The week was mostly spent on unlockable scenarios. Its strange how long they take seeing as a cutscene is about 30 or so seconds, it might take several hours to create. What happens is that there tend to be game engine needs for new triggers and camera functions. This is overall good news since the more added the more possibilities in missions and cutscenes down the line, they are re-usable.
A lot of time is spent where I think to myself – ok what’s next. I have a broad picture of the mission/cutscene/scenario and when it comes to creating it I bump up against walls. Walls like – ok that aspect isn’t ready so I have to modify it. For example I wanted to involve cargo pods and trading ships. But to do so I’d need a AI for transferring pods, I have one for the ships, but don’t have a way of scripting it via XML – so hopefully down the line. I couldn’t invest time into this due to trying to reach Beta.
Then I did play testing, and a bunch of bugs cropped up and scripting errors. Hopefully most were fixed. Then I setup the installer, and I ran into issues (as usual) where I’d not include some asset (eg: model, texture, or xml file) that is needed and crash. It didn’t help that I was doing this late at night and had many windows opened up at the same time of seemingly identical data.
Still Beta was released and over this weekend I added in some polish. For example to put modding back in (the unlock system dinged it) and also to ease the transition from the in house version to the Beta/Demo version I setup a modding directory. I split my data and media files from the release and mod directories, so as I add ships to the released versions I’ll move them from the mod to release directories. Should have done this a while ago, but releases were sparse so there wasn’t a huge need. Now that I plan on releasing more frequently plus more polished versions (as we near the commercial release) this will help out a lot.
Its funny because there are some aspects of the game I am very proud off, and they amaze me. And some I go – ugh that’s terrible, there are very clear flaws. Issuing commands, formations, selecting ships, and many AI elements. There are also problems with pacing that I’ll have to look at. Plenty to do.