Looking Ahead in 2018
2017 is over. What will 2018 bring for War Ender?
For myself and War Ender, 2017 has been quite a ride. In my personal life, I got married, which is in itself a pretty big deal. War Ender made its public debut in September 2017, and has continued to spread its name wherever it can. I've ran my very first booth at a gaming convention and have even released a public demo of the game on this very website. Just before the year ended, I got the demo updated again, which you can check out here if you haven't done so already.
This won't be the typical dev blog that I usually do where I recap what I've done over the last couple weeks (but in case you're wondering, the short version is there's been a lot of bug squashing where RAWM is concerned). Rather, we're going to take a moment and look ahead, in 2018, and ask where will War Ender be before this year is done. So...what am I expecting this year as it pertains to War Ender? Glad you asked, very specific questioner.
Simply, the easiest answer to that question is that I want to release the game. Whenever I was at events like the Gamer Grace Convention or First Friday, people would often ask, among other questions, when the game is expected to be finished. For a while, I had been telling them that the game should be ready for release in the early part of 2018. As of now, it's hard to say if the game is going to be released EARLY in 2018 or not. In my head, I originally planned on releasing the game no later than February to get ahead of some of the major AAA releases that we can expect to see in Spring. Looking at the game now, I'm not sure if that will happen.
I'm still going to push as hard as I can to get the game out in that time. Most of what remains of War Ender's development is simply making levels, creating a few more bosses, and making the occasional new enemy. Listed out like that, it may sound like there's still a lot left, but I promise it's not as much as it seems. The hardest thing to do in that list is definitely the bosses, something RAWM reminded me of in back in December. Time will tell if I achieve this goal or not, and right now time is certainly getting short on completing the task of releasing before February is up. For right now, I wouldn't mark any date down for release as it's up in the air as to when exactly War Ender will be out, but I will try my best to make it sooner rather than later.
But what, you may ask, lies in store for the immediate future? Well, right now my focus is cranking out as many levels within the next couple weeks as I can and hopefully even starting the next boss. Looking ahead right now, there's no reason for that not to happen. Without saying too much, I'm expecting this boss to be a bit simpler to make than RAWM. RAWM had a lot more moving parts to him than I realized at the time. He fired a laser, shot bullets, and even created a new bullet type for the game. While I don't want to sacrifice fun for this boss, I do want to try and keep it a little simpler as far as the creation of the boss goes.
War Ender is beginning to reach the point in development where I can't focus so much on making new enemies and mechanics anymore, and instead need to focus on taking full advantage of the characteristics of the enemies and gameplay objects. Mechanically, chapter three introduces a couple new enemies and a moving jumppad and that's about it. Of those new enemies, one of them isn't really doing anything particularly new. Thinking about what new things could be brought to the table in chapter four and five is difficult at this point, as I believe everything present within the game now already works quite well. One thing I've wanted to avoid throughout development of War Ender is making it overly complicated, whether that be with enemy types or player abilities. And honestly, chapter four and on is when the game should be going so crazy with what it has that it doesn't need much more new stuff.
Of course, perhaps one of the most obvious things I want for War Ender is more exposure, which means trying to go to more conventions and try to get its name out there as best as I can. One of the ways I wish to do this is by putting gameplay videos on YouTube and having those available on the website to view. I think it's about time to start showing off more gameplay from War Ender. Most of the gameplay I've shown off are in gifs and still images and not much more beyond that. If I'm going to get more attention on War Ender, I feel that's going to need to change. I've been talking about making gameplay videos for almost a month now, and I think between now and the next dev blog I'm going to commit to that.
I also mentioned conventions. Even after the game is released I'm going to try and take War Ender wherever I can to help it get that much more extra attention, which can hopefully help out the next game I release. I don't know how many conventions or events I'll be able to bring War Ender to between now and release day, especially if I do indeed release the game in February, but I'll see what I can fit in. I'm going to start looking at different conventions to bring the game to and expand the audience from there. Hopefully I'll be seeing you at some of these events!
So that's what I'm wanting to accomplish this year. Obviously the big one is getting the game released, but before that can happen there's a lot of micro achievements that need to be accomplished first. Of course, this website will be regularly updated letting nice folks like you know what's up with the game. As mentioned earlier, be on the lookout for some gameplay footage to appear on the website. I do also plan to overhaul the screenshots on the media page as those screenshots are from much older builds and really need updating.
There's a lot that will happen this year, maybe sooner than we all expect, and I hope you'll join me for it all. So with all that projecting done, it's time to say goodbye for now.
See you two weeks from now!