Development is going to seem rather slow for the next while.
Wait, wait! don’t grab the pitchforks yet, let me explain!
There’s been a fair bit of time taken recently looking at the codebase, and it’s sort of a wreck right now. The individual parts are solid, but the problem is that the core engine and the actual features and content aren’t clearly divided.
Those parts may all be relatively simple alone, but take one simple part and try to make it talk to a dozen other simple parts, and those parts talk back, and you end up with a dozen complex parts.
The result of this is that bugs take ages to track down and fix, and often break things elsewhere. And, even more troublesome moving forward, is that new content has to look in many, many different places to do what it needs to do instead of just referring to the core engine.
So, the first order of business is to clean up the codebase, to give that clear separation between the core engine and all the content in the game.
This doesn’t mean work on bug fixes and content additions is going to stop, not at all. There will still be patches coming to fix bugs and add stuff. To avoid the ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ issue that often plagues jobs like this, the priorities are being split. Some of the guys will be focused on the rework, and everyone else will still be working on fixing bugs in the existing systems, along with new content such as the new overhead display system
The big benefit here is that, once this rework is complete, fixing bugs and adding content will be much faster and easier.
This has been the major contributing reason for everything seeming so slow so far. It’s not because they’re not working, it’s because the code base has been such a wreck that doing anything inside it took ages.
This is where Luc is going to make the biggest positive change first. Francois and he are going to spearhead this cleanup. Once the code-base is clean, development will be able to chug along at a much faster pace.
So, bare with us, we’re making good things happen. :)
Where is my patch?
Last Friday night, long after office hours ended, we went ahead and put together the latest build of the game with the latest patch we’d been working on. As usual, first thing Monday, we started our internal testing. In this patch was a major modification to the core engine. To say things didn’t go as expected would be an understatement. It broke all of the things.
What did it break, you ask? A much easier question to answer is what didn’t it break. And that was pretty much just trees and sound.
This week has been a festival of fixing one thing, and that fix breaking something else. So we’d fix the fix, and that would break something else. Thankfully, we believe we’ve fixed the last big issue that cropped up on us, and we’re compiling it now. Ideally, we’ll see that it is indeed fixed and it will go out to the test team tonight, and then we’ll have the whole weekend for this second batch of testing.
Repair Task Group
One thing we’ve realized is that everytime you have a structure or something destroyed, it’s pretty annoying to have to rebuild the whole thing by hand. So we’re working on cleaning and reorganizing the code in the tasks area first so that we can add a new group for repairs. Faviann has started working on the feature this week too. There are a lot of different things that could happen though, and this feature is still far from being ready to actually implement, but once it’s ready it should make things much, much easier for the player.
QA team is complete
As you guys may recall from last week, we asked for some help again to get some more testers on our test team. A ton of you answered the call, and we truly appreciate your enthusiasm. We’ve made a new team of 20 people based on their experience, and sometimes lack thereof, with the game, along with their computer specs and why they wanted to join the team. With the Early Access release, we’ve got a lot of new players joining the community, and we needed a bigger firewall to hunt down bugs for each new patch.
Humble Bundle Store
In case the news hasn’t been widespread enough, Humble Bundle opened up their new store, and we’ve also joined the party recently. You can check it out here: https://www.humblebundle.com/store .
Bug of the week
What happens when you don’t aim?
And since this was the week of the bug, here’s a second one:
Soundtrack of the Week
A friend of mine introduced me to an artist on Soundcloud this week by the name of Zircon, and I like it! I hope you like it too!
Thanks again for reading!
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