’ll post maintenance releases to fix bugs, but otherwise nothing new.  We’ll keep playing Tidepool, adding content to the world, including stories and zoos and mazes, etc.

Many thanks to those who have playtested so far, as well as those who plan to try it right now Smiley

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