Today is not the launch day for Sorcery! Part 2. Today is, instead, the day we reveal why Sorcery! Part 2 has taken so long. Here's the first one (and she's just gone live on the App Store right now):
We wanted to have a female avatar in Sorcery! Part 1 on release, but as a small studio taking on a risky project (a mainstream text game? In 2013?) we had to watch our budget closely. Thankfully, the first game did well enough for us to add one now. So when Sorcery! 2 is released in November, you'll be able to start a new game with either a male or female avatar.
But maybe you want to play the whole adventure as a female character? Well, you can! Grab the free update of Part 1 from App Store that went live, ooh, one minute ago, and restart the game to pick your avatar. (And if you want to try both, remember that all of your completed games will be carried over with your Cloud Save Spell into Book 2.)
But that's not all that's new...
Those with long memories will know we originally slated Kharé: Cityport of Traps to come out in August. That didn't happen, not by a long chalk. One reason was because it's big - the book hints at an entire city of traps, mutants and murderers, and a Council of Thieves at war with itself, and we wanted to take those hints and expand them into a full-blown adventure.
The resulting game is over 300,000 words long (about as long as George R. R. Martin's first Game of Thrones book) and contains nearly 10,000 options. There are 33 monsters to fight, many of which can be played in different ways depending on spells, and where they're encountered. They include a pair of flying Harpies, a subterranean Slime Eater, and an entire army of Goblins.
Such a long game didn't just take a long time to write, it also created a file so big it broke our engine. Then, after we fixed the engine to stream data on demand rather than load the whole thing upfront (yes, we're streaming text), we had to fix the save system to compress the player's game history, as it was crunching out over 5Mb per choice.
Introducing the Spell Globe
But even that's still not the full story of why we're three months overdue. The other reason is we wanted to make the game awesome, and looking back on Part 1 we realised there was one aspect we didn't think was as fantastic as it needed to be, and that was the spell-casting. It looked pretty, but it was hard for players who hadn't memorised the spellbook to avoid casting spells they didn't have the right item for. It was also fiddly to use on phone-sized screens. So we ripped out what we had and started again.
The result is an all-new system we call the Spell Globe, that gives you the entire of the screen to play with. Oh, and it looks stunning as well. Finally, when a spell is formed - if you've got the spellbook with you - it'll give you a hint as to what the spell does, and even if you've got the items that it requires. (Want the original challenge of the books? Just leave the spellbook behind in the Outpost Settlement - and we don't promise that an evil wizard won't steal the book from you at some point either.)
We've bundled the new system into the update of Part 1. So if you want to try it in advance of Sorcery! 2's release in November, you know what to do.
Not long now...
So that's the long story of why we've taken so long. But the good news is - we're done. Sorcery! 2 hit beta yesterday. We've got a few odd bugs to fix, a little bit of shine to add here and there, and then it's off to reviewers with our preview build... and into your hands November 7th, all being well. Watch this space, or join our mailing list below.
(Finally, for those waiting on the Android build... the pieces are coming together. More news soon.)