With the end of 2015 nearly here, I thought I'd briefly summarize everything we accomplished. Before that though, we owe you all an update on what's been going on for the three months since our last post. The short answer is: not much. Half of the team (including myself) became very busy toward the end of the year, and the other half seemingly dropped off as well. It's unfortunate, but we've learned that these things will happen. With a team made up entirely of unpaid volunteers, sometimes we just need to take a collective hiatus. As such, our September release plans were not realized.
We started out 2015 in a pretty sad state. I had been working solo for about four months trying to find a way to bring this project back. In January I completed the first step by doing a major overhaul and series of improvements to our map editor, which had been too difficult and cumbersome to use and really made the world creation process painfully slow. With this work complete, I began using this new tool to rapidly develop some of the largest maps this project has ever seen.
With a little outside help, at the midpoint of the year this project put out it's first release in nearly four years. This was a huge turning point and created the positive momentum for what needed to happen next: rebuilding a team. A few weeks after this release we had a small but dedicated number of individuals working hard to understand what Allacrost was and improve upon it. Our focus turned to producing a second development release that improved balancing and added additional game content. Basically, the intent was to produce an unpolished but nearly complete version of our next official release.
We made a lot of good progress on that front, especially with the help of two designers who developed some great ideas between the two of them to help realize Allacrost's vision. We invested heavily into improvements in battle design and UI layouts. The majority of that work had been completed, but there was still plenty left for us to do. Earlier in the year we also successfully migrated to a new host and repository management system (BitBucket/Mercurial) and it has greatly improved the collaboration and efficiency of this team. The last three months were unfortunately without progress.
Recently I'm finding myself with time available for this project again, so things should pick back up in 2016. Our primary focus has not changed. We are still working toward the development release that was originally meant for September. The majority of the work needed for that release is development of the capital city map. Unlike the beginning of 2015, in 2016 we do not have any elements that are blocking us from making progress. We simply need to put in the time necessary to finish what we've already done. At this point it's hard to estimate when that next release will happen, but I'm optimistic that you'll see it sometime in Q1 2016. Thanks for all your support this year in seeing this project rise from the dead.