DEV BLOG #158 - BACK TO BUG SQUASHING
1 of December, 2017
Before the Community Module is after the Community Module - after some stressful days of panicking, we return to squashing bugs in a more relaxed manner. This week we go a bit more into the specific problems we encountered while doing so.
The Community Module finally arrived! How do you like all the new features and changes we implemented so far? Today we'll release the first patch fixing some of the bugs and afterwards we'll continue releasing patches every 2-3 weeks, while also working on the improvements we talked about in The Future of Crest.
Also, our new trailer could definitely need some more love, check it out if you haven't yet:
What a week! It jumpstarted with finishing the trailer. Even if you plan carefully sometimes not everything fits, and some things don't turn out as you expected. Then you have to improvise, like I had to do this time, and usually it can lead to a better result. Careful planning and spur of the moment inspiration works best for me. Hope you like the new trailer!
This week has been all about finishing trailer, this time animating the rest of the scenes. I've been struggling with a running cycle, as the NLA editor doesn't wanna cooperate when I'm locking the hands to a tablet they're holding. So, I had a small mental break-down and started working on the slightly easier scenes, with mostly poses with slow movement (and no evil tablets!).
This week I've been completely focused on making saves work. The build on Steam that we released this Tuesday is fairly stable with regards to saves, but there's still a few issues that I've been ironing out.
After the release of the community module I have been working on fixing the bugs we found while testing. The two main concerns for me were terraforming and war.
Terraforming stopped working due to a problem with how spaces were delegated around the city. Monuments and expertise buildings claimed a lot of room causing terraform projects to fail. While working on getting it to behave nicely I also made some other improvements, for example terraformers now gather water from sources closer to the terraform project.
We saw that war had problems with cities constantly attacking each back and forth. Now they have a longer "cooling off period", and are not as eager to start a war if they have just been in one. There was also an issue with the commandment "... produce war" causing cities to start wars back to back that is fixed in today's update.
My week has been about fixing bugs. It included updating filter toggles in the Underworld, updating GUI for different screen resolutions, limiting the amount of messages from the Bulletin Board (the thing that shows the player events that happen in the game), and more.
I did also make remnants from dead animals and followers disappear after a time. We realized that the islands turned into graveyards of dead bodies if remnants weren't removed. We want traces to be left in the world, but for right now, removing remnants after a while appeared to be the best solution.
This week I began with fixing general bugs in the game. Then I was play testing and quality assuring, trying to find more bugs and issues. After the release of the community module I have once again been fixing bugs.
One bug, that I just now squished, had to do with building placement. Several buildings had a tendency to clip into each other, mostly expertise buildings and monuments. This should now be resolved and will be included in an upcoming patch.
Playtesting, playtesting and more playtesting is what I have been doing this week. The days have flown by and it takes a lot of time and effort to try and reproduce certain bugs that are annoying to have.
It's also an illuminating experience as I can see, as a game designer, how my systems work or not work as intended which will be really useful to know for when we finish Crest. It's also really clear after all these days of playtesting that balancing has been neglected for way to long, this will be next on my list of things to do.
This week was a major update week, so I've been busy with making sure that the community update was as smooth as possible, and I've also been organizing a follow-up patch that we will roll out today. Apart from the update my time has been spent with setting up our new planning tools and what priorities we have in production going forward towards the next milestone for Crest.
Have a nice weekend!