A little over two weeks ago I presented Positron to the gaming press at a Tiga sponsored Discovery event. At the event I showed some Positron footage, had people play the game and announced my plans to release the game over 12 platforms (as a start)!
The graphic above shows the evolution of my engine and all current supported platforms. The engine has grown throughout Positron's development and is heavily tuned towards running this kind of game but I do plan to use it for other games later in the year.
It all started two years ago, I had the idea for Positron having played similar games on iOS and Android and feeling let down by the quality and also the variety of gameplay. I started developing Positron using XNA for Xbox 360 and soon got the game running on Windows Phone 7 and PC too.
I began thinking more about commercial viability and decided to take my time with development and marketing to better promote the game on launch, I also thought about porting to other (more lucrative) platforms and began porting my engine to C++ for platforms like iOS and Android.
A while passed, making very little progress with the game (working on it in my spare time alongside my full time job in digital media and marketing). Then in June 2012 I started working for a local games studio (TickTock Games in Wakefield) working primarily on mobile games. I was so impressed with the structure of the in-house game engine and how well it abstracted out all the platform specific functions that I decided to go and restructure my own engine. This was at a time when I probably could have released Positron but I was thinking about the ease of porting it to new platforms and maintainability of the code. I wanted it to be as simple as possible to port to new potential platforms and be able to update the game code and just have it work (magically) on all devices.
So here we are, over two years have passed since I first started work on this game, working on it whenever I have a spare hour on a morning or in the evenings, and I'm really happy with the state of my engine and the game in general. I am maintaining two branches of my engine currently, one still written in C# (with support for Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, and now also PlayStation Mobile support), and the other in C++ (supporting Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry, Mac, PC, and Linux). The structure of the engine is identical between branches though the underlying implementations are very different. All of this complexity is hidden away from the user and most wouldn't understand the amount of work that has gone in to creating this engine allowing me to release my game across as many platforms as possible!
Over the past year I've probably had a few hundred people ask me when the game is going to be released, and my answer has always been 'it's nearly finished', but that was when talking about the latest platform I was learning and porting to. I'm not finished with the porting (at least for the moment) and I've finalised the engine's design for the first release of Positron.
My release schedule is to aim for an initial release some time in mid-April, likely on Xbox 360. I will then be releasing the game on one new platform each week for the following eleven weeks! That's 12 releases in 12 weeks. Now if you've counted the potential platforms on the list above you'll notice there are a lot more than just 12 (and could be more platforms supported in the future) but my plan is to reach 12 within the 12 week period, any more following that will be a bonus.
So, why 12 weeks? The game has been ready to release for a few months now, with the exception of my tweaking and constant playing with particles and UI graphics it's done. I could've already released it on 5 or 6 platforms but instead spent all my time learning new platforms, procrastinating and not looking to release the game! The time for action is now and I'm spreading out the releases by one week to give my Wife and I ample time to send out media, contact the press and market each new unique platform release before it's available to buy. It's going to be a very busy time but I'm really looking forward to release and can't wait to get the game out there and see what people think.
I'd also like to thank Neil Sutcliffe, Chris Walker, Eduardo Teixeira and Laura Caine for all their work on this game and for believing in me and in Positron. It's been a long time coming but I hope those guys are all as excited as I am about the impending release of the game!
Over the next few weeks more media and information will be made available and I'm always happy to send test builds to the press if you'd like to try the game before release.