It's finally ready, and looking more beautiful than ever: the first part of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! will be hitting the Google Play and Amazon App stores on the March 12th.
Prepare to journey through the Shamutanti Hills, face deadly foes, and explore hundreds of different branches, areas, with thousands of choices, all of which are remembered. You can save as many different play-throughs as you want, ready to pick them up in Part 2 - which is over four times as long, and adds a host of new features.
Originally released for iOS last May, Sorcery! has been described as "the gold-standard for interactive fiction" by Pocket Gamer, "taking the genre of interactive fiction to a whole new level" by Kotaku and "some of 2013's best interactive storytelling" by IGN. Sorcery! featured in Game of the Year lists for Mashable, TouchArcade and Gamezebo.
A long time coming
So - we promised this at least six months ago. Why the delay? What started as a simple port turned into a reimplementation of huge portions of Apple's core iOS codebase. We'll go into more depth in a later blog post, because it might be of interest to other developers (but no, we didn't use Apportable).
Our developer, Iain Merrick, has managed to recreate the underlying iPhone and iPad systems used for user interface, imaging, audio and much more, in around three months. Until a few weeks ago, we weren't even sure it was possible: but now, it's ready, and we have an exact port of the original game, right down to using the same original Apple-specific code.
It also means Sorcery! 2 should be quicker to produce; and we're hoping that from Sorcery! 3 onwards we'll be releasing simultaneously cross-platform.
Actually - it's not quite a copy. If you get a chance, put the Android version side-by-side with the iPad version and prepare to be amazed. The addition of a quick pixel-shader has brought the map into crisp sharpness at the closest of zooms.
(The best thing about this port? We can take that pixel-shader code right back into the iOS version.)
What news on Part 3?
For those of you who've already made your way through the Shamutanti Hills and across the deadly cityport of Kharé, rest assured: The Seven Serpents are on their way. As you'll know, we don't just replicate the original gamebooks but extend and expand them into full adventures, packed with extra routes, new scenes, secrets, traps and consequences.
So far, we've written over half a million words of content, and while Part 3 is going to be a bit different than previous instalments, its certainly not going to get simpler.
We're typing away furiously, but we've got a few more months to go. Trust us; it'll be worth the wait.