Last Thursday we did a small playtest, the second so far in the Early-Access Beta! This time it was Rachel, Lauren, Ian, and me, and we played and chatted (and restarted after crashes) for a little over 3 hours.
As it should, the playtest generated a ton of tasks, but this time I actually fixed a bunch of them before I got around to posting this, so here is the pre-struck-through punch list! It seems much more satisfying this way, if only all my task lists were already mostly done before I posted them…
coming out of settings menu doesn’t eat the final up and it performs action what is invert-y’s key? – was shift-y, made ctrl-y
- notify new chats if pageupped
- /ring bell when message comes in if in background?
display match or lobby [channel] on /say and /emote escape should clear timestamps on all chats if displayed
- floating briefcase
change white chat help to darker stop echoing command on /say /emote /whisper also do /reply and /retell local emulation chat help on sniper machine adjust up like chat line for portraits gameid sync is because server sends, then get request to change, which clears game include gameid in request? this is because of the clearing of the gameid in ClearGame the server gameid comes in before the be_role packet, which toasts it uh, undo previous CurrentGameID.Zero() change at least, still see sync issues? if page up, then escape, new chats don’t show up, and new chats disappear need to reset paging on escape? suspected double agent on rollover but no triangles? assert IsChatAllowed(), File: .\spyparty.cpp, Line: 5565 when I chatted when cancelling invite
- go back on selection screens
enter focus for chat? or just use it for chat and fuck it for menus fine, make it /say enter on empty chat should close crash dump! pigo says: i hit play again, and when i selected the sniper it crashed right away i’m in results, he e2mm, hit sniper, i hit no, he hits sniper again no confirm on end match in match menu just do SpyWins & SniperWins for lobby stats some whipsers getting eaten tolower username in game MOVEFILE_COPY_ALLOWED
2012-02-29 16:16:25 – I don’t think whispers were actually being eaten, I think it was /say in matches, which now describe which [channel] they’re talking to. I think.
The funniest issue from this playtest came from chatting in the lobby. I use Counter-Strike keys for chat, so ‘y’ is public chat, and ‘u’ is whisper.1 Lauren and Ian are big World of Warcraft players, so they would constantly hit ‘enter’ to chat, which when you’re in the lobby would start a match with somebody. About the third or fourth time one of them ended up playing a game in the middle of a chat conversation, I acquiesced and made ‘enter’ a synonym for /say just like ‘y’, and made ‘space’ the key for selecting menu items.2
When you’re working on software, you get a feeling when you approach a local maximum, meaning a point where you’ve got the thing working pretty well given its current overall state. This is always a long way from the global maximum3 but it means the game is pretty robust and does all the things it’s trying to do at this point in time reasonably well. The current SpyParty builds need a bit more testing before they’re really at that local maximum, but I feel like they’re getting close. The builds feel like this towards the end of PAX, after I’ve shaved off the rough edges found from 20 hours of playtesting.
This means I seem to be on schedule for the near-term beta rollout plan, which is nice. I gave the “invite-some-fans-in-before-GDC” idea mentioned in that post a little more thought and I realized I was completely insane to even think about that…I have no time to fix or support anything during GDC,4 so everybody’s going to have to wait until the week of the 12th for more invites to go out. Sorry!
Of course, with numerical optimization, moving off a local maximum means things get worse for a while until you find another maxima, and that’s true with software as well. My plan is to simply bring you all along for that ride in the short term. Once there are enough people in the beta who complain about me breaking stuff all the time, I will probably allow people to opt-in to the more bleeding edge builds, and keep them running on a separate server. This is a pretty common thing to do to minimize pain during open betas, but it reduces your pain by increasing mine, so I hope I can put it off as long a possible.5
And no, I still haven’t gotten my first $14.26 from PayPal.