When I started having the game tested, I expected there to be fewer suggestions and bugs with the general game play and simulation. My original thought was that I’d work out the crash bugs and then work on shipping the game. But I was wrong. Having new eyes on the game, and people playing in different styles showed some features that needed to be added or tweaked.
But other than taking slightly longer than I expected (like this entire project…), I’ve been really happy with the way testing and debugging the game has progressed. It’s made Banished a better game.
At this point, the game has been crash free for about three weeks, and the simulation is pretty stable and balanced. Most bugs that have trickled in the last week have been very easy to fix.
So whats left?
While I’ve got a bunch of tutorial work done, I put a hold on it while I was fixing bugs and adding user interface elements to streamline player interaction with the game. I need to finish and clean up the tutorials and the text that goes along with them. As soon as the tutorial work is finished, I’ll have a release candidate!
The tutorials show generally how to play, but they don’t cover everything. While you can tinker and discover things, sometimes it’s easier to just read about it. And so the manual will cover all those details. Like the tutorials, now that the UI is more complete the manual can be finished.
I also need to build installers for Non-Steam builds. This is pretty easy to do, but the installers also have to be tested on all operating systems and patching support needs to be tested.
Once the release candidate is ready, and while I do other non-programming tasks (business stuff, press, manuals, etc) the game will continue to be tested for stability, compatibility and bugs.
Given the remaining work that has to be done, it no longer seems likely that the game is going to be released in the period specified by my estimate of Late 2013, but I don’t expect the release to be too far behind.
I should be able to announce an official date soon. Stay tuned!