State Of Play

We have released a major milestone build build that has been several months in the making. The better part of that work involves some major revisions that needed to be done ahead of our final major milestone (user controlled ground vehicle unlocks). If you haven’t yet, you should also check out the gameplay flow FAQ entry which has been updated for this build.

This build concludes Phase II of our planetary vehicle system. In this update, the planetary defense systems (fixed and mobile vehicles) are AI controlled like the space defense turrets mounted on the space stations, carrier and Orbital Defense Systems, which we completed in Phase I.

Those of you who have followed the game’s development since the start, even if you didn’t buy it yet, will notice that, as I stated way back then, I have a specific way of planning and developing my games. Having designed massively complex games over the years, the key element in bringing it all together is to get most of the integral parts working in some fashion, then go back and start piecing it all together.

If you look at the very first public build, Build | 14-09-15, you will see that the process and procedures have all followed that pattern. Starting with unlocking the scenes, weapons, characters, items etc in a manner that allows each part to be tested and/or revised as they are released. This not only keeps the list of on-going bugs relatively low, but also prevents the distractions that come with freaking out over 1000 entries long bug lists.

Gamedev is like a jigsaw puzzle that you put together piece by piece. Like seeing how the sausage is made, it’s not always glamorous, stuff breaks (like all the time); and sometimes you put in a wrong piece that doesn’t fit (making it either a bug or a bad design choice) at all. Then you refactor (LOL!!) it, put in a new piece that either fits, or breaks everything that previously worked. For example, in this build, right around the time we were breathing a sigh of relief and ready to build the final GA (which we released today) version from the dev (which we released on 03/10) version, we discovered that over time, the game servers would flat out start refusing scene interconnect requests. Due to the server networking design, this meant that after some time, you couldn’t transition from one scene (e.g. Lyrius space) to another (e.g. Heatwave planetary base). In the end, that turned out to be caused by an entirely different – and largely unrelated – issue. That being the proxy server’s “are you there?” requests, which are designed to check on server sessions to see if they are alive, suspended, crashed etc. So yeah, that one was all kinds of fun to nail down.

It’s coming along, and the pieces of the LOD puzzle are all still part of the original (no scope creep, no deviation from the original design etc) design from back when I completed said design for the game that I wanted to make. That being, an original and compelling “pick up and play” combined arms game. And one that nobody else is making due to risks, complexity, industry trends etc. Along the way, having built (read more 1, 2, 3, 4) a custom game engine from a plethora of middleware technologies, we’ve basically been doing a lot of tinkering.

It’s a process; and being an expensive (my most expensive game yet) wholly self-funded game, and developed by several people around the globe, it has been a long road to get where we are today. But the push continues. And seeing as we don’t have the luxury of burning other people’s money, the game is ready when it’s ready; and right now it’s not ready.

The next milestone, GEN8, which unlocks player controlled ground vehicles, will be our final major milestone before the spit and polish phase goes into full swing. If you have been part of this journey, and you are in the closed beta program, thanks for your continued support. Together, we built this.