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Is the finish line in sight?

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To kick off the 8th year, how about something game development related?

Duck Tiles needs a to-do list. I realize that I could tweak with it and futz with it until Panama freezes over, so it needs a clear finish line. My goal today is to make a detailed "to do" list of everything that remains.

And there ain't much. Just toying and tweaking with it. Maybe handing it out to a couple of trusted friends for comment. It still needs an install program even though it's just a single .EXE file with no other runtime DLL's.

About the only thing I'm still not 100% happy about is the music. It's certainly servicable, fits well with the mood of the game, and was the right price (free). But it's a bit too mechanical and MIDI-ish in my opinion. It's a silly game, and the music needs a tad more whimsy and a little less control.

Got a pal from Seattle who offered to give it a listen and give his opinion. He's currently working for an all-tin-drum band, which certainly seems whimsical enough for a puzzle game about ducks. I've also got a cousin who's done music for documentaries. I probably ought to contact him to let him give a listen.

From my experience music guys are, by and large, utter flakes. If I had to make a rule about working with music or art guys, it'd be "hire ten of 'em on spec, then pay the one who actually gives you a result".

Speaking of art, I'd like a pixel artist to give the game a look. The board look is consistent (3D shaded stuff taken from three different sources), but it's a tiny bit muddy. I'm wondering if some hand-drawn pixel or vector art would be better for the game board itself.

See, I'm doing it. I'm thinking too hard about it. It's a good game just as it is. I need to wrap it up and set it free.

Here's the screenshot if you don't recall.

Looking at the picture, though, the bitmaps don't look muddy. I guess I'm just used to looking at 'em closeup. There's a bit of a duality between the rendered stuff (the ducks) and the hand-drawn stuff (the walls and bubbles and drain), but I don't think anyone would even care if I didn't point it out. I just think too hard about stuff. I haven't released a game in quite a long time, and I'm just too worried that it won't be well-received when it hits a publisher's desk.

In any case, if you're a music or sprite guy who wants to give it a look, contact me.

Oh, and there's a bug crawling on your leg.
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Here's the graphical litmus test:

If it looks better than this:

Then you are doing OK.

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