Dev Log 1/23/2021

[Click the title of these Dev Logs to see the full version with images]

Another round of deep testing has been completed, and with it, a huge number of fixes and improvements. Interestingly, when you optimize a game engine in Unity, you will sometimes reveal hidden bugs that cannot show themselves until the game runs at a certain speed. This is partly to due to how update methods are written, and partly because of when scripts can execute vs. the rendering and processing load, the latter being most common for me.

Tutorials got an update this round, to address issues where players were unaware of how some of the mechanics worked – and it cannot be assumed that everyone will experiment, or bring past gaming experience with them. Consequently, there are now some nice slide decks with instructions.

An example of the new tutorial slide format

Story, dialog, and plot has been updated, and completely new intro cutscenes were created. Planets continue being built out, along with new ships, character details, and world objects. Gameplay / storyline testing has begun for the new scenes involved in chapters 3 and 4. There are a lot of moving parts to the planning process now, but I can venture to say that there is a decent production workflow now that makes it all fairly straightforward to get done.

By the way, I think devs should return to the use of workflow instead of the more popular word ‘pipeline’, because workflow is actually more accurate and effective, in most cases. /rant off.

One thing that consistently comes ups as an issue is managing time vs expectations. You can only have a maximum of two out of the three (universal) factors of a project: good quality, short production time, low cost. For a new studio, you generally don’t have venture capital, so low cost is already one of your items. That leaves quality or production time. Due to the nature of this game, I had to choose quality. The time this takes is just something that has to be dealt with. It can be frustrating, but at least there are dev logs, right? 🙂

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