Not discouraged by hurricanes

November 26, 2005

This an old status update on my web-based game Engineering Faith.

I’m not dicouraged by hurricanes. Not the hurricane of bug reports, not the hurricane of invite requests, not even the hurricane named after Faith.

Okay, maybe only a tiny bit. But no worry; I should have expected the beta testers would find more bugs than I expected… right? This is just the normal one-month-into-beta panic.

For the first two weeks I fervently fixed bugs and balanced things, posting version after version. Every other day another player joined and their feedback piled on to my todo list. Bugs filed in, sometimes simple things like rounding errors that can wait for now, and sometimes fundamental things like “the game is too complex.” Oh dear.

For the second two weeks, realized how much there really is left to do, and hid under my kitchen table. Actually it was more that I realized I was failing classes, so I focused on those while my mind regrouped. I don’t even have a kitchen table actually. Actually, I was spending most of my alotted Faith time on moderating the Forum, bug system, and help system. Actually, I took hiatus to protest that they don’t actually teach Intelligent Falling in schools, actually.

Anyway, even though my exams start in two weeks, I’m back to being motivated about Faith. I have two projects to do and two exams I have to do really hardcore studying for, but that’s never stopped me before.

One of the biggest reasons to have a fairly large Beta was to find out where the imbalances were, and there’s certianly been a lot of feedback on that. Of the few dozen bugs fixed in the month, a lot were balance-related, and a lot more remaining ones are for balance. Although I’m dying to work on ease-of-use and help, I need to get it so the game’s somewhat fair, or people will stop playing!

Another problem is that for Beta I decided to run a slightly (1/3) slower world so that I could keep up with what’s going on. As a side effect, the game is kind of dragging on. Tomorrow I’m starting a faster (twice as fast as the current one) world that should be more engaging to everybody (including me.)

I also recommend that those who are eager/impatient/bored check out the now-public Changes Page and Help System. The changes page will help give people an idea of progress by version numbers, even if they don’t know what the bugfixes mean. In case you’re curious, I’m going to align the version numbers so 1.0 is the first out-of-beta version, and will use the standard convention that 0.5.10 is a higher version than 0.5.9.

Anyway, I’m off to fix some bugs so that tomorrow at the Beta Party (at 7pm Sunday at Guildford Boston Pizza) I won’t be pelted with small rocks and fruit.

© Allen Pike. See also Twitter and Steamclock.