Since Sword of Legends was started back in late 2006, the project has seen a distinct pattern of productivity that seems to follow this convention: 3 months of high productivity, 6 months of downtime, repeat. It’s no wonder that the game has been in development for nearly 4 years now, since only a year of that time was actually spent working on the game! I think the last blow to our motivation came when our game failed to make it into this year’s IGF. (It seems like competition rejections are the recurring motif when it comes to deathblows to motivation; I noticed a drop in the productivity of Spuck when we found out it didn’t make the cut for Gamma, too.)
Across the various sites and forums where we had posted preview material for Sword of Legends, the project had an overwhelmingly positive reception. People were disappointed to hear that we were no longer working on the project and wished that we would continue it. After reading the pleas of a people in dire need for a classic role-playing adventure, I decided it was time to give the project another go. With the right amount of coaxing, I was able to get Troy (the programmer) interested in working on the project again and things have been going smoothly ever since. But of course, given the nature of this project, I say that while knocking on wood. Granted, we’re at the stage in development where most of the core systems are fully fleshed out and there really isn’t much left to do except build the content, which is the fun part.
Our current progress on the game has Troy polishing up the remaining bugs and revising the systems to end-product spec, while I clean up some of the graphics and plan out for what’s ahead. In terms of content, we’re past the “demo” section of the game, with a forest area completed and a lakeside camp/lake/cave scenario being currently worked on. The next big hurdle ahead for us is to come up with a “skeleton” system for the game’s big bosses; a setup that allows the boss monster’s body to follow and rotate accordingly to the position of the head, like a snake. Many of the big bosses in this game will need to employ this feature. We’re looking forward to introducing the first big boss; Deep Fin, a giant fish that lives in the lake. In the meantime, here’s a parody concept of what he won’t look like :)