I’ve been making excellent progress with the final world disk. One thing that helps with this is that a LOT of the map content is dungeons, which go a little faster to create than towns, where you have to write up dialogue, decide item prices, etc.
I’m on the first of three large final dungeons in the game, which is a sunken underwater city. This requires me to create some new fresh graphics, which has slowed me down a little. I also added a couple new monsters to keep things interesting.
A few engine updates made their way in as well. I changed how ranged weapons worked with ammunition so that I could more easily add new items to the game. A big update is coming to change the tile graphics for combat to match up again with my compression changes to add a new character set.
I’ve also devoted some attention to my documentation. Part of the beta testing will be having a complete and useful set of manuals. This requires me to have the engine mostly complete so the manual is up to date.
I also decided to expand the character level range from 1 to 16, instead of 10. I haven’t decided on experience progression quite yet, but my goal is to make it so you level up pretty quickly at the start, slow up at the middle, and getting the last few levels takes a LOT of time.
This also requires monsters to have a bell curve of strength as well. I realized when working on one of the dungeons that the party wouldn’t be getting there until late in the game. I had to make sure the monsters there were strong enough to be a challenge to the party.
Monsters don’t have “levels” per se, but I use an abstracted level value to help determine their statistics. Most of them should be in the middle level range of 6-10; presently I have 116 out of 206 there. Adjustments here will definitely be ongoing.
I got a big convention this upcoming weekend, so my tentative hope and plan is that by the end of July I can start some internal beta testing. If you’re interested in assisting in testing, please comment here and let me know!