For those not in the know, a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is basically when you get to the point with software (or anything really) where it is in a state that you could release it. It usually refers to something that still has a lot of work to do to get it to the point where you want to release it though… it’s probably barebones, sloppy, has a lot of bugs, missing some features you really want to put in, etc. But technically you could release it. It has a start, a middle and an end, as my cousin Jim often says. And a working menu system, and blah blah blah.

So my goal for 2017 was to get my game to that state by the end of the year, and then spend the majority of 2018 trying to polish everything up, add more content, etc. before finally releasing this sucker in 2018. It was only a loose goal, because honestly, I had no idea how long it would take to get there, it was just something to shoot for.

I’m not going to get into my health issues here but some things I have been dealing with for a long time flared up over the summer of 2017 and I’ve been battling them ever since, which hasn’t stopped me from continuing to work on the game, but it has made it a bit tougher to stay focused. But I haven’t let it stop me, though I have slowed down a bit.

So did I make it to MVP? Well, in short, no. But I got really darn close, which for a loose goal, is good enough. The main thing I’m still missing is background art for all of the stages. To be honest I probably could take what I have and get it into an MVP in just a few days by reusing background art, but I’m going to stick with every main stage having its own background art plan, so… that’s 10 backgrounds (+ title screen, menu screen, etc.) About halfway through those and should be done in another few weeks.

Here is an example of my background art. It’s not perfect, but for someone who basically has no real art background and just started doing pixel art for this game, I think it’s turning out ok! (Keep in mind all art is a work-in-progress, I plan to polish it all up eventually. If I find the time.)

stage-3-new

Beyond the background art there are a few other minor things that I need to finish to get this game into MVP status. And maybe some stuff I’m forgetting. But it’s close. End of January, perhaps?

Is a 2018 release date still viable? I think so. But really that depends on a variety of factors, including making a final decision on which platform to launch it on and dealing with any platform-specific issues that might arise.

So I guess that is my year in wrap. Not happy with my health, but happy enough with where the game is at, and still hopeful that a 2018 release can be a reality. We’ll see.

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