In June we began finalizing all aspects of the game for the upcoming alpha.
June in detail
Last month our new intern Alex started! Alex is helping us with the extra software quality assurance (SQA) work that needs to be done going into release. SQA is basically testing our software with other software. These tests save enormous amounts of human QA time by checking that we haven’t created problems every time we make a change to the game. If a test fails, we know exactly where to look.
Last month Dominic worked a lot with Alex to get her up to speed on our codebase and development process. He also implemented a color palette system so we have consistent colors across the game, tightened up the Newtonian movement and combat systems and began code testing and refactoring in anticipation of alpha.
Brian D updated destructible ship models with more interesting broken pieces, created a scrolling UV effect, designed and modeled animated 3D UI elements, concepted and created super cool awesome end game stuff, and worked with Dominic to solve long distance edge detection issue for ships.
Brian J finalized a slideshow that shows all of the UI elements we need in the game as well as progression between levels, and began interviewing UI/UX artists for the final UI. He also worked on procedural content for the game: character barks and descriptions mostly.
Exhibiting the game at expos has been a wise investment. For example, we have been taking different approaches to resources in the game throughout development, but it just hadn’t come together in a way we were all happy with. Well, in May one of the SIGC judges asked us during our presentation, “how do you keep resource collection from being a grind?” This reframing of a question we’d been working on helped us focus in on a solution we are really happy with. As a result we’ve made resources automatically and unobtrusively collected; this shifts the player’s job to making sure they have the right mix of ships to support their fleet.
Here’s the SDB Carrier in glorious plan view:
Thank you to our backers for all the patience and support! It has been a longer road than we expected, but we are drawing close to alpha. As we have said many times, we will not announce an alpha date until we are confident of the date. But we are confident we will get there.