The question we hear most often is: "What takes you so long, why haven't you released the game already?"
Truth be told, the question asked most often is "where is the play button?". We assume it's the short version of the above.
So first of all, we'd like to THANK YOU for your patience. Your continuing support and your desire to play the game has been a major driving force to keep us developing and polishing the game day in, day out!
Which leads us to something we have learned about ourselves in the process. Quite simply, we cannot release an alpha version. There are some teams (e.g. Notch from Minecraft), who are comfortable releasing an alpha. They get feedback, they add features, they squash bugs and so on... for the next two years.
We are not perfectionists but we certainly feel very uncomfortable to present to you something half-baked. So here's a list of the major improvements accomplished during the last year, starting from some of the most obvious to the least:
Pixel Artwork - Thanks Thomas!
Over 200 terrain tiles created
12 unique commanders created
24 special troops created
(48+ held in reserve)
24 core troops created
(72+ held in reserve)
Dozens of unique skill icons
Well over a hundred item icons
New HUD and GUI elements
Website and interfaces - Thanks Rali & Irina!
Complete revamp and streamlining of the design
Shopping carts added for easier purchasing of items and recruitment of troops
Drag-and-drop interface for the inventory and troop management
Introduced rudimentary skill training
Countless cross-browser issues resolved
Game client - Thanks Paul & Irina!
Resizable full-screen option (that quickly has become the default one)
Creation of new HUD, including minimap and battle text console
Creating targeting filters, range finders, pathfinding, etc.
Optimizing it, so it takes only a few percent of the CPU (compare it to Flash)
Game server - Thanks Cho & KIV!
Implementing elimination (kill or be killed) mode
Designing a skill "protocol" that resulted in over 50 unique action skills
Creating dozens of skill effects (like "ignited" or "slowed" or "stunned")
Creating unique "auto" skills that work in the enemy turn
Scaling it up so it handles hundreds of games
Still trying to push the limit to 1000+ games
Character Artwork - Thanks Stefan!
We've left some of the best news for last! We are very pleased that we have just started adding new character art to spice up the commander and troop roster.
In the coming weeks, you'll see a lot of new faces - starting with this week's Guardian and Raider battalion commander.
Finally, we come back to the question at hand (only the most patient of you have gotten this far):
We have completed the active development of the playtest.
We now spend the bulk of our time just playing the game - all day, every day. You will be joining us before the year is over! And by YOU, we mean our most patient and zealous fans!