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 Post Starters Orders 7 development latest. 
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Post Post Starters Orders 7 development latest.
I often get emails asking about future products. At this time there are no plans for a Starters Orders 8. Starters Orders 7 is likely to remain the current desktop release for some time.

This is not to say the game won't continue to be developed but progress is likely to be fairly slow for a while. There are a number of simulation improvements and tweaks that I would like to make and some structural changes relating to how the players stables are managed over different games. It is likely these improvements don't warrant a new release and in that case a SO7 DLC may be an option. Still, this is open at the moment and plans may change. So keep posting ideas for improvements on this forum.

I also want to revisit the current SO7 easy mode (non league) soon to make it more of an option for those who want the SO6 style of 'easy' breeding progression. This is likely to be added to the current game as a patch.

The current plan is to get an Android mobile game out. Starters Orders has never been available on Android. Work is continuing with a new rendering engine aimed at mobile. Once this engine is confirmed to work as required there will also be a total rewrite of all the GUI code in order to get an interface that is designed around mobile resulting in this release being quite different from previous mobile releases (which have all been basically ports of the desktop game) and will probably use a 2D engine rather than 3D and is likely to be available on both iOS and Android. Due to the new engine and GUI rewrites this game will not be confirmed any time soon.

Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:58 pm
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Post Re: Post Starters Orders 7 development latest.
I know it's been a while so here is an update on mobile (as of March 2022).

Despite what I hinted at I have moved away from making this release a more casual game in favour of retaining the series focus on being an accurate sim. As often happens during the development process I change direction and the option of releasing a more casual app is still there and the new GUI suits this much better but this may be done at a later date. After play testing for a while I think the new GUI and new game options make this a far superior sim option to previous mobile releases and the mobile space is lacking in hard core racing sims (and to be honest this is what I prefer to do).

The menus have been redesigned and the entire GUI code has been rewritten from scratch. Having the freedom of a total redesign meant that I could retain much of the complexity of the game (instead of just removing features to fit mobile as previously) but present it in a more friendly and usable way. In practice this plays nicely and IMO has given the game a new lease of life and removes much of the clutter and clunky nature of recent releases. More relevant data and stats are available and the touch mechanic of mobile devices has been utilised to make game play much more friendly. For example entering a horse in a race is now simply a case of dragging the horse image onto a race icon. I may use this new GUI framework for other products. Possibly an updated greyhound game but right now I have no concrete plans to do this.

I have also been improving the sim side of the game as I go along. Jockeys now have more stats that affect their performance in a race. Jockey and trainer stats are both presented in a more relevant way and some are course specific. Races realism has been improved. The acceleration/deceleration model for horses was redone. Race pace code was improved. Trainer and jockey AI have both been improved. There is a new notification system for game events that can be modified by the user. Jockey and Trainer portraits use random AI generated facial images (to avoid copyright issues) but an easy to use editor allows the user to change all the names and images by importing photos and reimport these into your games. Saves are optimised to take up less space on your device and avoid related crashes. Top horse, jockey and trainer categories have all been reworked and notification included. The auctions are much easier to use. There is a gallop invite option where you pay to gallop your horse(s) with another AI trainers horse (for a fee). Notes and follow horse options are improved. There have been plenty of other sim tweaks implemented as development has progressed. So this will kind of be SO8 with a 2D race sequence and brand new GUI. I may release on the Apple Mac also as it has not had a Starters Orders release for a while. If this happens any desktop version will probably have a more full fat schedule and combined schedule (as at the moment the mobile version includes separate FLAT and JUMPS options).

Commentary uses improved text-to-speech with different nationally options for the games localities (you can also configure these voices for each nationality). So for US races you get a US accent. For those who prefer the old SO6 style commentary you also have the option of using this instead.

It is likely achievements will also be included and possibly some sort of leader board.

There is a global stable. This means any horses you breed will automatically exist outside of the game they were bred in allowing you to re-import them into other games. Overwriting one game save will not result in you losing your player bred horses.

Cloud saves are unlikely due to save game sizes but them may be utilised for the global stable. I can't confirm this yet.

While the race sequence itself bears some resemblance to the 'classic' 2D SO5 style and some older stands and animations have been reused they have been upscaled for moder high resolution mobile devices. The actual race has also been rewritten from scratch and is improved. Photo finishes have been improved. I much prefer 2D on mobile and it plays well. Currently I have not included a jockey mode but may rethink this.

The game will be released without any in-app purchases required to unlock anything. Whatever the cost of the app is that will be all that is required (although there may be options for boosting player cash should the player run out).

I develop the app on a PC but regularly test on iOS devices. It needs testing on Android but there should be no issues. At some point I will release a gameplay video for those who are interested. The game should be out sometime later this year but right now there is no date.

Thu Mar 03, 2022 1:05 pm
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Post Re: Post Starters Orders 7 development latest.
Update September 2022

As there have been some delays with the mobile release I have returned to the desktop build until the mobile issues have been fixed (mobile issues related to the third party rendering engine). Quite a few sim improvements have accumulated and these will form the basis of SO8 as they are not suitable for SO7 updates. In addition there will be a new GUI for SO8. The desktop GUI badly needs a refresh. It is highly unlikely there will be a new 3D race sequence for SO8. To redo all the courses, rendering engine and 3D assets is not an option so the focus will remain on the sim and improving the experience via the GUI with new sim features also and gameplay tweaks.

So the hope is before the end of 2023:

It is likely there will be a 3D and 2D desktop game available on the PC.
iOS and Android will get a 2D release.
The Mac may get a 2D only release.

Beyond this and later on I am hoping to give GM2 a refresh and a new GUI and it's no longer available on the Mac or mobile due to incompatibilities. The mobile games are going to stay true to the hardcore sim nature of the series but with a much friendlier interface. A more casual game is being considered but this will come after the releases above.

Mon Sep 05, 2022 10:04 am
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