Wow, already up to the sixth week of this. Well we have a lot to talk about this week. If you didn’t see, we released a test build last week. We got quite a lot of feedback and we have been spending most of the week working on that feedback.
Our goal is to address the main complaints and get anouther build out, hopefully next week, and continue on the process of addressing the players bugs and issues on a regular basis.
This is what we did this week :
The overwhelming complaint/bug was people could just plan not play the game. It would launch, but the controls in the MAV editor where so bad most people couldn’t get a MAV built and those that did couldn’t fire their weapons in game. While I can only imagine the frustration this caused for player (sorry guys:( ) it was amazingly helpful to me. I started to examine a some of the bugs and I was able to replicate them. The weapon bug was a MASSIVE deep seated bug that had to do with data integrity when you removed a part while building. While no actual errors where generated, it created an internal cascade failure that would cause all kinds of wacky behavior. While I wish I could say it was fun to track down and fix, I can say it is fixed.
Next I wanted to address the controls. The controls I had implemented, in hindsight, only made sense for me because I knew what was going on in the background. For part navigation, left and right selected ‘sibling’ parts and up and down would select ‘parent and child’ parts. For me, since I knew this and would mentally track the relationship of the parts, it was the fastest was to navigate the parts. This however could lead to many deadends and I have to admit, the code behind it was all very temp code that was very buggy. I have changed that by making left and right cycle through all the parts. This means a player can now navigate the entire MAV with just a single button. I also improved the code base substantially to hopefully eliminate all the errors.
The next complaints dealt with the actual gameplay. While I don’t have a single report of anyone actually being able to fire their weapons, there were complaints about moving around. I had initially added a ‘feature’ (funny how bugs can be features and features can turn into bugs) on the legs to prevent them from climbing to steep of an incline. This worked well, but the angle was set so low that things you would think you could walk up, you couldn’t and would just stop in your tracks. This made me rethink the feature into a better solution. The angle limit still exists, as we don’t want to be able to walk up walls, but it has been doubled. Now though, to separation in the different types of leg classes there will be a maneuverability stat (name pending) that determines how well your legs handle inclines. The lower the stat, the slower you will go the steeper the incline is. This will also help by providing a gradual reduction in speed as you climb hills and mountains. Some legs will be better, like bipeds and tank treads, and some will be poor, like reverse joint legs and ‘hover’ types.
As for other developments, I have spent a little time improving the website. And fixing it. Over the past week our site became the target of an attack that tried to inject evil code into our files. Luckily, no evil code executed, but it did manage to mangle most of the site files, so there was a big effort to restore the site to a working order. I f you visited before we fixed it, you where likely met with a nice blank page of garbled text. We also added a message board! Gathering up the feedback from the last release was a bit difficult, it was scattered all over different message boards, comments, emails, and a lot of the time it was hard to get back with someone to ask any questions. So, we now have a nice place for people to report bugs, add ideas for the game, talk about random stuff or whatever. Make sure you sign up so I am not the only lonely member 🙂