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Testing...

March 8, 2013 | Dukus | 11 Comments

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Building a game that has free form gameplay is a bit tiring to test and balance. Even if I play for eight hours a day, I can't seem to fill the entire map without cheating. That's great since I want players to have a multi-day experience playing one city. The fact that I can play eight hours a day and not be bored is good too - or I've just built the game I've always wanted to play.

Back when I made PS3 and Xbox 360 games all I had to do was wait for bugs to come in from QA or the other internal teams while I worked on performance optimizations. It's a lot different being a lone developer.

So my days go something like this. I wake up and start playing the game. If I decide something needs balancing, I tweak the game data there and then. If it's a requires a code change or major data change, I write whatever it is down.

If I'm lucky enough that the game makes it until around noon without a fatal crash or gameplay bug or something that invalidates my save games then I then start working through the list of changes. When the changes are complete that evening or the next day, I start playing again...

Today I had zero crashes, asserts, or major errors in 7 hours of play, and I only added 11 small tweaks to my list of changes. Things are looking up.

But don't get too excited - there's still a lot of work to do. I've been taking a day here and there tweaking art and adding some visual variety to the game, but there's still a lot of art left. I also have to add achievements and goals to the game, build a final main menu, add more crops and livestock, add different shaped landscapes, add different weather conditions, and any features I feel are required for fun play before shipping. Phew... back to coding...

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11 comments on “Testing...”

  1. Keep it up 🙂 !, sure it will add to the final satisfaction to you once shipped

    Probably you want to take some break in between like playing other simulation games or something you seldom do, it will give you a refreshing break and some new ideas.

    I also think early community involvement / "gamers for gamers" thing is getting hot these years probably becoming an "indie culture". It might help you to reduce some play workload and see something you on different perspective

  2. please keep my email for when you need beta testers, its looking fab already... keep up the excellent work your doing...

  3. I'm sure you've been getting a lot of these types of messages from the recent coverage your game has received, but, if you would like some volunteer QA (NDA agreement and all, of course) I would be highly interested.
    You may have built "the game [you've] always wanted to play" but it sounds like a game for which the same applies to me. I'm not sure if you get the email that attached to the comment, so, if not, please drop me a line at [first initial][full last name]2[the number zero]5 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

  4. Hard work and dedication pays off and you can tell when someone is passionate. Keep it up.

    Also would like to beta test 🙂

  5. Thank you, I have recently been looking for info about this topic for a while and yours is the best I have discovered so far. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the source?

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