Here's my final release:
(coded from scratch using C++ and SFML)
Well, this was an exhausting end-march to the finish line. Celesol and I have completed the game though, and apart from some visual improvements here or there, there's nothing else we want to do on it. I mean, sure, we cut a few planned features, but I feel that overall the game doesn't suffer from their absence.
I was honestly worried that I wouldn't have been able to script all the dialog and events in time, but they all made it in. This is in contrast to my previous two times competing in this competition. Two years ago, for example (WoA 2014), my entire plan fell apart because I couldn't learn pathfinding in time (and wasted 2+ days trying), and I had to entirely change the direction of the game in the last 24 hours or so, barely slapping together something playable.
And the year before that (WoA 2013), Cele and I had a plan from the get-go for an interesting story-based visual novel, but due to scheduling conflicts beyond our control, pretty much only had three days to work on it. At the end of that contest, literally less than six hours from the deadline, I discovered I had introduced a bug into the core mechanic of the game (the dialog system) that I couldn't solve ('Source control', what's that? ), nor could I fully implement all of my artist's art in time.
I've greatly enjoyed the contests in prior years, but have always been disappointed in my own mistakes in programming and planning, and failure to adapt to changing circumstances. This year it just barely worked out, like jumping a gap in a moving train with a car, but regardless of how close I came to getting my entry entirely smashed by the train, it came out fully intact on the other side - unlike the graveyard of my train-jump attempts from years past.
Well, I've been running on fumes now for multiple days, and I've only gotten 4 hours sleep in the last three days from trying to cram dev hours during the night due to my days being booked by unrelated events. I'm going to crash soon, but here's a picture of how I feel right about now:
Thank you all for the enjoyable competition; it's an honor to be reviewed by and compete against you all. It was a tiring contest for me, but in a semi-masochistic way, it made it more enjoyable.