I think I’ll officially call an iteration released when the demo is updated. Its available on the main site so check it out – although it doesn’t feature new content like the Kickstarter Beta does – it does feature changes, fixes, etc. For example unit caps, the unlock system, and modding improvements. Pilot names are also in game now – this is a Kickstarter reward where those who pledged get an option to submit a name into a pilot’s database. These names now get randomly assigned to ships, so you can fly with people that helped fund the project.
So – this week was a bit of a slog. I was burned out, I had pretty big plans for it, and maybe accomplished half of what I wanted to accomplish. Putting out the Kickstarter Beta really took a toll on me – don’t get me wrong its an important step. When the immediate deadline was passed, and then when I released the promised update – the pressure eased so the burnout crept in.
Still there were a bunch of areas that needed immediate improvement so I mostly focused on those. Most important was modding support which I dinged when I added in the unlock system. The great thing about the new modding support is that it helps me out in a significant way. Part of releasing an update is me sorting data and media files from my – its all in there – folders to the limited Demo/Kickstarter Beta folders, then testing whether I got it all. Often I don’t and crashes happen, and then I have to hunt down the missing file. If it happens to be late at night – as is usual where I lose some sleep trying to put out a release well the toll of it being late adds up and this multiplies the – can’t find the damned thing – effect.
So the modding directory allows me to separate files – while I’m working on them. So this will greatly diminish the whole – separate for release aspects - since the files are now separated, and as I add in ships I’ll move files from the mod directory to the main directory. Very happy about this.
I also fixed a bunch of bugs – one of them I almost gave up on. I was doing final tests last night and setup a mine field, then had a ship fly into them – to make sure the explosion files were all ok. The game crashed. I tested the same thing in my development environment and the game didn’t crash. I thought that I was missing a file, so I duplicated the file structures, still a crash in the release and no crash in the development. An hour later – I almost gave up and disabled mines – but I told myself to keep going and found the bug, I didn’t properly initialize some values and the difference in release and development environments caused a crash. Very happy with myself that I didn’t give up because sooner or later this would have caused me more grief.