When I started working on Beta-1 tasks at the end of scheduled User-Testing, there were 59 items on the list. After a few days of heavy testing, that shot up to 79. After about a week, I got it down to 68, then 60, then 58 — yay, forward progress!
I’m currently down to 46 items (+ 30 “keep an eye on this and make sure it stays fixed, this time!” items), and I suspect I’m very near the end of finding bugs and can get back to implementing features.
I’ve started browsing artist portfolios looking for something to catch my eye and develop for worfc.
I initially thought that I wanted standard “normal” game art, with a slightly silly/fun bent (in my placeholder art, I use bad-assed Bender as my iconic robot with a “photobomb” by the Android icon. This makes me smile.) However, after viewing dozens of portfolios, I’m now remembering all the “sketch-<whatever>” and other games I’ve played with off-beat or “weird” art, and how I’ve rather enjoyed those.
So now I’m trying to decide if I should stick with traditional-style or do something a bit unusual, and my eye has been more drawn toward the unusual.
I probably won’t go full-on cubist or Pollock — for one thing, I’m not even sure how it’d be possible to weave that into a game! — but I’ve been exploring some “alternate” (for iOS games, anyway) styles and am excited to see how they might turn out.
More on that (with screenshots), once I actually connect with an artist and commission some work but, in the mean time, I just wanted to float my thoughts.
If you have ideas (or want to recommend artists!), feel free to mention that in the comments.
Whew! I finally implemented the market where you can buy & sell goods.
Of course, I still need to create tons & tons of content to make it worthwhile, but the basics are in there.
I also did some reworking of all the list-based views, so you can toggle open/closed items by section. So, for example, if what you’re crafting is Machinery, you can collapse the Materials and Tools tabs to get a better view of the items in Machinery. I’ll post some pictures once I’ve got some more content loaded, so it makes more sense.
This week, in between “real work”, I’m working on saving the farm up to the user’s account on the server, and loading it back from same. (Previously, for testing, we just cached the farm on the device or, sometimes, reset to the start-farm.)
Let’s go shopping! 🙂
Had first User-Test 2 (UT2) today.
It went well, but… Whew!
The good news is: all the stuff that was hard before is now much better and much easier. Also good is that we uncovered a few more things that are still hard. I suppose we could list as not-bad (and, hence, good 🙂 ) the fact that the remaining hard stuff wasn’t so bad as to require a UT3 before beta, though I’ll probably put one together, anyway.
That said, whoo-boy! did we ever come up with a fairly long list of “how the @#$% does that work?!?!” items!
S’okay. We’ll get it fixed. It’ll be good before we ship.
…Because I care. 🙂
Well, that wasn’t as harrowing as I’d feared. I believe all of my leaks have been plugged, and a few other obscure bugs fixed, to boot!
It turns out that modern-day IDEs (I’m currently using XCode 6.3) have amazingly powerful tools to aid the developer in tracking down issues. Yay!
Now the long (79 items!) list of Beta to-fix and to-implement, then we’ll have our first public exposure! Drop me an email if you want to be part of the Beta. (You’ll need an iPad, and preferably have a little time to spend with the game and to send feedback.)
Developer types: worfc is an ARC project.
Non-devs: worfc’s code makes use of an automatic memory management system that tremendously simplifies things for the developers. By and large, memory-leaks are a thing of the past. A leak is when you allocate some memory, then don’t release it when you are finished using it. Over time, your app takes up all of the system’s memory and the user experiences a sudden “crash” as the OS says “sorry, you’re taking up too many resources” and boots the app. Under ARC, the OS takes care of 99.44% of this on the programmer’s behalf and we generally don’t have to worry about it.
…Except when we do.
Anyway, it’s supposed to be difficult-to-impossible to have leaks under ARC but, in testing UT2, I discovered that I somehow managed to have some. In addition, I managed to do it in some tricky way that’s difficult for the leaks tools to pinpoint.
“Working on it!”
I was sick for much of last week. It was the kind of sick where my head was all stuffed up which made it difficult to breath and gave my eyes a swollen feeling, all of which combined to make it difficult to get any work done. On top of which I had some actual paying work I needed to do for a client, so worfc kind of got the short end of the stick, this week.
I was getting all excited to announce User Test 2 was ready to go but then, on testing, I realized it had several glaring problems. I like the new, streamlined interface, but some of the missions didn’t work and others were a bit difficult without better help, plus I found a couple of glaring bugs.
So, this weekend (hope you all had a Happy Easter!), I pounded all of that out and now I think it’s pretty close. I still need to do a complete walk-through myself but, the last time, I was most of the way through and these most recent fixes should take me to then end.
Hope, hope, hope! 🙂
There are currently 69 cases — mostly features, but also a few bug fixes — for beta, so I’m guessing that is still 4-6 weeks away. Still, as I’ve said before, things are going quickly, so it’s fun to work on, and I’m pretty excited to see the first “fully functional” game.
That is, assuming that UT2 (scheduled next weekend) doesn’t show any huge problems.