While Michi is knee-deep in preparations for the next round of closed alpha tests, Martin got started on the rather boring topic of real-world payment systems needed for a commercial launch of the game.
First of all, I mentioned an interview with a “well-known German gaming magazine” last week. That magazine is GameStar and if you understand German (and happen to have a GameStar Plus subscription), you can check out the result of that interview here. We talked about all things Prosperous Universe, including its origin, how we plan to finance it and many other interesting things.
That said, my work this week wasn’t all that spectacular. Once we start early access, we will have to charge money for the game. And since we do everything from development to publishing ourselves, this means we have to integrate the systems of various payment providers and make sure that the German tax authorities approve of the way we keep our books. We are not completely new to this since AirlineSim has a proven payment gateway in place already. But it doesn’t support processing payments for different products yet and we want to go for a slightly different payment model with PU than we do for AirlineSim, so we have to re-implement quite a few things.
So my first step this week was to meet with a tax advisor to make sure the accounting process we have in mind is correct and will make the nice people at the tax authorities happy. I then set out to write proper technical specifications for the systems we need. While this was rather straight forward for the parts we built ourselves, working around some of the quirks of the accounting system we use was a bit of a challenge. Anyhow, I managed to finish that and spent the remainder of the week building the technical foundation of the new application. Next week I’ll get started on the actual implementation.
This week was another of those weeks that I almost completely spent making changes due to feedback from the tests and preparing a new alpha test.
I finally finished the component that lets players demolish buildings, which I wrote about last week. Demolishing production buildings is now only possible if there is no current order being processed.
Afterwards I redesigned the company registration screen to make it look like what Martin did with the company setup screen. Before my changes the screen just had two input fields, asking for a name and a code. At least two players confused it with the login. Now it should be much more clearer what the screen is about:
In the next test we will have more than one starting world, so I added two additional fields to the company setup screen: commodity exchange and resources. The commodity exchange field just tells the players if there is a commodity exchange or not. This is vital information if you intent to trade a lot. Resources is an overview of the planets natural resources.
I then spent most of the rest of the week making changes to the content of the game, e.g. materials, reactors, … I also created a new universe for the upcoming test and spent a while testing the game mechanics relevant to the test. Speaking of which: If you are interested in joining the alpha tests, sign up in the forums and let me know (my username is molp).
As always, we’d love to hear what you think: join us on the forums!