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Monday, June 22, 2020

The Heroes are in the Underworld

Adventurer's Log

Game Day 1: I have survived a terrible shipwreck. What town is this? I must find companions to aid me in my quest. I have a Writ of Authority but will anyone else heed the call?

Game Day 7: Our visit to the Captain's Quarters pub did not go well. Nox Aetros should not have tried to out-swear that pirate. We barely escaped the ensuing brawl with our lives. At least we managed to find a ship to purchase.

Game Day 8: Ship sunk in a storm.

Game Day 12: Back in Castle Suurtheld. The undead Guardians that we ran into were tougher than we thought. I was the only one to survive, but I managed to drag my fallen comrades back to the healer. The healer did not appreciate being woken up in the middle of the night...

Progress Report

We are pleased to announce that the first round of final testing has begun!

"Final testing" may sound like a quick double check before shipping, but it's more involved than that. An overview follows of the current status and next steps.

All content has been added to the game, the large backlog of bugs identified during content creation has been resolved, and we're now focused on playtesting the game, tweaking the balance, and fixing more bugs as they crop up. This is a lot of work (and a lot of fun!) and it will take some time. As always, we will provide updates on how things progress.

In other news, we've ordered a test copy of the game manual from Lulu Press. Weighing in at 108 pages, the game manual covers everything from how to play the game, character creation, adventuring, spells and monsters, and even how to avoid those pesky jesters. Plus, this will be our first look at the Denis Loubet manual cover painting in full color on the actual product, and we can't wait to see it!

Game Enhancements

We've decided to upgrade the disk labels from paper-backed gold foil to a much sturdier polypropylene with a glossy laminate. Although it's a bit more expensive, things are going well with the project budget and we hope you agree, they look really cool!

Several of you expressed a desire for an "old-school" Apple II font, with the color-fringed text like the original Wizardry. We managed to squeeze in some extra room on the floppy disks, and now you can choose one of two fonts: Bill Giggie's custom Nox Archaist font, or the old-school Apple II font.

Pub Rumors

Irene in the Everton pub has heard a rumor about a new CRPG on Kickstarter called Corven - Path of Redemption. Billed as a spiritual successor to Ultima, the project is a story-driven, open world, real-time RPG that has the endorsement of Richard Garriott, aka Lord British. Mark and Chris are both backers. You can find more information and download a demo here and back the Kickstarter here.

Be sure to join us at Virtual KansasFest 2020, on July 24-25, for lots of Apple II and other retro computer awesomeness. We'll be doing a presentation on Nox Archaist, showing the Mockingboard music we added to our double hi-res splash screen and more. Register here for KansasFest.

By our next update, we hope to have testing in full swing. At that point we'll be able to give a firmer date for game release. We're still hoping for a late August release, but this depends upon how final testing goes, and whether our local situations with COVID-19 make it practical to physically get together, or whether we need to split the disk copying across multiple locations and then ship the disks to a final location for assembly and fulfillment.

We'll talk to you soon!

-Mark and the 6502 Workshop Team

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  1. Exciting, looking forward to the KFest presentation! I understand nostalgia and all, but Bill Giggie's font looks awesome. Thanks for the update, you're making history!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Your compliments and enthusiasm are much appreciated!