The past 2 weeks have been spent on control mapping. This also included some re-factoring of the control code. For example before the refactoring – the code/engine logic for commands issued via keyboard and joystick were completely separate. Now all input devices share the same logic. So whatever the device you can issue the same commands, and they all work
I also decided to “quickly” (took about 3 days) refractor the options menus – there were two of them. So now there is a shared “options menu” in the “main menu” and “in game menu” states. This means that adding more options will be easier as I wouldn’t have to do it in two places or decide which place it should go.
Today – finally – I started polishing up for iter 16. Command ship abilities are re-enabled (didn’t want to post pone iter 15 any longer so I took them out right before releasing iter 15) and I’ve done a few other little tweaks – including a “LOADING…” splash screen, so that new players won’t think that the game crashed right after double clicking on the game’s shortcut.
Going to spend the next two or so week adding/polishing up additional “little things” – which tends to feel very satisfying
It has been a year since Drew died. I often think about him. Especially when I run the game and see his art and contributions. I think that he would enjoy the new additions to the project. I wish he was here to seen them.
Things are getting more and more complex and the small issues that crop up that need to be polished/fixed when prepping a release are getting bigger. One small fix leads to 3 unintended consequences needing their own fixe and sometimes it seems like it won’t ever end. My mind gets blurry thinking of all the different little things I’ve had to deal with. But here we are at iteration 15 – hopefully mostly bug free *fingers crossed*
Yesterday while polishing up iter 15 I felt like this is one of those really good days, got to work on something I love, fix it up, make it better and see the results. Today I was still on that high, but constant tests and fixes and tests – were starting to grinding me down. Still there’s no other way around this, but perseverance.
Iteration 15 is actually less polished than I’d like – I intentionally ignored some issues and improvements to the story – if I hadn’t then it would take another week to a month to polish. The goal is to get feedback on iter 15 – mostly in terms of story/difficulty/gameplay – polish it up while adding in key mapping – leading into relatively quick release of iteration 16. Which will hopefully lead to a Steam Greenlight campaign and beyond. So we are coming up on some very important events in the history of the project. Hopefully most of them will work out
I feel very proud of this release but also a bit anxious to hear that it doesn’t have some issue. Tomorrow I’ll work on the trailer for iter 15 then start working on iter 16.
Hopefully towards the end of this upcoming week.
Spent last week putting the finishing touches on the story mode – its fairly wrapped up now, but I have to have a full play through. Lots of bugs cropp up and testing is taking longer and longer due to the increase of variables – for example bugs due to a play through without saving/loading, bugs due to saving/loading – both scenarios have to be tested, and doing a full play through – though not extremely long at this point, does take some time. Still as usual whenever I fix bugs and play test I feel good about the project. Though I’m trying to avoid too much polish for iter 15 – iter 16 should follow shortly (hopefully within or around a month) and the plan is to polish that one more so than iter 15 – hopefully with the addition of player feedback.
There were some glaring engine sound and particle effect flaws that kept poking me in the face due to the testing play through, so I spent a bit of time on them and greatly improved, yay – they were very annoying. Ships often wouldn’t stay at their intended speed, or would never reach zero speed, but they’d fluctuate between 0.1 and -0.1 or some similar values. Most of this should go away now. However in fixing these for ships I seem to have dinged them for missiles, they are strangely drunk in their flights, totally missing their targets, have to fix before releasing.
Late yesterday and all of today I focused on re-doing the tutorials with the new dialog and trigger systems. Each take a very long time, but I’m mostly done. I’m having a bit of a struggle adding that bit of something special to make them more interesting. I have some ideas, but comedy and writing aren’t my strong points. However the tutorials are looking and feeling better. Changing the story and setting makes them a lot easier to work with and think about. Before the story changes the player would start in the “rock guys” faction as I call it, but the tutorials were played in the “green guys” faction. So it was a bit awkward, now that the player starts with the green guys the tutorials match up well. So I’m thankful for this change and turn of events as well.
Speaking of the story changes – some thoughts are being tossed around internally that I think are very promising on that front. There were some vague ideas on the story, but I think we’ve caught onto something simple, yet interesting. That will allow us to combine elements into a very nicely fitting package. Sorry for being so vague, but otherwise I’d be posting story spoilers.