From: Canberra, Australia
This is my first day back in the saddle down under. I really enjoyed the Band of Gamers tour of the Ardennes organised by Richard and his brother Mark. Had a ball.
The game is nearly done. However, there are still a few niggling issues to address, like getting the Germans to be more aggressive at the start. Taking the time to go and see the terrain has helped in a number of ways. First I got to appreciate just how few places within the Ardennes there are that armour can deploy cross country. It's very much a case of sticking to the roads. This awareness led me to ponder that one possible reason for the current delays with the German advance is that the AssessToChangeFormation code is forcing the German motorised elements to deploy into non road column formations in terrain they shouldn't consider doing so. I'll be looking into this directly.
The trip also gave me a wonderful opportunity to discuss a whole range of options and issues with Richard. I continually raised matters in a vain attempt to slow down Richard's driving, especially around those dog leg bends that hug the precipitous slopes. This tactic of mine was only marginal successful, though. I kept my cool except on one occassion when I yelled out "Sh*t" as I swore we were headed for the drink below the bend. Richard, as cool as a cucumber, asked me if I had said "shift" and remarked that yes he probably should have changed gear as we narrowly made the bend.
Anyway it's full steam ahead now. I will be addressing the remaining bugs and making a few tweaks to improve the AI. Paul is working on the demo version and a few other issues to help us migrate our development environment to VS2008. Richard and the other beta bunnies will be testing and refining the scenarios. Supply stocks and repleneshment rates need to be reviewed.
A December 16 release would be both nice and poignant, but I'm not sure the game will be rock solid by that time. We will see.