DEV BLOG #4
The Exaggerated Epoch of Edward O'Hare | Storyend Studios
A Bit After Beta
Just passed the beta deadline.
THE FULL GAME IS IN THE BUILD
Just about every sprint has had some important bug fixes, polish or functionality done, but today (or yesterday depending on when I finish and post this) is the first time where we did not have to omit any scenes. Until recently, at least one level was not done, was too broken, or we just were not testing that particular level. But, now everything has assets and is (mostly) fully functional.
The builds also tend to have glaring issues or at least some obvious polish required. Beta also marks the first build that, while not perfect, mostly has minor quality of life polish and a few assets needed. While there is still more work required, this is the most shippable build we have ever made (which makes sense, ideally your builds would only get better, and we spent a total of 8 hours straight pulling everything together).
MAKING TOUGH CALLS
As a lead I have found you are a part of many different difficult decisions, whether it be about priorities, content, etc. Over the past few weeks, the leads have had to make a few decisions. First, after some deliberation, we decided to completely cut the whip from the game (about a week ago). At that point, we were too close to beta, and we just were not using the whip at all. Since it served essentially no purpose and we had no time to properly give it one. It was better to just remove it to give us less to maintain and consider.
On a much more serious note, we also decided to remove one of our team members from the game. We spent a few weeks trying to address problems with both the speed and quality of work not meeting our expectations. Perhaps there were things we could have done better: starting to address it earlier, being more explicit with expectations, trying to support them in a different way; however hindsight is 20-20. When we made the decision to start the process of removing them, we had done our best over the course of a few weeks and were at the point where we were spending too much time, and decided parting ways was, unfortunately, the best solution we had for the project.
THE COMING WEEKS
In better news, our store page is now officially under review by Valve! Another big milestone, as it means we are on track to be approved and our page activated prior to the senior show/final release milestone.
Speaking of which, we have about 3 sprints left before the project is done. Similar to what I have said in another blog post, we are in a strange spot where we have both a lot to do and not that much, so, I do not know how worried I need to be. Perhaps the fact that I do not know if I should be worried is a reason to be worried?
Regardless, we have been making good progress, and most everything on at least the combat team’s list (the sub-team I lead) is largely polish. While the last 5% of a task can take a long time because of how finicky and precise it can be and how it often relies on testing, it is not truly complex work. If we do not get it all done, while that would be bad, what we are going to end with will be shippable.