Entering the Homestretch

Last Saturday, I sat down to work out my plan for the remainder of Stable Orbit’s development. First data point: the release date we want to hit. As an indie, even with a publisher, there is no point going up against the likes of, say, Call of Duty: WWII. That’s one race we’d never win, given that they are probably spending more on CoD-branded golf balls than the entire budget of Stable Orbit. And golf balls are hardly among the weirdest things used to promote games.

Anyway, from the release date I worked my way back: the game should be “done” this many days in advance, so it can go out to reviewers early. That means it will have to be on Steam by that date, so the publisher team has a chance to check everything out. Add in some slack. Subtract the weekends and care days. Good. Then this is the list of everything that still needs doing in the order that makes most sense doing those things in (I think – you’re never sure). Fine, fine. All in all, after a couple of hours working that Excel sheet I had it all down. Yes, it will be hard work. Yes, time is too short… as always. But it looks kind of reasonable so I am just going to do it and get this game launched! Cheery feelings all around. Hurrah!

 

And then, I got sick.

 

What a great start!

Now, after four days of lying in bed feeling utterly miserable, I am back on my feet. First order of business: rewrite that plan, since a couple of days of work just got lopped off. We are, however, most definitely entering the homestretch of Stable Orbit’s development. A couple of months from now, this game will be all done and dusted. Excitingly, very soon, you will be able to follow along with how the development goes because the public “developer branch” will soon launch on Steam!

Beware, the builds on the developer branch are going to be much rougher than what you may have gotten used to since Vector. For starters, my usual process of working towards a “code complete” version (with placeholder art) first and then an “art complete” version second will now be applied to the remainder of the game. Once the developer branch launches, you’ll get to play with the new “Airlock” module… but it will look like an ugly white box. Only once all the code is locked down, will I move on to the art. Creating the art for Stable Orbit is a nicely defined process – writing the code far less so.

That said, if you are up it, I’d love for you to come and play in the developer branch and help me test out the latest and greatest features. Check the development roadmap for an overview of what is still coming to Stable Orbit. The branch will go online in the next week or so – provided that Murphy doesn’t throw another spanner in the works. More soon!

Incidentally, Stable Orbit is currently on sale on Steam: save 33% until the end of the week!

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