November 1st, I’m running out of time to not have to update the copyright on the title screen… But things are going smoothly, and beta testing should begin very soon!
Right now I’m fixing game engine bugs to get it far enough along that anything the testers find will be hopefully something I haven’t encountered yet. I addressed several bugs and features over the last few days, and just have a few more to go. The big one is updating the combat engine so boss monsters attacks offset from their larger footprint. I only have about 128 bytes left in the module though, so I may have to do some trimming…
Content-wise, I still have the last few dungeons to complete. However, I’m going to be doing a lot of content updating during the beta test, adding and expanding dialogue and NPC’s based on feedback, and likely no tester is going to reach end-game anytime soon, so I have time to get that done.
I also have a plan for the game box. I was going to see if I could get a particular company that creates custom game boxes (mainly board games) to do the work for me, but the cost is just too high. If I had unique custom artwork, it would be worth it, but I mainly have free art (used under license) and if I HAD to, I could just do all the printing and assembly myself.
Here is a mock-up of the game box:
I found some cheap cardboard mailer boxes that, even after shipping, are just under a dollar apiece. I’ll get sticker paper and just print the front and back on those, cut it on a cutting board, and then apply them to the box. Well, it’s a step up from ziploc bags at least. 😀
I’ll have to provide the game on a CD-ROM, unfortunately. Floppy disks these days are just too rare and likely to fail. At some point in the future, I may make a loader cartridge for the main game files which will load MUCH faster. This will not eliminate the need for a SAMS card though.