On Sunday, I played through Project Y4. That’s nothing new; I’ve been playing varying bits of it regularly for ages.
The difference is that this time, I went start to finish without using a single debug cheat. I don’t know if you remember that particular milestone from This Wreckage‘s development cycle? Maybe you don’t, but I think you can imagine what it means.
It means that Project Y4 R01 is almost ready. It means that I’m going to announce a release date. It is, for better or for worse, quite soon.
This Is Only the Beginning
Let’s face it, the journey is far from over. There will be bugs, there will be early parts that are heinously difficult and late parts that are a cakewalk, there will be mistakes and inconsistencies that I’ve missed, there will be models that need touched up, sound effects that need reverbed and more. That’s life when you work on something alone. But R01 will not be the end, and these things will be smoothed over subsequent releases (and that’s not even considering the bonus missions).
The first phase is now ready. I’ve got a tutorial prologue, a beginning, a middle, an end, and a short cinematic/textual epilogue. I’ve got miscellaneous side quests, both free-form and directed. I’ve got mini-games and loot. I’ve got guns, swords and robots. What more do we need?
There’s no music and no voice, and no automap. Voice is still on the long term agenda (pending any further smoothing of the dialogue and additional side quests), and the automap has been a real pain to work with so I’m not doing that until the terrain stops changing. Music is the one thing I ain’t got shit on so it’s slipping further down the wishlist.
It’s not as big as This Wreckage, but the combat is considerably tighter and more intense so it hurts more (well, if you count small numbers and small margins of error as tightness and intensity). Most dialogue is short and to-the-point, and the rest of the exposition is crammed into computer screens (so you can take as much time as you want to read them). I’ve crafted 90% of the screen stuff so it’s entirely optional, but it will obviously flesh things out a little more: if you don’t read at least a little bit, you’ll probably think the plot is a total ass-pull, but if you don’t care about story you can just merrily blow shit up (and that’s me royally mistargeting my audience right there, because who really played This Wreckage for the gameplay? (Except all you madmen who spent hours getting insane scores, I love you forever)).
My Sunday test took me a couple minutes over three hours, but that was knowing where everything is and skipping some of the cinematics (skip triggers are a total nightmare but an absolute necessity for replayability, so they need a lot more testing than the let-it-flow actual sequences). Hopefully a real human being will get up to four hours of fun.
The Big Day
Anyway, enough beating about the bush.
RDZ Industries: Project Y4 R01 will be hitting the endless virtual shelves of ModDB on the following day:
Friday 24th August 2012
I’d like to accompany this with a launch party (why play the game on release day when you can go to the pub instead?), so if anyone fancies a booze and a dance in Glasgow, hit me.