Arcana Kira August Assessment

Introduction

Arcana Kira is supposed to be entering BETA in just about 1 month (Aug 21, 2015 is the beta target.)  This brief document will outline what has to be done in order to achieve this goal, or in this case explore how long of a delay the beta will have because optimism is no replacement for realism, and the current pace of development does not project an August beta any longer.  From the initial reveal of Arcana Kira on May 22, 2015, the possibility of delays were addressed in full detail.  The long and short of it is that if the game isn’t fun, and isn’t done, then it’s not ready for beta

Bug Tracker

The bug tracker is the progress bar towards beta.  Once this pie graph is all green, beta officially starts.  Until that time the game is in alpha, meaning intended features and gameplay are not fully implemented.  May was the beginning of the bug tracker, and by the end of June the 50% mark of feature implementation/bug patching was reached.  Here is updated progress for the month of July:

50% done June 23

Bug_Status_6_23_2015

55% done July 28

Bug_Status_7_28_2015

The number of bugs closed/missing features added in July slowed compared to the previous 2 months and unfortunately the number of new issues or regressions increased, making July the first month in development where there was no net positive gain towards completion.  While technically the game was 50% implemented at the end of June, here at the end of July it only increased 5% to 55%. July was basically 2 steps forward, 2 steps back (well 7 in this case.)

 

Biggest Remaining Deficits

The bug tracker contains the complete list of issues, but some of the key problems are listed here, since they are all majorly lacking:

  • ·Quests are there, but not fully implemented in gameplay, making the game feel totally pointless
  • ·Human enemies have terrible animations.  Serious game reviewers would tear this apart
  • ·Not enough content.  It still feels like a huge empty world
  • ·Dungeons, caves, vortexes?  Where are they?  They’re not even close to done.
  • ·Need to finish ALL the enemies
  • ·Regions still feel and look the same, need to make the Air section
  • ·Camera issues still abound
  • ·The HUD for items, equipment, etc. is terrible.
  • ·The enemy AI is terrible.
  • ·Performance in several scenes is under 60fps on the recommended specs, these must all be fixed
  • ·The tutorial scene still has terrible performance

 

What Caused the Issues & How to Fix It?

Arcana Kira is a one person project, so the basic problem was that I didn’t spend enough time programming, fixing, and refining Arcana Kira this month, despite spending overtime hours indirectly working on the game. There were a lot of hours diverted into starting up the business and other basic formulate business concerns.  July was also a month of working with console partners and other software vendors to secure access to development, business and cloud software and technologies.  These ancillary actions were extremely important, but also very time consuming, resulting in development itself being regulated to a part time activity for a large portion of the month.

The only way to fix these issues to devote full time and overtime hours directly to fixing these problems.  All other business concerns will need to take a step back to minimum roles.  Luckily, a lot of the red tape is out of the way (but not all of it.)  August needs to be a month focused on hard core development of Arcana Kira to get back to heavy progress towards beta.

Steam Greenlight Status:

Arcana Kira was greenlit on Steam, and we are still working towards making a release for the platform.  The earliest we would consider launching on any platform is at the start of BETA, so any delays to BETA will push out other platform launches.

August Verdict:

In its current state, Arcana Kira is completely unacceptable.  All signs are now currently pointing towards a delayed beta, possibly late September, although if progress goes well in August it’s still technically possible to launch a beta in late August.  Realistically, if development progress can return to May and June levels, then a September beta is not out of the question.  However, in the end if the game isn’t fun, and isn’t done, then it’s not ready for beta.

November Release Date Implications:

None at this time.

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