Dev Blog #5 - Roadmap Progress Update

April has officially passed us, meaning its time to look back at our road map and deliver a status update! After that first build we were very excited to be finally working on gameplay, and thanks to everyones feedback, we quickly identified what needed to be fixed and which new features we wanted to tackle.

In our most recent vlog you can see some of the progress in action (notably on block mechanics, the matching algorithm, control schemes, and a text overhaul):

And while much more progress on our goals continued off-camera, a few major complications arose as well. To walk through one example: we always do mock-ups of new features and UI before committing things to code. Here are a few of those low-detail black and white menu drafts focused around “Arcade” mode:


In this case, as we were deciding on how best to approach player lobbies and party functionality, we found that accommodating multiple cursors in these multiplayer menus wouldn’t be possible with the way inputs were programmed for last month’s build. Looking further into the issue revealed that a full rewrite of input code would be needed to support this (something that wasn’t originally part of our roadmap). While multiplayer isn’t planned to be finished for the next build, it’s risky to put off such a fundamental system for later, especially when building new gameplay and UI on top of it.

And in case you’re curious what some of those mock-ups looks like with semi-finished assets, here’s a sneak peak! (very much still subject to change):


So while there was substantial time spent attending to these unexpected-but-important overhauls (not even mentioning the content and text renderers which required similar rewrites), progress continued and items were checked off our list. Some items were also bumped to lower priority so that we can get to that second build release faster (even if it means less polish in some areas that aren’t vital to gameplay). With that said, here’s the items from the roadmap finished last last month:

✓ Animated blocks

✓ Animated match explosions 

✓ New control schemes

✓ Early stages of local multiplayer

✓ Arcade interface designs

✓ Block Art Refresh (added new “break” frame)

✓ Grab-and-drag single cursor rework to support touch and mouse input

✓ Detect when a player switches inputs

In addition to these completed items that weren’t initially part of the roadmap:

✓ Polished in-game mechanics related to block timings and pop order

✓ Fixed matching algorithm bug related to certain “T” configurations

✓ Content renderer overhaul

✓ Switching all in-game text to bitmap

✓ Designed new fonts, both for basic system text and textured header fonts.

Which just leaves the remaining items, re-ordered by importance with a few omissions:

  • Chain combos (this applies to all game modes)
  • Garbage blocks start to arrive after a certain level (garbage blocks apply to most game modes)
  • Health bar and damage systems
  • Game Mode Selection
  • Systems and architecture that allow players to enter and exit games smoothly
  • Support for multiple game modes (necessary before working on VS mode)
  • Client side prediction and server side correction
  • All handled over TCP / IP
  • Animated lift
  • UI and gameplay sound effects        
  • Local storage of user preferences
  • Audio settings interface
  • Video settings interface
  • Polish Background Art
  • Converting Music
  • Board shake tests
  • Controller / keyboard settings interface (not accessible if touch enabled)
  • Keyboard / mouse settings interface (not accessible if touch enabled)
  • Battle setup, countdown, health bars, and end-game interfaces
  • Beginnings of the game replay system

And lastly some new goals that will be necessary sooner than we expected:

  • Friend / Lobby System
  • Matchmaking Servers 

That about wraps it up! And the list above you could now consider our updated roadmap for the month of May. While it represents everything we want to have finished, there’s no telling what could pop up along the way, so we’ll resist the urge to set any release date estimates just yet. Despite the extra time needed for this, our goal is to get the next release as stable as possible with all foundations locked (for sure this time!) so we can finally start releasing the regular gameplay updates we’d all love to see. Thanks again for everyone’s patience!

As always, you can find us over at our Super Plexis discord here: to stay up to date on the latest info!