August 29th, 2016
Saturday marked the first of our structured internal testing. We’ve been testing casually every week after meetings, both so that our developers could show off their work, as well as to simply explore and enjoy the game. But now that large systems are being included into the game, we need something more organized and focused so that we could test specifically what needs to be tested. It was also a huge step in recording issues we’ve encountered while testing; before we would message a developer about a bug, but with our new set up we are formally recording them.
Bringing structure to our testing, as well as separating it from our meetings, is an important step as we begin to construct our Quality Assurance systems. Many of the large systems we want to include in the game require several sprints to fully implement, such as combat, skills, harvesting, and so on. It’s important that we take the time to test specific parts of features to help the developers catch and fix bugs early. Otherwise they have to dig through multiple weeks of work, line by line, to try to fix a problem because no one caught the bug during a meeting.
Our goal for Saturday was to focus our testing on the new mining mechanic that Emrys90 put into place, the precision placement of items, and attempting to identify and fix the cause of the network issues we sometimes encounter during the previous casual testing. The mining skill worked as intended, with the various resources appearing in what we felt were good ratios. Precision placement was also a solid success, with the player being able to rotate the item and choose the exact place they want to drop it on the ground or other surface. Right now items can only be placed horizontally, but when we begin adding in decor items we will allow many of them to be placed vertically to go onto walls.
Due to a poor quality internet connection on my part I wasn’t able to test the game myself, so I volunteered to record and submit the bugs that the rest of the team found during the testing. The team found bugs with tree billboarding, incorrect name announcing for the “/intro” command, lighting issues with water, and several recommendations from the team on star brightness levels and torch light values during the night time. After a few hours I had to leave, but the testing continued for over another 3 hours. Right now we intend to formally test one day every other week, but we may add additional days once we finalize our testing procedures.
Other great things have happened this last sprint! Yevi showed off a short video on his progress with AI programming, Rugnar modeled several construction stages for us, and Talonthorn continues to build nice features into the drafting screen UI. Altar has put together a little something for you all here: http://trialsofascension.com/fire-hatchling.html By the way, the lighting for the page cannot be altered from default; it looks much better in game. Also remember that the hatchling is only 2-3 feet long.
Share your thoughts on our progress over at http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-34.5855/.