Saturday, 30 June 2012

Been A Bit Quiet Lately...


Wow...two weeks have passed and this blog has been awfully quiet. Well, that's because the combination of work and Dream.Build.Play took quite a lot out of me, so I decided to take a bit of time off. Played a few games here and there and tried to forget about Do You Know. But I find it very hard to unwind and forget about projects, so it wasn't too long before I was back working on it.

I started off by compiling a list of what I wanted to get done before I put the game into it's first playtest. This list consisted of mainly items I wanted to get done before I submitted to DBP and a few extras I thought would be nice. At the time of writing I've managed to get most of the list done, but in my opinion the game is still too rough to put into playtest. So my plan of putting it in at the end of the month (i.e. today) is not going to happen. But I will divulge some of the new features that have made it into the game.

The first as you can see is that the podiums now show the answer the players have decided on. This is how I'm going to convey the selected answers to the players. This is a feature that I wanted to include in my DBP submission, but as time slipped by this seemed like a very risky thing to implement. In the end though, through some in my opinion trickery, this didn't take too long to implement. To avoid cheating I've also included a spinning question mark which is displayed when a player answers, but is waiting for either time to run out or all other players to answer. This new feature is also complimented by the host speaking when getting to the point where the answers are shown. I however am not sure if this is done too much. I guess that first playtest will answer that ;)

I've also managed to implement the clapping animation into my audience members, which means no longer do I have an applause sound effect playing with no source of where it is coming from. Yes, I did submit this "feature" into my DBP submission. I've set it up so I can make them applaud on the fly, which I will hopefully be incorporating into gameplay in the future. For instance, when a player answers correctly, the camera cutting away to the audience clapping.

The past couple of weeks has also led me to finally installing some form of version control and automated back up on my computer. For version control I went with the Mercurial/HGTortoise combo and set up repos on an external hard drive. The main reason for this was because I use it on a daily basis at work so I am instantly familiar with it. But it couldn't have gone any better as the installation was simple and I was version controlled within minutes. I don't know why I hadn't done this sooner. Perhaps my initial commit message wouldn't have been so big if I had :p

For automated back up I was recommended CrashPlan by a work colleague. This tool allows you to schedule how often to backup and where to do it, with options including folders elsewhere on the oomputer (what's the point), other peoples computers or to their online servers (for a small fee). It also provides backup summaries by email if you so wish and will also send alerts if you data hasn't been backed up for whatever reason. This is all well and good, but the one place it doesn't support backup to is a networked drive, which means I can't stick my backup drive on my network. Boo!

So that's what has been happening. I hope to get some more done in the coming weeks that will give the game more polish and get that first playtest into action. I'm now off to do some "research"...

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