On the Eve of the First "Preview" Build
Hello again! It's been some time since you've heard from us (unless you frequent our Discord server here: https://discord.gg/cJXzN4z ,which we recommend for regular updates!), but we wanted to be doubly sure our next update was a big one. Of course, that came with the unfortunate side-effect of postponing our first playable build, but we think it'll be much better for it! Anyone still expecting a simple Android port of our iOS prototype is about to be pleasantly surprised...
If there's a central theme of these past few months, it would definitely be: short-term sacrifices for long-term gains!
Over-simplified for sure, but if you want the juicy technical details, read onwards! Or if reading isn't your thing, check out our latest dev vlog to absorb all this new information in video form below:
The What, When, and Where
"What is in this first build?"
You'll be able to log in using your Medley ID and play a few variations of Endless mode, for the purposes of testing our account backend and new control options. Players on mobile are limited to touch as usual, but with the new PC / Mac versions of the game, players can use their mouse or gamepad to swap blocks as well!
Multi-directional swapping on a gamepad will be an interesting new challenge, but we'll also include an option to use a more classic method - the horizontal cursor - to swap blocks in the same way we know and love.
While we'll be testing the new gameplay servers hosting these Endless mode matches, the full implementation of multiplayer / online play will be added in a later build.
"When can we expect the first playable build?"
We're currently on track to release it in the middle of March! (hopefully even earlier) Once we're over this first technical mountain, the foundation will be laid to make future updates / modes / content much faster.
"Where can we download it?"
This part we're excited about: while the first build will be shared directly to our followers via Discord as a simple .exe (on Windows), App (on Mac), or .apk (on Android), all future beta builds will be publicly accessible on all major markets. No fumbling around with Apple's Testflight or the Google Play equivalent, just head to your respective mobile app store (or Steam on PC/Mac) and download nice and easy.
We'll provide more instructions on how to download and run the game leading up to this first "off the grid" release, so stay tuned! Especially on our Discord which is where we'll likely distribute the download links. (here's that invite link once again: https://discord.gg/cJXzN4z )
Under the Hood
In our recently posted vlog, we introduced the game engine we are now using - HaxeFlixel - and its vital role in making Super Plexis truly multi-platform. We also touched on other important milestones achieved in the past few months: the launch of our website, our custom ID / account system, and having all associated database/server structures up and running.
Introducing HaxeFlixel! (...what is it exactly?)
To use very non-professional terminology: HaxeFlixel is our cross-platform magic wand, allowing us to write code once that translates natively to any target platform we choose (if you skip to the end of our last vlog, you'll see a pristine example of how it continues to impress us). This means we don't have to start from scratch each time we put Super Plexis on a new platform. It also means when we update the game, those changes can be easily distributed to all platforms quickly.
"Haxe" on its own is a high-level cross-platform programming language, while "Flixel" is a 2D game engine built on top of it. Then Open FL gets involved and...well, here, look these charts if you're curious:
...still here? Anyhow, this is a game changer for us (quite literally! Super Plexis is being rebuilt as a new game from the ground up) and all the time, research, and work gone into preparing these foundations are about to pay off for the first time in a playable way!
Also worth noting that the Nintendo Switch remains among the available platforms we can distribute to when the time comes (with a little extra preparation required) despite it not being listed in the charts above.
Thank you all again for sticking with us through this crazy ride of ours. We're just two guys with still so much to learn, and feel hardly worthy of the everyone's kindness and patience up to this point. But because of it, we're as inspired as ever to deliver something we hope everyone will enjoy!
See you at the first build!
- The Medley Studio Team