Engine changes, refactoring
For the past months, I've been working on several new things, balancing, adding bit more content, changing firecraft and tweaking many other aspects of gameplay. One major thing has been Engine Upgrade. I've upgraded Unity engine to 5.4 and this has been mostly a good thing, but it also meant of upgrading Playmaker (3rd party system). In addition to tweaking gameplay, I've gone through some major improvements "behind the scenes". New location save system works better for me in order to keep on updating the game.
Another very big improvement is the new inventory system. This alone took a month to do with handling all the user interface changes, changing how items are done, redoing all throw away / use / disassemble / other actions.
All this produced some garbage I needed to get rid of. There were unnecessary code that I threw away. When removing something, it might affect few other things that also need refactoring.
Back to this day... alpha testing
I'm gathering a group of players to test the game. First test round is about simply... button mashing. I want players to try break the game. Crash the game. Find any problems with it. Today I made a new build for you players to try out... and it turned out that a recent change had caused problems. Here's a chain of events.
Happened during the past 24 hours:
- I checked out main menu SCENE that I hadn't touched for a while (in Unity, Scenes are treated bit like "levels" or "main menu" etc)
- I noticed a new error I had not noticed earlier. I wanted to get rid of it, and the solution I was presented was: upgrade Playmaker.
- I made a backup and upgraded... and the error vanished.
- But... another error appeared. I removed some bits of playmaker to get rid of the error and eventually it turned out that some changes were incompatible.
- After some debugging, I decided that I will remove Playmaker completely. I would do any animations somehow differently instead. I was reasoning that similar had happened to me earlier: trying to upgrade Unity Engine is not easy if 3rd party software is not up-to-date. And bearing in mind it's been 2 years since I've started this project.
- Anyway - I removed Playmaker. And this resulted in a dozen of problems in my game objects. I managed to fix all of them by removing some unnecessary code but few problems remained...
- ...and that's where we are now. I'm disabling rest of the animations and I'm building a new version. I decided to have a cup of coffee and write this blog post though first.
The new version is upon us. I will fix those final few errors by disabling animations and I will get new version to alpha testers.
And then alpha testers can start mashing buttons and breaking the game.
After alpha testing (In a week or so), I'll enable some features and we go for beta testing where gameplay testing begins. That's where the juicy stuff happens. And after one week (or so) in beta testing I will fix any major bugs and then we go for public release of version 200 for Android.
And after that it's the IOS porting.
Thanks for your patience.
Stay tuned. Getting closer to release day.
P.S. To join alpha testing please join the mailing list.