A Huge Entertainment Hero Update
This is quite overdue, I think we can all agree. After I missed the December update deadline on YouTube a few fans of the game thought it may be in trouble, or had hit some huge roadblock and needed to be delayed. Thankfully, this isn't the case. I've just misplaced my Elgato capture device so I can't record any new footage. I still can't find it and it's January 30th, so it's time to update ya'll via a different method!
There's a lot to say so I'll start with recent goings on.
Entertainment Hero was featured on the cover of Nintendo Switch Network Magazine Issue 1! There's a two page interview inside that talks all about Entertainment Hero along with our past and future as game developers. It's a super cool magazine with lots of information about the Nintendo Switch and the games coming to it. I highly recommend that you subscribe to them! The next issue will likely cover all the news from the recent Nintendo Switch reveal event, so if you have any catching up to do or need a refresher on launch games or anything of that nature, there's never been a better way!
Let's talk about the progress made on the game.
Entertainment Hero is currently about 75% complete. There are 10 levels planned, and I'm able to provide you a look at the current states of six of them. We have Heat, Flash, Crash, Bubble, Air, and Metal. Each stage is the same length so it's pretty easy to compare the total progress.
There are two standard stages left out, Wood and Quick, with two additional stages that unlock after all eight standard stages have been conquered. These four aren't present because they haven't been built. They've been designed on paper and the graphics are complete. I've been spending a lot of time play-testing and polishing the six presented here.
Also, please know that while Heat, Flash, and Bubble seem far from complete in terms of layout, this is mostly because hazards and obstacles that I had built didn't work out quite the way I wanted them too and had to be removed. A big part of how time is spent on the game is play-testing each segment and fixing what doesn't work. Sometimes things can't be fixed, and I'm left with a huge empty segment of the stage that needs a whole new puzzle or a new set of enemies. Generally it's good to keep in mind that things are always changing and the game is still a work in progress.
Now, something else to bring up is the release date of the Nintendo Switch. We've known about the March release date for the new Nintendo console since way back when Nintendo revealed the system in October. When a company only has a month as a release window without specifying the day it usually means late in the month. Color me surprised when the release date is revealed to be March 3rd rather than something like March 27th. I didn't take having the entirety of March of a guarantee but even still, I feel like a have one month less than planned to get the game done.
I'm also completely in the dark in terms of Nintendo Switch Development Kits and when they'll be available to virtual nobodies like us. They certainly exist, as many prominent smaller developers like Mojang and Yacht Club Games have shared photos and videos of theirs. Obviously I understand that they're in a league that I'm nowhere near, I just mean to say that Nintendo isn't really talking to teams like us. It could be a matter of weeks or months or even a year before that happens. Personally I think it'll be a month or two, but that's just a guess. This is the first thing in the way of release.
The second obstacle will be porting the game to Switch and getting it up and running after the Nintendo Switch Development Kit arrives. No idea how long that may take. I've heard Unity makes it super simple but I have no experience doing so, I can't really say. Thirdly is lotcheck, verification and age rating which I know won't take long but it's still something that has to be done.
Setting all of this aside, I lost a lot of time back in December. Unity and everything inside of it that powers Entertainment Hero all updated at once and it knocked out pretty much everything. Most of the enemies had to be reset, platforms re-positioned and everything's properties and animation were out of place. I should also mention that I work a regular job like everyone else, so December was a month spent playing catch up until the last week and a half.
All of this brings me to today, where I've placed a poll on my Twitter page. I've been considering dropping Wood Land and Quick Land, bringing the stage total to eight rather than ten. This would ensure that the game got done a lot faster and would be better prepared for the day Nintendo lets me pay for a Nintendo Switch Development Kit. This would also, coincidentally, bring the game in line with the original Mega Man which planned on eight standard stages but had to cut two out thanks to time constraints. This decision isn't an easy one, so I've placed it in your hands. Please vote, and let me know what you think!
One last thing before we wrap up for today. Something that I mentioned to the good folks at Nintendo Switch Network is that if I discover that Entertainment Hero won't release in a timely manner after the Nintendo Switch has launched I would release a demo playable on PC. This looks more and more likely as time moves forward. The demo would, of course, be free to play, likely embedded here on a page in the website. It would contain the intro stage and Metal Land. It honestly sounds like fun, so I may do it eventually anyway.
That's all for today! Please look forward to future updates!