Hey all! In an unexpected turn of events, one of the summer jobs I got actually allowed me to finish the development on Anathema. I was essentially doing admissions at the MN state fair from 11:00 PM to 7:30 AM, and there was just enough room for me to squeeze my brand-spankin-new iMac into the shack. 4-8 hours of nearly uninterrupted programming time every day gets s### done.
Anyways, I've been doing alpha testing for about a week now; I didn't report this sooner because I wasn't sure how much time I'd have for testing when I started my last semester of college. It's turned out to be a lighter workload than I expected, so here I am.
I don't have an ETA on beta, because due to the special ship system bug in the previous version of MC, most of chapter four is completely untested, as opposed to my usual test-every-week-or-so method. When I'm ready for beta, I'll contact the testers.
On that note, so far the following people have expressed interest:
Jalisurr, Geek, gavin83209, of doom, n64mon, godisdead132 (forum handle unknown, will contact), JoshTigerheart, Kauthor
That puts us at eight, which, assuming everybody can lend a hand, should be plenty. However, if anybody else wants to opt in, post here, send me an email (email@example.com, please include your forum handle if you have one), or send me a PM. I make no guarantees, and too many more people would probably be an unnecessary drag on the process, so if you have experience programming or modding, letting me know will significantly increase your chances of being selected. Unfortunately, even after having gutted the entire Polaris and Vell-os lines (the only ones that do not have a bridge to the Fed line), the plug uses literally every available mission resource. I think it's at 426 missions total. This means that beta testers will not be able to include their own short string as I had hoped, although those that already exist will still be there, and you will still be able to tailor your own përs.
Oh right, one more thing: thank you everybody who suggested reading to help give me a kick out of my writer's block. It was full of great ideas, some of which I took up, some of which I'll read later (managed to finish Hyperion during my stint at the fair, too).
I think that's about it! All I can say for now about the project is that I am incredibly happy with how it turned out and can't wait to share the experience with all of you!
P.S. I have been toying around with the idea of making a "hard mode" plug after release that would make some or most combat missions more difficult along with toning up enemy technology, weakening the player's faction's tech, and taking out a few advantageous mechanics. Keeping in mind that chapters 3 and 4 are going to ramp up the difficulty a notch, who here would be interested in seeing this released? Also keep in mind that due to the number of choices the player can make, the replayability should be decent.