Looking Forward and Looking Back, 2019-2020
Before we get into the annual review and goals update for Home Point Games, I need to deliver some sobering news. Last night, at approximately 5:20PM CST, a great asset of Home Point Games passed. Yes, a dear friend to us all...the big sausage has been reverted to nothing more but a memory of 1's and 0's. The "BS" as some called him, was not long for the Mythlink world, but he will be fondly remembered. Lucky for us his replacement was readily available to take his position permanently. Behold! The new punching bag!
Yes, yes, the butt of many jokes has been replaced. The funny thing is, is it's not like I didn't know it was goofy looking and should've been changed but for some reason I just...didn't. Part of the difficulty in developing a game that you spend hours and hours of time with I suppose. However, after the name "the big sausage" was tossed around by more than one person who didn't even have contact with each other, I knew it had to go. The Steam build was updated last night with this change. Also, a bug was fixed with the "pausing" feature of the puzzle game. Let's get onto the review!
2019 was not a bad year for Home Point Games, although some may expect that I would be disappointed after so egregiously missing the goals I had set forth in the blog post at this time last year. Using a similar format as last year, let's review...
1) SteamVR Input Update (RESOLVED)
This is a pretty recent completion and was covered more thoroughly in the December 14th blog post. I'm not going to go into too much more detail (those interested can look at the January 2019 blog post) but with the addition of the "hands" update I am going to call this a success for 2019. Of course, the hand models themselves will eventually need to be updated in a more game-appropriate model, but I see no need to rush on that. Input works, it uses the new SteamVR input system, and can support multiple headsets and controller types. Which brings me to my next point...
2) Cross-headset support (IN PROGRESS)
Those with a keen eye may have noticed one somewhat major change in the steam page when the new demo was launched on New Years Eve. The HTC Vive is no longer listed as the only supported headset! With the new input system, it is now very easy to have Mythlink be supported on other headsets. In fact, I believe it could probably support any headset besides maybe the Oculus. However, I only had access to one other headset type so only one headset type was added to the compatibility. Mythlink is now fully functional on the Windows Mixed Reality platform! I'm actually extremely confident that I *could* enable support on the other headsets, but I never feel good about doing that without at least being able to test a little bit. Any volunteers who own a Vive Pro or a Valve Index?
3) Mythlink Game Changes (DEMO 1 RELEASED)
This is a big one. This involves all of the changes related to going from the prototype version of Mythlink to the production version. Progress has been pretty good here. As you may well know, the first production demo was released on Steam on December 31st and includes the overhauled puzzle and punching bag changes. Of course, there was much more included in the back-end. The new look, the input system, lighting, the list goes on. More on this in the upcoming 2020 section.
4) Game Engine Networking Changes (NOT STARTED)
Those who are more interested in this topic should look at the January blog post from last year. Essentially, my current peer to peer system will stop being supported in 2022 and that is not cool. The current game overhaul stages do not involve online play, so these changes will have to wait until the battle changes, which is the last thing I will be working on.
5) Tipsy Hamster Re-release (ON HOLD)
As mentioned in a previous blog post, I would eventually like to do this but today is not that day. Nor is tomorrow. Or the day after that. I doubt it will happen anytime in 2020, but you never know what could happen...
6) Website Update (IN PROGRESS, PHASE 1)
This is still happening! I was hoping for a new website in 2019 but that didn't happen. I've got some neat templates and formats that I like the look of. So things are progressing at a snails pace. Maybe 2020? That would be neat.
7) Mythlink Final Prototype Demo Release (CANCELLED)
Last year I mentioned I wanted to release the final prototype demo to the public so people could play online and see what the real action was going to be all about. This ended up not happening for a multitude of reasons and is now replaced with the production demo system which is rolling out now. The final prototype demo will forever remain a mystery, the only copy of which hosted on my computer, with only a select few people ever getting the opportunity to try it.
Let's get into some goals this year. I'll try to be more conservative this time.
1) Consistent Demo Updates- Complete Training Room
I touched on this last month, but I want to start pushing out game updates as soon as they are cleared on my development side. I'm not going to commit to pushing out 2, 3 or 10 game demo updates, because what does that even mean? Technically, the patch I did last night would be considered a demo update, even though it did nothing meaningful. Let's go with this. This year the entire training room will be done. I think this is easily attainable. Things should go much more smoothly from now on and I wouldn't be surprised to have the next piece of the strength games out within the next month.
2) Website Update
That's right, I'm going for it. The website will (hopefully) be updated this year! New look to match the new updated Mythlink.
3) Audio Update
I have to spoil the surprise a little bit here, but I do have a music guy who has been working on some tracks for the game. I hope to feature the work in an upcoming blog post. Stay Tuned...
And that's all I have to say about that. Last year I shot for the moon and got about 5 feet off the ground. This year we're shooting for a hop and going to hope for a jump. There are some life changes which could take a significant amount of time in the coming months, but I'll only address delays in development as they come around. The roaring 20's begin now! Let's just hope Mythlink is part of that roaring and isn't reduced to the growl of the 30's...