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SOAT update #28
Posted By: gremlinn, on host
Date: Monday, November 4, 2002, at 02:44:14
In Reply To: SOAT update #27 posted by gremlinn on Tuesday, October 8, 2002, at 13:47:39:

> 37 locations, 319150 bytes (8625 per location) [3/25/01]
> 54 loc, 438797 bytes (8126 pl) [4/08/01]
> 80 loc, 573649 bytes (7171 pl) [4/30/01]
> 95 loc, 794677 bytes (8365 pl) [5/21/01]
> 115 loc, 949191 bytes (8253 pl) [6/06/01]
> 132 loc, 1105293 bytes (8373 pl) [6/15/01]
> 145 loc, 1259378 bytes (8685 pl) [6/25/01]
> 152 loc, 1470894 bytes (9677 pl) [7/08/01]
> 155 loc, 1598537 bytes (10313 pl) [7/23/01]
> 158 loc, 1746880 bytes (11056 pl) [8/14/01]
> 166 loc, 1809922 bytes (10903 pl) [9/25/01]
> 179 loc, 2018080 bytes (11274 pl) [10/18/01]
> 209 loc, 2188235 bytes (10470 pl) [11/08/01]
> 220 loc, 2316166 bytes (10528 pl) [11/30/01]
> 285 loc, 2605419 bytes (9141 pl) [12/19/01]
> 296 loc, 2794886 bytes (9442 pl) [1/27/02]
> 301 loc, 2891546 bytes (9606 pl) [2/04/02]
> 304 loc, 3038874 bytes (9996 pl) [2/15/02]
> 309 loc, 3146158 bytes (10181 pl) [2/23/02]
> 311 loc, 3267399 bytes (10506 pl) [3/09/02]
> 311 loc, 3449854 bytes (11092 pl) [3/23/02]
> 318 loc, 3714958 bytes (11682 pl) [4/06/02]
> 330 loc, 3987346 bytes (12082 pl) [5/01/02]
> 412 loc, 5290126 bytes (12840 pl) [6/25/02]
> 417 loc, 5534723 bytes (13272 pl) [7/20/02]
> 445 loc, 5951946 bytes (13375 pl) [9/04/02]
> 451 loc, 6181927 bytes (13707 pl) [10/08/02]

Latest numbers: 451 locations, 6337773 bytes(14052 per location). 205732 lines of code. As I mentioned in some other post, I have extended the game's storyline far beyond the scope of what I had first intended. That scope is now fairly rigidly defined, so the scenes I now conceive as being the game's ultimate ending will without fail be the true end, something I couldn't have said a year ago.

I've been doing a lot of work recently on the important story and puzzles leading up to what I had planned as the game's third ending -- and a lot of background reading in classical mythology to get ideas for what lies beyond that (events leading up to the fourth ending). Originally the second ending was going to be the end of it all -- then I changed what I had termed "optional" puzzles into required puzzles for a third ending, which was to be the best result.

But in the back of my mind for a good number of months before all this, I had been considering how to fit someone in into the game as a "goddess", a task which I had agreed to do. It took a while, but I managed to extend the framework of the game to accommodate this, and it worked out quite nicely for tying up a few other loose ends.

Is that the end, though? You'll have to wait and see. Suffice to say that I will try to make it worthwhile for the players who finish the game (i.e., Sam, Monkeyman, and Zullin) to play through it again with added features.

After thinking more about the whole "multiple endings" idea, I think I'll change that a bit. It would be rather disappointing to make a choice partway through the game, get a "bad" ending, and have to start over from the beginning. So maybe the player would see the "bad" ending and be able to warp back to change that decision and keep playing, if desired -- but seeing the "bad" ending would at least put them on a certain tier of the Hall of Fame (like the separate lists in Murkon's Refuge detailing who has reached each city). I'll have to work those details out with Sam, but they can wait until the game is 99.9% done, I suppose.

You have no idea how tired I am of this game, and the prospect of having to work for another year or two before you can all play it is not a happy one. But the hope that it will all be worth it in the end keeps me going. If only I live long enough. I think a release year of 2005 is probably the most likely, now.

I think it's good that I only planned about 5 or 10 percent of the game before I started coding it, because there's no way I would have had the patience to design the bulk of the game on paper all in advance. Making up new puzzles and story elements as I go makes it interesting enough that I don't falter for more than a couple weeks at a time. Unfortunately there's the side effect of the game growing far, far past initial estimates (four times as large, at least, as estimates several months into the project).

So, looking ahead a bit, it seems that most of what's left is the aforementioned stuff leading up to the third "ending". I've actually already got a huge bulk of code that I've moved forward to after this, so it won't be much longer after I've reached the third "ending" until I finish (I hope). And, of course, playing the game again will give you the best (fifth? I lost count) ending. There will be a few places with a lot of supplementary prose to flesh out the game's backstory and such, but I'll make it clear that it's all optional to read it.

One more thing: a reminder about the contest to come up with a name of SOAT's world. Only two people have entered so far (RiftTraveler, Rebekah), so I'll give it a little more time. The deadline will be the end of next month, and I'll post once more about it before then.

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