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Wed, Aug 26th 2009, 17:21
Fixing a Hole  

As the beta feedback has been coming in, I've been aggressively tweaking Oxidus to get it to worthy-of-public-beta status. I can't really say with any certainty as there are still some hard issues that need tending to, but open beta in two weeks (currently) seems feasible.

Normally I review my SVN logs and turn that into a paragraph or two to give a more specific recounting of the week's work. This week's circumstances to not afford me this luxury. So, you get what I remember instead.

The sliders now have an arbitrary granulation, which allows their value range to be broken into sane increments. Honestly, you will never know the difference between 67 and 68 damage in any meaningful way. This results in a smoother, simpler player experience that still affords the same overall variety.

Previously, all of the administration behavior was through a debug build of the client. It has been reconfigured such that administration is now linked to individual individual user accounts and not the particular build. This allows me (or theoretical other admin) anywhere, provided I have an internet connection. Nifty!

Though you might not expect it, the single most time consuming task this week was making the blueprints save / load buttons highlight when moused over. I had a really hard time coming up with logic for this within the UI system that wasn't horribly ugly, but hashed it out eventually. After that it was a matter of getting the actual "glow" to look compelling, but generic enough that it could be used with other images (as it was implemented as a state of a UI image). AdditiveBlit saved the day; the actual effect is two AdditiveBlits at 50% lucent on top of the normal blit sprite. Now you know my trade secrets!

That should be enough rambling for now. Tune in next week for Wild and Crazy Damage Redesign.


Tue, Aug 18th 2009, 20:54
Alpha Beta  

Work this week was mostly small adjustments here and there as I combed the game for bugs and other irregularities. Some of the more noticeable changes:

* Fixed a number of small, weird, inter-related bugs affecting the sliders.
* Updated the credits to be more complete and better organized.
* Added a slight color pulse to the Streamer's pre-blast trail.

I also decided on a proper name, which took several days of passive thought to get something that worked for me. Thus, "Oxidus" was born. Then it was time to replace the old placeholder logo. It's funny how, awful as it was, anything else just looked wrong in its place after all this time. Kael once pointed out to me that my Cuddles logo looks like script-fu (it's not); I have since vowed to never let this happen again. Never again! So I poured a shamefully huge amount of time into working and reworking the logo to create something interesting. It's fairly obtuse despite the angles; have a gander at the result:

This is probably the single most "artistic" facet of the game now. It's the first real visual feedback in the game, so every player that runs the game will see it; what great exposure! I really enjoyed attacking something in such a freeform manner and the resulting cryptic future-speak fills me with an unusual sense of pride.

I've started rounding up the usual suspects for some hot, closed-beta action. There are still some unfinished bits in the game and undoubtedly more will surface as people dig in. An open-beta period will follow in a few weeks, depending on how things go with this round. It's been a long road, but the end is finally in sight and I couldn't be more excited.


Tue, Aug 11th 2009, 17:39
Still Stuck  

I am still camping out at my parents' house, which lighting struck earlier this week. Electric / telecom were moderately damaged, but have been adequately restored just in time for a post!

This week's work is a bunch of miscellany, including charting out a second galaxy sector to add to spacegame. I've also done some preliminary redesign work for the Gruedorf page. It was really only meant as a temporary solution. The idea was that if Gruedorf actually caught enough steam it would be made proper then. In spite of that fact that the majority of the participants are failing miserably (SHAME ON YOU!) I think it's time that it gets a much needed repair job. This will be my first priority after getting the spacegame beta running.

Next Monday closed beta will commence, with an open beta shortly after. All non-Vista Windows users are encouraged to participate. (Vista users will have to wait until I've had a chance to port to a more stable build of VERGE.)


Tue, Aug 4th 2009, 11:43
True Agony  

Things are quite ready to go. I went ahead and made the first real galaxy sector, which lead me to create a graphical editor for the planets. Now I can retain my sanity while making content. A few previously overlooked bits got some polish along the way.

The new galaxy is about what I want it to be, but all of the numbers are still very rough. At this point, there really isn't much for me to do without some player feedback. We're still waiting on a couple small pieces of art, but I was figuring on a release this week anyhow. Unfortunately I've since become indisposed and stuck out of town, so I don't really have the capability to do so. Believe me when I say that I am at least as disappointed as you.