We continue to follow our testing schedule and just like that, our second closed alpha test has already officially passed. Meanwhile, we are at work implementing feedback and preparing for the next round of testing while also ramping up for the actual release of the game.
Contract work is keeping me very busy these days and my week was once again one day shorter than usual. Nevertheless, I managed to squeeze in some PU-time:
On Thursday, I headed into Munich to give a video interview to a well-known German gaming magazine. If all goes according to plan, the respective report should air some time next week. Once it has, I’ll of course let you know via the usual channels!
I then spent the majority of Friday clearing my desk of all my current bugfixes and improvements that came up during the past two rounds of testing. From next week onwards, I will be working on important back-office systems that are required for an actual (early access) release of the game. And since I am not 100% certain how long these boring, mostly payment-related things will take to finish, I wanted to make sure my immediate backlog of work on the game itself was empty.
The good thing about play tests with people from outside the company is that they notice things we simply can’t see (anymore). I spent the beginning of the week going through the feedback and deciding which suggestions should lead to changes and if so when to do it. I changed and fixed lot of minor issues right away and created tickets in the issue tracker for things that we’ll do later. But what kept me really busy was implementing a change that resulted from feedback we got from the first test: ‘Improve the section construction list’ and ‘Allow to demolish buildings’.
To improve the section construction list I sorted all build options into seven tabs:
Infrastructure contains habitats and storage modules, resources all resource extractors. The production reactors are sorted by their highest workforce level. So you’ll find smelters, farms and food processors in the ‘Pioneer’ tab and higher level buildings in their corresponding tabs.
The long list of all build options is now gone and at least I am under the impression that it is easier now to find a building.
I also redesigned the material and area costs, let me know what you think!
On to ‘Allow to demolish buildings’:
Sounds easy at first, but to implement it I had to create a list of sections first:
I am using almost the same categories as in the section construction, but since way less information is necessary I just display a plain list of all sections.
Deleting sections is not an easy task though: Imagine you want to delete a storage module. If it’s gone all its contents have to be moved into the remaining store. If the remaining store is not big enough we need to show an error and not allow to remove the building. The same goes with production buildings: What if they are currently in use? Forbid to remove it? Stop the production process? What about input materials?
So far storage and habitation modules can be demolished and I am working on production modules.
As always, we’d love to hear what you think: join us on the forums!