Today I submitted the Alpha-1 build of WoRFC to be distributed to the Alpha testers. Once it’s approved and distributed, this will be the first “out in the wild” exposure the game has gotten where I won’t be in the room when the other person views it.
It’s both a very exciting and very anxious time.
I’m excited to hear what people think, get their feedback and fix any problems they uncover. I’m anxious that they’ll find a zillion problems about which I don’t already know and my workload-until-done will suddenly triple.
I guess that’s a good thing — if we find lots of problems and fix them — it’s just a little nerve-wracking to think about the potential extra load. Still, better early-testers find things in Alpha and Beta than The General Public find them, after it’s released.
The idea of a bunch of not-family having an early peek at the app is kind of exciting, too.
In other news, today (and recently) I fixed a few bugs, enhanced the market & crafting views and added “one-time” infrastructure, along with a few one-time events. A one-time is when a special note pops up the first time something happens to let you know about how that thing is different/special. For example, when your robot’s battery starts to get very low, a one-time pops up to tell you about it, and assigns a mission to build a generator and recharge the battery.
Beta-task countdown: 17 (+28) 
 “Alpha” means pre-Beta. The app is stable (as far as I know), but it is not feature complete. In fact, it’s not even content complete (a lot of content shows up as a big, red “image-missing” image). The testing is similar — look for problems and report them — it’s just a little more “raw” and the whole thing is absolutely “not yet ready for prime-time.”
On the one hand, being an Alpha-tester is exciting and cutting edge. On the other hand, it’s sort of a Pain In The Rear, as an awful lot of stuff isn’t fully-baked, yet.
Still, Alpha-tester feedback helps make for a better Beta experience, so that’s cool. For me, anyway. 🙂
“Beta” means “feature complete”, though there are likely bugs, and balancing issues, and perhaps room to add more content.
 Though I was noticing that most of these are “bigger” tasks, since I’ve been whittling down the list by taking all the “easy” ones. Nothing really huge, but there aren’t many “3 or 4 in a day” items left.
Also, I made a “Beta 1.1” list, which is things that used to be on the Beta-1 list, and I think they’re probably implemented/fixed, but I haven’t really tested them and I’ll have to spend some time making sure. Fortunately, those items should be in the “dozens a day” category (hope, hope!) There are actually 28 of those.
 An intersting thing in software: almost everybody has a slightly-different definition of “Alpha” and “Beta”; they’re usually very similar, but maybe not quite the same. When I say “Alpha means…” or “Beta means…”, I mean “…when I say it.” 🙂