December Outlook

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Re: December Outlook

Postby Consultant » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:32 am

JestersGhost -- gifting materials you cannot use to others is a great mechanic. Especially at the holidays. Thanks for the idea.

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Re: December Outlook

Postby Consultant » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:32 am

We thought you would all like to know what we've been working on during the last week or two. Well, if you guessed that we've been working on the combat alpha, you are right. :)

We're racing to catch up, and get everything in place to begin some combat runs in the Science Park area. We've been working on getting multiple powersets (including Dual Swords and Mystic Healing) built out to full status (which is about done, I'm told but I have not yet seen the revised Mystic Healing set). In addition, we have finished rebuilding our other powersets in our new, version 2.0 powers creation system.

We've put a lot of effort into the alpha test map. And we found some technical problems, which is taking a lot of our attention. But we've also made enormous strides in addressing the issues we've found for the alpha. Everything we are learning during alpha test prep will be transferred and applied to the entire game, next year. We think we'll be able to conduct test runs against three enemy groups, Nagdellians, Prometheans and Yekus, using a team of six heroes.

One of the insights we've gained during 2017 is that making videos, doing alpha tests and giving interviews where we show what we've built recently are all positive drivers for progress. Games are primarily visual media -- you have to be able to show what you have completed, preferably in extended situations, in order to have the focus to finish features and integrate them into a game. This alpha test, for example, requires us to complete a series of technical upgrades to Apotheosis City, to push improvements to our characters and their costumes, to rebuild all of the powers in the new powers system, to improve the powers and animations of the enemies groups, and much more.

And most of all, the prep for the alpha forces us to integrate everything we've built into a more advanced working game version.

Showing elements in isolation is good because new elements are progress, but the coin of the realm is really integration.

We still think we might begin alpha testing between XMAS and New Year's. If we have to delay for a few weeks, we'll announce it, formally. But things are shaping up pretty well.

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Re: December Outlook

Postby PowerAce » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:15 am

That is really great news! Thank you for the update! Im sure we’re all excited for the escorted alpha and I agree they should be delayed until the team is ready. I hope we can show the world what SoH can be.

I just want to take a moment to wish the team and yourself and everyone here on the forums a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! SoH is getting closer! W00t!
It doesn't matter where we come from, what we've done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be.

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Re: December Outlook

Postby Parkhyeyeon » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:10 pm

Sounds great! Looking forward to seeing everything integrated when it's ready.
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Re: December Outlook

Postby JestersGhost » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:38 pm

That's actually a very good lesson - having to demo even a part of the game forces you to "tidy up" and address lots of little niggles that as devs you tend to get used to ignore and gloss over. This is why most development companies or divisions have separate QA guys for testing. It's a) a different mindset needed to test than develop (I'm useless at testing my own stuff :P ), and b) gives someone with no emotional attachment to the product a look at it. Much like proof-readers for books I guess too.

Mentioning no names, but certain other development teams seem to be of the mindset "We're not showing you anything until its done", which just means you have way more to fix when the inevitable bug reports come flooding in. Constantly making yourself bring everything up to scratch by demo'ing to external people is a really good way to keep any project's quality consistently high.
[ quantum sufficit / / My Combat Mechanics Thread ]

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Re: December Outlook

Postby Consultant » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:36 am

We just announced a delay to the combat alpha, until February. We're pretty good about hitting our milestones, but in this case we came to a junction point and had to decide between hitting the milestone with a known quality problem, and delaying the alpha a bit. We decided to delay the alpha a bit. This also gives us a little more time to upgrade a few items in the powers and the UI.

We're actually excited about the progress we've made in setting up the alpha. A lot of optimization has occurred, and we see a path to getting even more optimization done. We've had a great month in terms of getting things integrated and finished.

For those looking at our development philosophy, we just showed our prioritization. Quality over schedule. Although we are pretty committed to hitting our schedule, as we've shown in the past.

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Re: December Outlook

Postby Country Strong » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:21 am

As much as I'd like to see, or possibly participate in a alpha run, the last thing I'd want to see is anything that may deter people from wanting to play. Good call on delaying the alpha runs to make sure you're putting your best foot forward!

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