Sunday, 28 June 2009

All testers, last call!

Hi all testers (and others)! Monday July 6 is the last day to send me your findings. Sorry to push you. If you're not finished, send me what you got.
[EDIT] You'll get an email about this too[/EDIT]
I have a goal of putting this module on the Vault by the 17th if I can. The 1.0 release will still have some flaws but nothing to sinister I think as the reports so far has been sparse.

If I can get it up before the 17th I'd be really glad as it would mean it's less than two years since I started this long and mostly existing and fun trip. And I promise you all, loud and clear.
- "I'll never do such a stupid thing again!"

My 50 cents:
  • If a project is more than 300 man hours - drop it!
  • Build many small modules, release often
  • Don't do things the original game wasn't designed to do
  • Don't do remakes, tell your own story even if it's tiny
  • Concentrate on content, not looks
  • Plan before, stick to the plan and adjust only if it's needed to keep the plan intact
  • Don't think your a superman/girl/dog/horse. You're not, no one is
  • Team up with a good friend. It's easier and funnier when you share the problems and joys
  • Test, test, test and then test some more. Build, test and deliver in small portions to avoid those huge races that takes forever
  • Don't care about what other people say (that includes me)

Have a nice day, now I'll enjoy the summer heat!


Wyrin said...

I agree with all of those - and particularly "Build many small modules, release often" which, if we had adopted that culture sooner, coiuld have been better for the community

"Don't do remakes, tell your own story even if it's tiny" - I think remakes can be OK to provide a framework for your project - in many ways if you are basing work on something preexisting, you have some of a design document in place already. But be prepared to compromise on the remake, rather than shoehorn it into the NWN2 engine.

Didn't get time on toolset this weekend to have another look at this - will see if I can get you any more notes by monday, although I'd anticipate they'd only be minor

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

The points you make are very true ... but we never seem to listen to our own good advise. ;) I know I have broken the first three at a glance!

But, then again, that is why we build, because we have a vision. And if we can get that vision out there, then all the blood, sweat and tears are worth it. :)

Talking of teaming up. If you ever want to do some area designs for my world, let me know, as your work is briliant! I would be happy to say what I was after if you fancy a "smaller" project. ;)

Most of all, well done! for doing what you have done with Zork. It really is a great piece of work when all is said and done. If I get the chance to do any more testing, I will let you know, but I seem to have fallen into a horrible pit of craft/costs balancing of mechanics issue at the moment and it's consuming every moment I have. :(


E.C.Patterson said...

I especially agree with #3: "Don't do things the original game wasn't designed to do". Or in other words: "Don't do things the pros themselves didn't attempt to do!" Of course, you CAN, but it'll eat up a lot of dev time and can lead to unforeseen bugs. If you can live with that, fine... But my recommendation, especially to beginning builders, is to stick to the basics and not try too many novel things at first. There are reasons why some of these things might not have been done before, and why what WAS done was done the way that it was... I've learned that lesson first hand... :)

I'll get you my comments in before the 6th, promised.

Jclef said...

You've got some really good points there, Raph - I agree with them all.

ZORK is nigh!

Frank Perez said...

Congratulations, Amraphael. Release is imminent.

Nice set of learning experiences you've listed, by the way. I admit that I haven't really followed a couple of items in your list. (You're telling me that I'm not Superdog? Hmmm.) Anyhow, never say never. You might get an itch to make another epic module someday.