CRPG Dev – 2016 Review

I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. Mine was fine though I was left with less time than I had hoped due to a leaking hot water system and helping my son build himself a PC – something I knew was going to take more work than he expected. I’m pleased to say that both hot water system and PC are now fully working.

As 2017 is now upon us I’ve been giving some thought to my CRPG Dev activities in 2016 and my achievements against my goals. I’m planning to talk about my plans for 2017 in a separate post but will inevitably touch on a few items here as some goals and projects carry over into 2017.

I think the biggest change in 2016 was that I now feel much clearer (and happier) about what I am trying to achieve with Alternate Reality X. I went back to the roots of the project and put aside some of the diversions I’d explored in 2015 to try and make some solid progress. After the lack of any new “classic” builds for ARX in 2015, I released four builds during 2016.

These builds weren’t massive advances in features or content but they added some very important and long overdue items such as including all the Dungeon encounters as well as their encounter animations. The project took a big step by starting to pull a lot more real AR data into the game which I think we’ll really start to see the benefits of this year. I also began the major task of expanding the inventory and item systems which was essential to recreating Alternate Reality.

I also chose to focus solely on my use of CC++ for programming rather than Unity 3D and decided for ARX to stick to my procedural coding “style” – I use the word loosely – rather than try and move ARX to an object oriented programming approach – I’ll keep that for a new project. Basically I’m trying to do what I think works best for me and my productivity rather than what I think I should be doing. I have cleaned up and restructured a lot of the code and I hope to continue that gradually as I add new features and revise existing ones where necessary.

I had planned to complete the 1.0 release but some of the major rewrites of core sections of code took a lot longer than anticipated. I’d also become preoccupied with some important personal issues I’ll talk more in my follow up post about what the next steps for ARX are but I think I’m just going to focus on adding and prioritising the remaining features rather than talking too much about dates for a 1.0 release.

I actually played and completed a game at the beginning of the year (Fallout 3) as I inherited my son’s old Xbox 360. This felt like a new game to me as it was only 8 years old! I played a bit of some of the other games from the 360 collection but struggled to get into a groove with any. Maybe this year.

My YouTube channel now has two Alternate Reality X videos uploaded to it. These weren’t great but allowed players to see the game developing and are likely to bring a few more people into the ARX community. Expect some more in 2017.

On the personal side I have some big challenges ahead of me in 2017 on the family and financial side so they will take priority but I expect to be able to continue with some very solid ARX development. Another ARX release is well on its way so watch out for that.

A big thank you to everyone who has supported my efforts for CRPG Dev and Alternate Reality X, whether through your emails, Patreon, Paypal, here on the blog or on Facebook. As always I greatly appreciate your interest, your time and support for what I’m doing and it really keeps me going and allows me to continue doing this and gives me the inspiration I sometimes need.

Wishing you all the best for 2017.

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