There is a couple of things we need to cover so let’s dive directly into the subjects
Linux on steam
We released our first linux build through the Steam pipeline yesterday. But, as of right now, it’s still not going out to our alpha testers, so something clearly went wrong. It was a little tricky, and we’ve been talking with a tech with Steam. It should be working properly now. Once our testers confirm it’s running right, we’ll be releasing it to our backers.
We’ve started exploring multiple avenues towards creating ‘bundles’, or patches that will update specific portions of the game instead having to recompile the entire game. It’s still at the stage of experimentation, but the idea is to make it easier to add new content to the game. It will help us a whole lot in the future for implementation of new features and code. We’d also be able to use that system to patch in user generated content and add it into the game without breaking all the things.
Germain has found a tool that has made a huge difference in his workflow. It’s going to significantly accelerate his production of normal maps and textures.
Paolo has been hard at work creating a tool to help us sort out the issues we’re having with clients syncing with one another. Put simply, the tool will collect various info from all connected clients, such as paths that bricktrons are taking, decisions bricktrons are making, ect, and then compare those logs, highlighting the differences. This is going to help out because we’ll be able to see what information is going through the system from client to client.
He also put some work into syncing all the clients to the network time.
Here’s a nice example of the sync between two players:
It’s more interesting than some of the bugs we ran into when we had our first multiplayer test:
As you all may recall, we had a little poll last week about Steam Early Access. The results we’re pretty much spot on with what we expected. We also got a lot of comments alongside the poll, many of them being very pertinent. Clearly, we didn’t take the time to fully explain what would be implemented in the Early Access build, or when it would be available if we had one. The Early Access alpha would be a version with the vast majority of the features we’ve been planning to have implemented for the beta.
If you need or even just want a refresher on what those features were, you can refer back to this blog entry: http://www.sauropodstudio.com/roadmap-and-bigsushi/
We still have a long way to go before we can say the game is bug-free and ready to roll, but we can at least provide you with what we’ve been working on for the past several months since our last prototype update.
The question with the poll was really more along the lines of this. Is it something you guys would be interested in trying, or are you completely sick of bugs and would rather wait for a stable build?
As of right now, the question of ‘when’ is still undecided. It obviously can’t be right now, not with the game in it’s current state. And, beyond that because it takes around 2 months of back and forth with Steam before we can enter the Early Access program. Fortunately, we already have contacts within the Steam team, since we already use their platform for patching and such. But we have yet to go through the whole administrative process to officially join Steam, a process that can take time.
So, no, if we do Early Access, it won’t be right now or with the game in it’s current state, even if we wanted to! Which, to be honest, we don’t want to quite yet.
Kickstarter rewards update
The t-shirt rewards are finally shipping out right now, for backers at $55 and $100. You should be getting them very soon. The other pledge levels require us to do special packaging, such as for the posters, so we’re going to handle those manually in-house. We’re waiting for the remaining t-shirts to arrive before we organize for a weekend of labelling and shipping.
Since it seems very likely that our next few months are going to be incredibly busy and stressful, (and because we haven’t had any time off in what feels like forever!) we are taking a short break for the next couple weeks. We haven’t actually stopped working since the project began, not even after returning from PAX East and GDC! And I can assure you, those trips were exhausting! To remain as efficient as possible, and thanks to a little luck, our holidays have been synchronised in such a way that we’ll all be returning at the same time. Once we get back, all rested, wide eyed and bushy tailed, we plan to hit the ground running. We’ll be doing our utmost to get as many features from our roadmap implemented by Sept-ober, regardless of whether or not we decide to go onto Steam Early Access. The months leading up to beta and/or Steam Early Access will be insane, so this little break will help us prepare and prevent us from burning out.
And, along with that, here’ a little fun fact. On July 1st, everyone in Québec moves. It’s one of the craziest days of the year, where all you see on the road is moving fans and people stressed out of their minds because they need to get everything out of their old place and into their new one in a few hours. This fun time also applies to us! So, we’ll take a few days off to unpack everything. Trying to get back to work from under piles of boxes isn’t a great idea, after all!
About that, I have a really ugly couch i’m trying to get rid off. Anyone interested? :P
Soundtrack of the Week
Hey guys! How are ya? If you don’t know who this is by now, get out. Just pack up your bags and go. Cause, like, you should know be by now and what not. Right? RIGHT? Yeah. What were we doing? Oh, yeah! Box here, with your musical fix. We’re doing something a little different this week. We’re gonna have some chiptunes! Here comes some Anamanaguchi, headed straight for your ear-holes! Enjoy!
And, as always, thanks for reading.
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