Lately I have had no time to write new blog entries, as I've have been very busy fixing and preparing stuff in Wesnoth's mainline for 1.6. Similarly, my Wesnoth add-on Invasion from the Unknown experienced a new rebirth in December 2008 when I finally got around to make it work properly with Wesnoth 1.5.x and fix some quirks in the mainline game engine which I noticed in the process.
I wouldn't have made it without the support of... heck, too many people actually.
My biggest thanks go to the now MIA Wesnoth Developer and website Administrator, Cycholka/Mist. He made the initial port of IftU for Wesnoth 1.5.0 or 1.5.1 on May 2008, with some help from wmllint and manual fixing, and encouraged me to continue fixing and improving the campaign in this new development branch. He demonstrated great interest in seeing it eventually mainlined. It's a shame that he disappeared shortly after the Grand Wesnoth.org Hard-Disk Crash of July 2008 - not without restoring and repairing the severely damaged website, of course.
Mica and Espreon are some of the youngest members of the community, but without their enthusiasm and encouragement, even IftU for 1.4.x would have been abandoned. Actually, I'd have abandoned even greater things than IftU or Wesnoth without their support. It's also a shame that Mica disappeared last December.
ESR's encouragement and help with the text revisions helped me get around to start improving IftU from Cycholka's port, adding stuff not seen before in the 1.4.x versions. However, ESR went missing for a time, and I got distracted with mainline development. It was not until Patterner, Elvish Pillager, and Loonycyborg started playtesting the half-broken, non-released IftU for 1.5.x around August, that I didn't realize that it was worth the effort to salvage the campaign.
AI0867 removed most of the pressure I had during that time by taking over my role as the lead administrator of Wesnoth-UMC-Dev. He also contributed some critical bugfixes to IftU's WML and English text strings. Kitty's work on the original portraits since October made me take a new route in RL, and at the same time, summon all the possible manpower to polish IftU, fix most (if not all) regressions from 1.4, overhaul some of my original sprites, and get Invasion from the Unknown version 1.10.1a released on Christmas Eve, 11:30 PM CLT (GMT-04:00 + DST) - not without releasing two interim test releases: 1.10.0 and 1.10.1. After releasing IftU, I got my Christmas present from my parents: a new laptop. Just what I needed!
It was a bumpy path indeed, and 1.10.0 was actually scheduled to be released on November 10th 2008. That didn't happen due to the extreme bugginess of the mainline engine at that moment. At the end, the campaign's definitive release announcement on the Wesnoth.org forums is probably the longest one I have written for a long time.
At the moment, mainline is in good shape for 1.6 (with the first Release Candidate published today) and my attention is directed to IftU yet again. Although since the Xmas 2008 release there has been some development in it (1.10.2, 1.10.3, 1.10.4, 1.10.5, 1.11.0 and 1.11.1 have been released, not counting today's 184.108.40.206), there's still lots of things to improve. Recently Solsword brought up some continuity issues in IftU scenarios 3, 8x and 10, which I have addressed, and contributed some text revisions. Thespaceinvader contributed new graphics and code for the Water Serpent unit, and Kitty contributed portraits for a major enemy boss, portraits which certainly exceeded my expectations.
I'm looking forward to see how Kitty will depict the last major enemy boss in IftU, the Shadow Master himself (oh noes!). I also look forward to animate the Elyssa and Shadow Master sprites, and overhaul part of the Shaxthal unit tree (and add animations while at it).