A Developer Diary and this time a real one

  • Well this is written the Monday before release (2nd of February) and I thought I would let you all know what we are up to. Back in the good old days, when you still mainly sold boxes, you had a minimum of a few weeks between finishing the game and the great gaming public getting their hands on it. Which meant you could have a little down time before release. Nowadays you can technically push out a new build minutes before the game goes live. In one way it is a good thing, if you discover you have a major problem and then you can fix it before anyone notices. There is a down side to this, which is you can actually end up accidentally introducing a major problem just minutes before release.

    So today is the day we have set for a final build, leaving tomorrow clear for solving any show stopper bugs prior to release, fingers crossed there are none. We have set ourselves a goal of a couple of minor tweaks, like adding in the credit list (no point doing this if you ain't getting credit). Which are by our own estimation low risk things that should not introduce crashes.

    Actually I haven't seen a crash in the game for sometime, now to a certain extent this is a pride cometh statement. I remember when I started as a QA I would get a bug report which would say when I did this the game would crash, and to be fair it would, although my first thought was why the hell were you doing this in the first place? These days I have a more settled view that the great gaming public is going to do weird and wonderful things with your game that you never even thought about doing. Releasing a game is partly a test to see if your game is robust enough to withstand that, only time will tell there.

    Towards the future the first task will be a wait and see. Does anything critical pop up in the early days before release? Hopefully not, but we plan to be ready for it and solve them as quickly as possible. We are also sitting there in hope, we hope the choices we made early in development will lead to smooth release, all those unit tests that were added (nearly 500 at the moment) will ensure that you get a game with no major problems.

    So here's to Wednesday, one of the most exciting and nerve racking days of my life.
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