When I started working on Planitia full-bore again after the holidays were over I mentioned that I’m going to release a new beta by the end of January. I want this beta to have actual gameplay in it, and for that I need three things.

* I need to get the villages spawning new villages. They’ve been expanding for months, but once they hit the pop cap they are supposed to spawn another village nearby.

* I need to put combat back in. I ripped it out for debugging purposes – and I know it’s at least partially broken. That needs to be reactivated and debugged.

* I need to get more god powers implemented. Right now the only two that do exactly what they are supposed to are Flatten and Lightning Bolt.

I got the first two requirements done over the weekend and an amazing thing happened…

It’s a game now.

It’s got a definite beginning, requirements for success, and those requirements can be fulfilled – the game can even tell when you (or someone else) has won. The first time I crushed the AI player and had the game actually feed back to me that I’d won…well, that was a great moment for me personally.

So finally, fourteen months after I started this project (and eight months after it was supposed to have been finished), Planitia is a playable game! It’s not a very good game, but I wasn’t expecting it to be – this game is a perfect candidate for the iterative game design process.

And this means I still have two weeks to polish it up and add features before I post it. I’ve even started adding – GASP! – sound!