Sunday 10 May 2020

definite plan

Imbroglio: Mizzenmast is now unambiguously released and working. This was a stressful few days. Yesterday I completely crashed and spent the day in bed with sore throat, I guess my body recognised that it was time to take a break. Need to be more careful about keeping the immune system up. Difficult balance to get priorities right, some amount of productive creative work is good to have in there for overall well-being but I can overdo it.

I started making Imbroglio in late 2014, maybe earlier depending how much you count different prototypes that led in its direction, released in 2016 but kept working on it as a minor side project with expansions in 2016, 2018, 2020, so it's been a long ride to being complete. Feels good, I took the time and accomplished my vision for the game, especially with Draft Mode it really gets the chaotic combo-building feeling I was looking for. For personal satisfaction I'm glad I saw it through rather than just releasing an initial version and moving on. Probably I would have more money if I'd put that work towards more new games instead, but it's never clear.

But it's not quite done yet since it's still only on iOS! Of course I've always planned to release it on PC but I decided a while back to simplify things for myself by delaying that until I'd finished expanding it. Making the choices that simplify things is a critical part of managing to work as an independent artist. I also intended to release it on Android, I even developed it in a cross-platform framework to simplify that, but then when I tried it didn't work and didn't seem worth the effort for 31 sales. Maybe I'll try again sometime. No promises.

I wrote last year that for the moment with a wild baby I was finding it worked better to be building on old things rather than trying to muster the attention to make something new. Well I'd hoped that would have shifted by now but then this whole pandemic went down so we've all had a lot on our shoulders. It's hard to plan a new project that might take years at a time where the future is so blatantly uncertain. So I'll keep fixing up old things.

Imbroglio: ports
Cinco Paus: update/mini-expansion
(redacted): finish up and release
868-HACK: fix the few bugs that have come in over years
Zaga-33: get it working again on iOS haha
Smesport: it's not the time to release it now but I can fix the bug that was holding it up
Quinzena: it's still not a baby phase where I can work with it but this will come

If I can't work on anything new maybe I can at least get a clean slate and not have random crap I mean to get around to someday hanging over me since years. Or maybe inspiration will strike and I just make something new anyway, it tends to have a way of doing that when I make other plans.

Tuesday 5 May 2020

imbroglio - expansion & crash

The update to Imbroglio with new expansion went live. It's crashing the game on launch. This didn't come up at all during testing, sometimes things work differently with Game Center (the API for high scores on iOS) when applications are released, it's annoying but I'm working on it and will figure it out. Sorry everyone!

For now you can just not download the update, but if want to play on an updated copy you can by disabling Game Center (Settings, scroll down to Game Center, slide the green bar in top right to off) and the game doesn't crash, but can't access leaderboards. (If you're running an old version of iOS you might not be able to access IAPs without Game Center active, but on current ones you can.)

Okay thanks for your patience and keep looking after yourselves!

Saturday 2 May 2020

preview for Imbroglio: Mizzenmast

Imbroglio: Mizzenmast, the third expansion for Imbroglio, has been submitted to the appstore and will be released in a few days. It takes the epic adventure to the high seas! But still in a tiny dungeon. Just with sea-ey things. Don't worry games don't have to make sense. Sea-dungeon. Something.

It's a jumbo sized expansion. I was originally planning four expansions each with two heroes for a final 4x4 character-select grid. In the end I didn't feel I had enough good weapon cards for two more sets; it's better to keep a higher density of interesting stuff. So there's 16 new weapons, same as the other two expansions, but all 4 new heroes because they're all good. It's mostly a jumble of effects that interact in novel ways with what's already in there, not really a common theme apart from mostly being things you might find on a pirate ship. And then there's Draft Mode, which is a new way to play the game with a more "roguelike" scoring system that encourages playing out every game (instead of restarting 10x to try for the perfect opening) and using a variety of weapons.

So now of course it's time for EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW CONTENT:

You might never have thought about it, but weirdly all the other heroes have the ability to see through walls. Or at least, when controlled by the player they act as though they had this ability. I guess maybe the walls are just chest-height? Anyway, for maximum realism meet: Cruel Pirate Rodney, a powerful villain with the ability to throw his weapons about. To play him evokes something of the classical dungeon crawl feeling, exploring a dark place not knowing where you will find monsters or treasure, honestly it surprises me that even this works on a 4x4 grid.

The Lightkeeper's Candle gives something different to everyone who holds it. Harry restores an extra hit point, Susannah and Masina do double damage, etc. And then it gives a couple of extra runes to help to use that ability, but also to help survive the first few turns of the game before you've built anything else up - especially important in Draft where restarting isn't free.