This weekend’s progress feels less substancial then the last’s – but I think objectively it has been a very good weekend. There was a lot of xml (the data files) editing to tweak the sound paramaters and other settings. It is a bit overwhelming. I also did a lot of play testing and fixed a lot of crash issues. At one point I would play for about a minute, crash, fix the crash, then repeat the process. This happened about 4 times. Small stuff like switching from one view to another – after issuing a command in “command mode.” While coding I don’t switch views since I want to see the action complete, but during regular game play this (unforseen combinations of actions) happens often.
This highlights the importance of a regular release cycle – which forces me to play test and polish. If I left all the small issues to be fixed at the end of the project, I think it would be a huge mistake – I’d be buried under a pile of bugs. As it is it takes about 2-3 days of bug testing to get a fairly reasonable state out of the game. And although I think I mention this often – it feels good to fix these bugs, giving me more confidence in the project.
There is however a seemingly ominous crash bug, I’m re-using a few of the same sound files in different instances and it looks like sometimes a file isn’t being released before it is asked to be re-used by the file system causing a crash (file not available error), this is somewhat roaming of a bug appearing in different spots. The solution might be not to re-use sound files for hits and explosions – since these tend to happen quite often. We’ll see.
During the play testing I again realize that there is a bit of a play gap during which the player is waiting on resources. Recently I’ve been playing the THQ bundle and those games don’t tend to have any downtime, so it strikes me a bit in my project. I have to rememmber that my game is a bit different and more niche, players might not mind some moments of peace to consider strategy.