IMB Entry Done, Bug Fixing

Hey Folks! Finally finished my Indie MegaBooth entry today. Took most of the day wrapping-up the video, checking the build for bugs, fixing the bugs, checking it again, and then writing a massive ReadMe.txt in case anyone gets lost...I really worry about what someone is going to think if they pop this build open and get lost. There's just so much going on.

It got me thinking, however, that this might be a good opportunity to do some sort of cool game manual when the game is done. A big-ass manual one can read as an eBook or print on demand for a physical copy. Complete with how-tos, lore, specifications, etc. I've made a note!

Anyway, one of the more interesting bugs found and fixed today include one that caused all crew to asphyxiate upon loading a save file. Turns out the code that parsed strings from the json was choking on scientific notation, causing them to mis-read a very small oxygen number as instead, very large. Oops! Sorry, guys.

The game's behaving pretty well now. To the point that I'm wondering where to go with it next. To be clear, there's still a crap ton of work left to be done. It's just that deciding which is a priority that's hard.

Fortunately, Michael sounds like he's recently made some good progress on his job UI. So we may get to play with that soon. And perhaps we'll have a new wave of clarity once we sit back and test things out!


ra1's picture

I'd suggest brainstorming/mock-testing what will fill the long travel between ports. If you intend to limit the player to anything under 100x speed, then the majority of your game will be played during this time, decreasing the impact of space stations, trading, docking, etc. This decision will significantly affect the direction and audience of your game.

dcfedor's picture

Yeah, this has been a discussion between Michael and I, too. My initial hope was that long travel would still be interesting enough not to skip, but I'm not averse to other options. One alternative to time rate modifiers would be to just end scene and do a "2 hours later" type thing. Pretty much all of the shows this game is aping work like that, where they skip to the next interesting event.

I think there's still some fertile ground to be found in planning for and executing a long trip, where there is no help nor resources until the other side. I enjoyed that aspect of the old Flash game, Caravaneer. Being on your own, calculating time of travel, buying supplies, and then monitoring the compass.

Anyway, yes. It makes sense to focus on the parts of the game the player sees most!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture

Hey, it was nice to hear you mention me in the video! Kinda wish you said a little bit more, like "...Rovlad, that guy on my site who complains about trivial stuff all the time" or something, but hey, I'm honored enough as is. :D

I actually think "time skips" like you mentioned are the best compromise between dragged-out realism and not just fading out and spawning ships at end destinations. It could work well with random encounters, too.