It’s been several months since we’ve provided any significant updates regarding Jiro and Honourbound, although bits and pieces do tend to make it to facebook quite regularly. Even the game’s new name, Honourbound, went unreported here, despite it being something that I am particularly happy with after seeing innumerable lists of game-name contenders, most of which weren’t so good. With all that said, a lot has happened and I’d like to take this opportunity to get whoever’s prepared to listen up to speed with where we’re at. At least a little bit anyway.
Two of the most significant changes in terms of our day-to-day production has been moving to an entirely new and brilliant game engine and editor, Duality by Adam over at Adam’s Lair – something our top scienticians Andrew and Andrea will no doubt want to say something about, and who are certainly both more qualified to do so – and the arrival of new teammates, with whom I can now share this awesome burden of being the art team; Carlos, (Bat)Tom and Mark each deserve a blog post detailing their incredible art powers, but meantime I’ll just say that their addition has been invaluable and I can’t imagine the current game being anywhere near as good without them.
The transition of editors and engines magically and coincidentally brought us from the prototype to the production phase of our development, which meant that huge portions of what we’d done was discarded in an effort to improve almost every aspect when working on the game proper. I’m relatively new to working on games and with programmers, so I was surprised (in a good way) to learn that this is standard practice when coding: you’ll solve problems in whatever way works initially, even if that means using code that is somewhat hacked together, but all of this is ultimately flushed away when putting together the finished product, and that is exactly what happened when we made the switch.
Before we jumped ship on the old stuff however, we did take time to record our prototype efforts in a quick video that we’ve held off on showing to public eyes because we were worried people might attribute any apparent gameplay problems to how the game will eventually play. Therefore the following video comes with a (lengthy) disclaimer of: this is our old prototype which has since been thrown away, but maybe it’ll give you an idea of how the game is going to look
Starting again can be pretty daunting, especially when the scope of the project suddenly encompasses the rest of the game. Jiro is now the owner of a more robust model and some fancy new samurai dance moves, as have the enemies he’s fighting and even the landscape in which the fight takes place. As we iron out the inevitable kinks after such a significant shift we’ll certainly have more to say about everything we want everyone to know about our game, and maybe a couple of things we don’t.