February 29th 2016!
In a little over two weeks Tile Miner will finally release the multiplayer and graphics overhaul update! We thought leap year would be a fun date to release simply because we believe this is a huge leap for the game. It’s not a huge leap in terms of added features. It’s a huge leap in terms of building a multiplayer and graphical foundation that is easy to build on. At the bottom I’ll post a change log. First I want to remind you (or for some of you share for the first time) why this took so long.
“You started the multiplayer update in late 2014. Why did it take so long to finish?”
First and foremost, multiplayer wasn’t an add on, it was an overhaul. In 2014 when we started, we tried implementing multiplayer in the current build. We quickly discovered how dependent the game was on single player. A great example is the assumption everywhere that there would always be one “hero” in the game. But that’s just one example. So we started from scratch. We used a lot of the same algorithms. In some cases even the same exact code. But we also changed some of the core logic of the entire game. For the programmers out there, we are now using an entity component system. It would have probably taken us about 9 months to simply redo 0.1. But add in multiplayer and a graphics overhaul and here we are over a year later. Remember as you try to figure out how long future updates will take that future updates will be just that: updates. This wasn’t an update but a complete overhaul. The most requested features were multiplayer and original graphics. We decided it would be worth the time and effort to do both of these things right.
Multiplayer kicked our butts. I’m sure brilliant programmers with years of experience would laugh at the difficulty we had with this. But in my opinion, single player is far easier than multiplayer. Dealing with things in the future will primarily be just about remembering to send messages to other players whenever something happens that they need to know about. What made this initial release so difficult is dealing with an ever changing world, and what to do about lag. We think we’ve come up with some great solutions! But for us, it was difficult!
We decided to overhaul our graphics overhaul. As soon as we started 0.2 we looked all over the place for people interested in getting paid to do our graphics. We ended up working with two different guys. One of them was consistently late and way underestimated his bids. He also had sloppy work. The other one was always close to on time, and sometimes overestimated his bids. His work was always clean. Some of the art we loved. Some we did not. I hated the fact that we were dependent on people who didn’t love our game to produce great content. I also realized that simply the size of our artwork was very expensive to make. So I personally resized most of the artwork we had, and completely redid a lot of it to be 16×16 tiles instead of 32×32. This will allow for a lot more content in future updates because I will be doing 90% of the graphics myself. But it also took extra time that was not originally anticipated.
I built a house. Not in Tile Miner. A legit house. I became a highly unqualified general contractor in August of 2015. When I started I was part time working on the game. A couple of months in and I couldn’t keep up with the house, my family, and do any work on the game. I had no idea how difficult this process would be. On December 19th 2015 me, my wife, and two kids moved into my new home. We love it! It’s our dream home. I have no regrets. During this time my brother was able to continue work on the game. We probably could have made a release by the end of 2015 had I not done this but I have to be honest: I’d do it again. My family comes first and this was the best thing for us at the time. It’s not what I wanted to be doing. I’m very excited about Tile Miner and also committed to it. It’s just that my commitment to my family is stronger:)
Now that you have way more information than you ever wanted to know, here’s the change log from what I can remember:
-Coop multiplayer added (PVP to be added in a future release)
-Added chatting system (press T to chat)
-Complete graphics overhaul.
-Added better full screen support with NO stretching. Supports up to 1080p.
-Added Giant Bat
-Added Giant Worm
-Added Worm Nest
-Added Bat Nest
-Beehives are no longer craftable. You find them as a rare spawn in the world.
-Beehives added to the world generation.
-Beehives now spawn little bees when not yet broken.
-Added Potatoes (Boil em Mash em Stick em in a stew… Well actually just cook them in a furnace…)
-Added Tin and Copper heart containers (add some ore to make the heart container more effective)
-Removed sticks (Anything that used sticks we felt really should just be planks)
-Miscellaneous balancing tweaks
-Miscellaneous bugs fixed
-Miscellaneous bugs introduced (let us know and we’ll do our best to squash them ASAP)