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Games for Early PCs

A Progress Update on Barren Planet

A hypothetical Barren Planet scenario
A hypothetical Barren Planet scenario

Saturday, 3rd April 2021

A while has passed since I made any visible progress on Barren Planet, so I thought I'd write a post to update everyone on what's happening with the project, and to assure you that it hasn't been forgotten.

Barren Planet was naïvely intended to be a quick project for the 2020 Fall Dos Game Jam. It was based on a series of games I'd written before, which made me think that I'd easily get the project done in a month. It might have been just about possible to release a very buggy, unpolished game in that time, but a few things conspired against that outcome: a couple of weeks of ill health, my failure to resist the desire of improving on the old game engine, and and underestimation of the amount of work involved. Also I'd forgotten that announcing any of my projects to the world too early tends to jinx them.

So Barren Planet has become a longer-term project. Don't be surprised to see other games get released before Barren Planet comes out. I'll be working on smaller projects alongside Barren Planet and, if those smaller projects come to completion first, I won't let Barren Planet delay them. That lack of pressure means that I can make Barren Planet as good as possible, rather than rushing to get it out when it's "good enough."

At the moment I have nearly all the graphics completed; only the title screen remains to be drawn, along with any small user interface elements I might have forgotten. The code is there to handle all the internal elements in the game: campaigns, scenarios, games in progress. Elements of individual battles are in a reusable library which is complete. Still in the planning stage are AI and PBM player handling. I'm currently working on the first parts of the in-battle user interface, so soon I'll see the program display some maps.

Until now all most people have seen of this game is the mockup screenshot of the eventual game play. So to whet your appetite I include here a map of a hypothetical scenario that includes all of the terrain and unit types in the game. No such scenario will exist in the final game; it's intended that a campaign will consist of about a dozen scenarios, each of which will present a handful of the available elements so there's room for change as you progress.

Update: looking at this post a long time later it seems the mockup I provided isn't what I said it was. It's the intended map of the first scenario of the final game.


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