This is the approximate timeline from where we are now to Flare’s first full game.
April 2011: Flare v0.13 “Quests”
In late April, Flare v0.13 will be released. It will contain talking NPCs and support for simple quests.
May 2011: Flare v0.14 “New Game”
In late May, Flare v0.14 will be released. It will contain a Title Menu, New Game Menu, and Load Game Menu.
June 1st, 2011: Feature Freeze
The engine will receive a freeze on major new features after v0.14. Any programming done after v0.14 will focus on making options in the existing engine configurable.
- Translation support
- Menu themes/design options
- Minor AI config options
- New base powers, items, etc. as needed
Focus changes from Engine to Game
At this point the focus of this project will switch from making an engine to making a game. Basically, if I can’t build a game with this engine then it’s useless.
June 2011 through May 2012: Art Assets
I expect to focus an entire year on creating art assets for Flare. More tile sets, creatures, equipment, NPCs, powers, etc. During this time I will be plugging the art into the engine with new test maps, side quests, etc.
June 2012 through Nov 2012: Tell A Story
At the end of 2012 it will be time to pull the assets together into the first Flare game. There should be enough variety to tell a decent story — even a 20 hour single player campaign would be great for a project like this.
Dec 2012: Post Mortem
Assess the engine as a stand-alone project. Possible outcomes:
- If the engine is worthwhile, build a second game. Aim to reuse as much of the old code as possible. Refactor as necessary. Make sure both the first and second games run on the same engine.
- If the engine is mediocre, consider a rewrite. Design it from the ground up to support scripting engine, multiplayer, etc.
- If the engine is worthless, it ceases to be supported as a stand-alone engine. Instead it’s basically the beta code-name for the finished game.