Archive for March, 2009

Secret Letter

Jack Toresal and The Secret Letter
Despite my targeted publishing dates continuing to move, we are making real progress. Secret Letter is nearing completion. A handful of bugs, a bit more play-testing, more artwork, and then packaging. That’s all that’s left to accomplish before we launch our first product.

Thomas Lynge of Tenteo has been hard at work rewriting portions of the user interface in order to accommodate my insistent request for a paging mechanism. He was skeptical about the amount of work involved, but the gauntlet was thrown and he took up the challenge. In the process he discovered a major performance bug and completed the paging feature. The game now “scrolls” backwards onto dynamically created pages, which can be accessed with the page up and page down keys and eventually the mouse wheel. The pages “flip” as you go back and forth.

I’ve also had the game play-tested by several well-known IFers including Paul O’Brian, Jim Aikin, Eric Eve, Peter Berman, and Jacqueline Ashwell. These people have added great value to the final product and their efforts are immensely appreciated. We couldn’t do this without them.

And too, Mike Gentry took all of the resulting transcripts and marked them up. It was maddeningly tedious work that took weeks. And then Graeme Jefferis took the marked up transcripts and implemented the changes. After playing the game a few times it’s really wonderful to see how solid a piece of work it’s becoming.

The artwork you see is by Goni Montes. I think Goni has seen right into Miradania and made a home there. His artwork is strikingly accurate to my own vision of Jack’s world.

Shadow in the Cathedral
The content is moving along. Since the user interface is likely to be very similar to Secret Letter, the time to market will be much shorter for Shadow. Alpha testing, play-testing, artwork, and then packaging and Shadow is on the market too.

Gift of Empathy
Empathy is making tremendous progress. We haven’t started coding it yet, but the content is very far along. Chris Huang’s writing is bringing life to Paul O’Brian’s wonderful world. We should begin implementation very soon.

Business News
On the business side, things are moving along. I’ve been making new friends in the investor world which may pay off at some future date. We’re probably going to have to publish a few games before we garner any real outside interest. I’m confident we’ll get there though. If you want to help out, visit My Service Vine and OneDegree and sign up. The owners of both of these sites may be our future benefactor.

Summary
So that’s where we are today. I hope you enjoy the preview snapshot and stay tuned for Jack Toresal and The Secret Letter.