TL;DR: We’re still making games.
The global pandemic hit all of us. Fortunately none of the team fell ill, though family members did, and there were several exposure or symptom scares. And while the team is distributed and work from home, that’s not the same thing in the middle of a pandemic, and when can’t really go anywhere else.
And of course we weren’t able to have occasional face-to-face meetings at conventions — or see fans.
Lights Going Out
We’ve been working on the next Six Ages game. “Lights Going Out” will let you continue the story of the clan you guided in “Ride Like the Wind” (though you can start a new one from scratch). Perhaps 3/4 of the events have been written and coded (with games like these, it’s hard to know exactly how many there will be, since we often add more towards the end, to fill in missing bits). And about half have been exhaustively tested. This is far enough that it’s now possible to play a significant chunk of the game without running into missing parts. Well, that’s what I tell myself, and then QA files bugs about missing parts.
The exact art requirements are similarly hard to know in advance (since those new scenes may require new art). But I think well over half of the scene art is complete.
We just started thinking seriously about the endgame — what constitutes “victory” in a story game. Polishing and coding this is on the schedule for January.
There’s still too much uncertainty to talk about a release schedule, unfortunately. But it’s now far enough that we can start thinking about tuning, and testing the game as a whole instead of just in pieces.
Ride Like the Wind
Although most of the development effort has been on the new game, they share the same game system, and some “Lights Going Out” bugs are common. And we’ve been fixing bugs as players report them.
Luckily, there haven’t been too many of those, so I’ve held off on making a lot of updates. Plus, just making a release takes resources, and QA has been less available thanks to COVID-19. But I do expect a bug fix release next year.
Last year, I mentioned prototyping a new game. A combination of events led to a digital prototype. There might well be a game there, but it’s still a side project to have in reserve.