So I promised a first screenshot on Friday, didn't I? How foolish of me. Not only did the release of AI War 5.0 / Light of the Spire take longer than expected, but also we ran into some issues with the art that have set us back some.
It turns out that a purely tile-based approach for the background tiles simply wasn't workable, even at a large scale like 64px square, so we're having to implement something more dynamic and flexible on top of the existing tile-grid in order to make this work. That means that there's been a number of new programming elements needed, and a lot of early art assets having to be redone. The other side effect is that this will actually let us have an even better "serious painterly" look, while also keeping the framerate even higher.
I also came to realize that the first screenshot that had been envisioning was simply not including enough elements to really show off the game. One of the best things about a procedural methodology is that we can include an incredible density of organic elements, to really make you feel like you're out in the woods, or in a field, or in the ruins of an office building.
There's a lot of art-technical challenges in that, though, and those are taking a bit longer than expected since I'm now shooting for something more dense and interesting.
Anyway, our new target is "sometime this week" for that first screenshot. But that's still subject to change, as usual -- I want to have even our first screenshot be one that really blows people away and gets everyone even more excited. We're getting close to that, but there are still a lot of balls in the air, so to speak.
More soon! And yes, the images in this post are actually direct in-game images, so you can at least see a bit of what we're working on.