Today I was going to review some of yesterdays boxing as well as discussing updates on the game however I think everyone has read just about enough about yesterdays boxing, I certainly have. Therefore I'll stick with what I'm here to do and that's discuss all things "The Boxing Promoter".
So I caught up with the directors of Cerberus Interactive (Developers) on Friday, this was our first proper catch up since the start of beta testing. To give a small bit of perspective, Cerberus are a very small team based out in Austin, TX. In April I had the pleasure to go out and meet everyone which was fantastic. The Boxing Promoter however isn't their only project and it's fair to say they are quite overworked right now particularly with the incredible interest in their own game "Atlas Empires" which moved into Alpha testing at the start of June. Obviously it's frustrating for me as work is moving a bit slower with The Boxing Promoter however the guys at Cerberus have been fantastic since the beginning so it's no massive issue.
Onto what we discussed, every piece of feedback we received and my own pointers were placed in 4 different sections of a excel spreadsheet. These are;
- Bugs (Anything that isn't working correctly)
- Enhancements (Within GDD) (Anything missing from the game which WAS in the original game design document)
- Enhancements (Outside GDD) (Anything I'm looking to add to the game which WASN'T in the original game design document)
- Future Enhancements (Additions which I'm not looking to build in for the initial release)
I won't take you through every single point we discussed but will cover some of the major ones, starting with the bugs. To start with, included in the bugs section is spelling and grammar mistakes. You've probably noticed from reading my blogs that writing is not my strongest skill, my spelling and general grammar is pretty shocking, this will all be looked into and sorted before release. Moving onto one of the major bug, screen freezing, this is predominantly occurring during the "Fight is about to start" screen, still not sure why this is happening but now the dev team are aware of this they will resolve everything quickly. The next large bug is the strange one where your fighter appears as the opponent and the boxers switch round for a fight, this leads to neither record changing, same as above the team will get onto this! Another couple of smaller bugs like returning to a boxer screen and the stats changing to single digits, popularity not going down, opponents record not changing, gym equipment disappearing after level 10. Along with these bugs I've also raised questions around rankings, money, and fight outcome. The majority of feedback including my own stated that you advance through rankings too slow and drop down too quick, the money system needs to be more balanced to give you tougher financial decisions to make, also the money needs to be consistent throughout, some appears in wods of cash (image) others shows as dollars. Finally fight outcome has been raised quite a lot in feedback with fighters losing bouts against ridiculously lower rated opponents.
During our conversation we only covered bugs and enhancements which were in the original GDD, I'll cover some of them now. The main ones are dialogue, titles, art work and some UI & stats changes. Starting with dialogue, this is all with me, currently the language in the game is not what I would like, no complaints as this was always my responsibility so the language in the game is mostly "filler", right now I'm reviewing everything and trying to chose the right language for the boxing world, also I'll work on some diversity in the language to avoid repetitive conversations. Next up, title belts, obviously in each division there is one main title but I would love (and I know others would as well) to have multiple titles at different points to represent domestic, continental, international then world titles. I can't guarantee that this will appear in the game but I'm certainly working towards that. Art work is a difficult one, hopefully every agree that the overall display of the game is good looking and nicely presented, the main art work to improve would be with the fighters themselves and improving the diversity in boxers. Now, there is a perfectly reasonable reason why all the boxers look as they do, this comes back to our original design idea for the fights. However after changing that we no longer require 3d models and could re-design every character in 2d, this is something I'm really keen on doing but we require a quote from an artist first, ideally it would be great for every fighter to look unique. The changes to UI is fairly simple I just want to move some bits about in the boxer, coaches and gym screens. Another screen which hopefully will be added is a stats improvement screen, before every fight an action is complete between the fighter and coaches stats which follows a formula to calculate how much the boxers stats will enhance, this takes place before a fight and simulates the effect of a fighters "Training Camp", this screen was originally supposed to appear at a different time and ended up left out of the beta version, for me this is something which needs to be added for the full release.
So, what happens next... The developers will be working overtime next weekend to resolve the majority of bugs and quick enhancements, the larger ones will be complete in the following couple of weeks as they require art and dev work. Fingers crossed this won't take more than a couple of weeks to complete everything mentioned above with the exception of training camp and new images.
After that is sorted I will then speak about other enhancements which weren't included in the GDD, the include purse bids, real boxer, visually impaired accessibility, extra animations, option to rename/nickname fighters, dilemmas and different interactions. The difference with everything in this section is simple, it wasn't quoted in the original game and therefore will need to be quoted and potentially paid for from myself, I obviously want to make the best game possible but at the same time have to ensure I'm not bankrupting myself in the process.
Hopefully today has given you a good idea of what we're working on over the coming weeks, initially when the game moved into beta testing I predicted it would be 1-2 months before the game is released, that was already nearly 2 months ago so we are a fair way off that initial target. I don't want to make the same issue as before by underestimating the development time, I will still be hoping for a release in July however it's not maybe looking closer to August but as always I will keep you updated with everything. Once everything above has been resolved the final bits to add will be discussed and we should have a much clearer idea on a target release date, thank you for all your patience I'll continue to work as hard as possible to ensure this game is a success.