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Thu, Apr 30th 2009, 21:24
How to Play  

Very light progress this week; the inline instructions are mostly fleshed out. These should really help explain the game, but it's pretty wordy. Ultimately I think it's better than not understanding the game at all, though. So a bit more work on that and then it's back to combat tweaking. The goal is to have this ready enough for the next round of testing by next weekend. Wish me luck!


Thu, Apr 23rd 2009, 10:19
Situation Normal  

This week, my computer acquired a viral infection. Actually, several. Simultaneously. And they were quite unpleasant. So I spent virtually all of my time (including extensive sleep loss) fighting to wrest control of my machine and get everything back in working order.

I am happy to report that nothing really important was lost; it pays to have a contingency plan.

The bad news is that my net productivity on spacegame this week is about zero. It's going to be at least another week before the next round of testing can start.


Thu, Apr 16th 2009, 23:41
Pew Pew Pew  

A little overdue and I'm short on time, so here's a condensed bullet list culled from my SVN log:

* Periodic progress "update displays" have been added to combat.
* Enemies now spawn in "waves" instead of a constant barrage of baddies.
* Combat duration is no longer explicitly controlled by the player.
* Further experimenting with the player ship presentation and visual feedback.

Next wave of testing could be as early as a week from now.


Thu, Apr 9th 2009, 15:04
Paddling Along  

Very little to say this week. I'm just fudging with different aspects of the combat a bit to try and squeeze a bit more fun / intuitiveness into the experience. Nothing really remarkable to report, though.


Wed, Apr 1st 2009, 14:35
Do Not Falter  

The first round of testing has been a technical success. Everything is working smoothly and as intended. I want to thank everyone who participated. I got a lot of great feedback on how it felt to be a player coming in from the outside. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Kael for taking the time to offer some fantastic design insight.

All of this has shown me just how much more work there is to be done. It's a little discouraging to realize you're not as close as you thought, but it gives me the opportunity to create a better game. C'est la vie.

So, I've been diligently grinding away at the improvements and will continue to do so. A few weeks from now, I'd like to start a second, larger wave of playtesting and see where we stand. I won't be dismantling the live test server, so currently enrolled testers are welcome to continue playing in the interim.

A brief list of the biggest changes:

* Added an "Active Players" panel to the sector screen; this lists any other active player(s) and what they are currently doing.
* Added translucent overlays of the defensive ships to the planetary defense screen, making it more clear what each is / does.
* Added "blueprints" to the assault outfitting screen, allowing players to quickly save and load templates for their ship designs.