While Julian took a breather this week, Martin has implemented customization options for notifications and Michi took care of some backend stuff to pave the way for more advanced flight mechanics.
Slowly but surely, I’m wrapping up my work on the notification feature. This week I finally added a configuration tile that allows to enable or disable push notifications per alert type and the maximum frequency at at which you want to receive them. The set of rules by which the system decides whether to send a push notification at all now also takes into account whether the user is currently connected and if so, suppresses all push notifications until the user is offline again. All those rules will evolve over time to get closer to something that “feels right” in terms of getting all the notifications you want but not so many that you start to feel swamped.
Last but not least, I tried a first experimental integration of the alert sound. So whenever a new alert pops up while you’re in the game you’ll get to hear a short alert custom-made by Mjeno. And no worries: I also added a quick and easy way to disable that sound at the push of a button. ;)
After last week’s refactoring fun, this week started with the not-so-fun task of cleaning that refactoring up and adjusting existing parts of the code to the way we handle things now. The good news is that at least the server part of one of the two refactorings seems to work. The bad news is that the larger part of the refactoring of what we call ‘locations’ in the game still needs to be done on server and client. I guess I will start with that next week. But we don’t do these refactorings just for the joy of it, we can already see some effects: The code handling flights and traffic has been further simplified and adding new types of flight segments (hype alert: take-off and landing) should be way easier now.
Besides that I’ve been monitoring the alpha test closely and fixed some minor bugs. I added an additional column to the commodity exchange tile to better visualize the total supply and demand:
I’ve been taking things slow this week to compensate for my pre-test crunch hours. I took care of some things that have been piling up, like writing a game overview on TIGForums and almost finishing the music for our upcoming trailer. I also partook in some discussions about game design this week, which is a field I really love. We’re still working on optimizing long-term engagement for different player types, which is impossible to test right now, since our alpha tests only run for a few weeks each.
And of course, we’ve just made our second tutorial video available to the public! It provides you with an introduction to the game as well as an overview over the basic actions you can take to keep your company afloat. If you’re a tester already, this should answer most of your questions. If you’ve never seen gameplay before, the time has come to take a first look:
As always: we’d love to hear what you think: join us on the forums!