For their latest post-funding Kickstarter update the folks at Stoic inform us of what they have managed to achieve in the last few weeks with The Banner Saga, and also that by now all the physical prizes minus the landscape litographs and animation cells have been shipped to their destinations.
Here's an excerpt:
Developing games is an interesting process. Unlike comics, movies or television which produce tangible, finished content all along the way and then polish everything up until the end, games are heavily front-loaded. You only rarely consider something "in the bag" along the way. By this I mean you'll work for months and months on tools, pipelines, systems, foundations, outlines, schedules, documenting and concepting (all generally referred to as "pre-production") and it feels like you're making no progress at all. As the deadline closes in you start to wonder how you can possibly pull it off. And then, with the systems in place, all cylinders firing, everything suddenly comes together. Personally this is the fourth major project I've worked on where I've had that feeling. Other developers' experiences may vary.
I'm glad to say that we're starting to cross this threshold and we're seeing everything come together quickly on our first release. Since the last update we've accomplished:
• Final art for every major combat UI • Final art for every major gameplay UI including upgrading, matchmaking and team-building as well as the option menus, combat resolution screen and many miscellaneous functions. • Final UI functionality for combat • Gold standard combat environment • Final, animating character portraits • Final base combat particles • Implemented the majority of the playable character animations • All tooltips for every ability and action in combat • The locomotion system that allows us to adjust the speed of an animation versus how fast they move across the screen to avoid the "sliding" effect common in 2D games • We've also made progress toward multiplayer functionality • With these latest changes we'll be able to send our contractors a working client so they can begin implementing sound effects, music and creating quality assurance test plans. Within days we'll be able to start playtesting the combat with outside testers.