The closer you get towards releasing your game the more small things surface that have to be taken care off before going public, and so over the last days/weeks I have been busy mostly taking care of small bugs and annoyances that needed fixing. Actually I already could have released it but everyone of you working on a game/application knows the feeling when you’re close to release. On the one hand you want to release it (in order to take the weight off your shoulders) but on the other hand you want to release something that’s as smooth and polished as possible. But I still think that a release somewhere next month is still realistic.
First the “important” thing : **I decided on a little name-change **to make it clearer that the first release is not just a demo but much more. The first release will now be labeled with “Phase 1” (Full name is Projekt “W” - Phase 1) and the final game (2008) will be labled with “Phase 2”. This sounds a bit odd compared to usual game name schemes but I think this is much better than calling the first release a demo and then having to tell anyone that it’s not a demo in the sense of the usual game demos with limited content and gameplay.
Next on the list is an overhaul of the research window. After changing the unit- and building-construction windows to look more like windows from a game and not an application I decided to do the same with the research window. The old one with all it’s listboxes, memos and other text elements looked like a window from some kind of office application and not like a part of a game. So now there is a much nicer representation of the available technologies in 3D instead of a boring listbox. You get them sorted in a circle with nice reflections and upon selecting a technology it’s rotated to the front and information on it will be shown the usual way. This looks nice and makes you actually feel like doing research in a game.
And as you can see on the shots I also created images for all technologies. Somehow I forgot to put this on my todo-list for the first release but since there are only 25 technologies doing the icons for them (all are prerendered) wasn’t that much of work. So except for checking the spelling and maybe tweaking some research times for the technologies this part of the game is now completly finished, and while redoing the window I even fixed some small display bugs and annoyances.