Beta: Baking for a couple weeks at 350

October 14, 2005

This an old status update on my web-based game Engineering Faith.

On my list of Beta blockers, there are only 2 bugs about game balance, 2 bugs about having both “stable” and a “testing” sets of code, and 2 bugs about the Beta invites themselves. While invites will not go out to everybody at once, a “Request an invite” box will appear here the day Beta starts.

That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of bugs. Holy crap there are a lot of bugs. But that’s okay - the people who get to Beta test but are turned off by the still-buggy nature of the game will be forgotten in the annals of history, while the rest will join the 10 brave Alpha testers in the good annals of history.

So, you ask, what kind of stuff is going to happen during Beta? Well, I’m glad you asked. That a was convenient question, actually, since I was planning on talking about that anyway, and now I can seem like I’m paying attention to the audience. You can expect…

Strategy Rebalances

Strategies that are so good that you’d be dumb to not do them need to be toned down. This always pisses off the smart players who find these “broken” strategies, since they’ll always take a hit when I fix things. Please though, help me get the balancing done as fast as possible, rather than secretly exploiting broken strategies. This is true to a lesser degree of sucky strategies - every game feature should have at least some usefulness.

Polish

The interface is quite rough right now, mostly due to focus in other places. Now that I have more people to get feedback from, I’ll be spending time making the pages easier to use and making things look better. So far I haven’t paid much attention to aesthetics.

Help

The help system is quite lame right now. It has at least as much info as Asylum’s lame system, but Faith is more complex than Asylum, and even seasoned Asylum players are getting confused. Not only will the help system be improved, but it will be integrated into the game in some places.

Player Management

With only 10 players, things are pretty manageable. But with 50, it’s a whole different game. Well, it’s the same game, technically… but that’s besides the point. Right now there are few features like game presignup, retiring, inactivity punishment, vacations, newb protection, cheat tracking, covenant features (aka parties), and so on. These will be implemented throughout the annals of beta.

Bugs

There’ll be bugs. Actually, I already have a database of known bugs. Rounding errors, weird layouts, lack of functioning in Internet Explorer, abusable strategies, and more will cause amusement and antics abound. Beta players should watch progress reports, report bugs they find, and hopefully not get too frustrated if a bug accidentally deletes their Holy 500 Pound Goldfish.

Anyway, Beta is going to be pretty fun. It might not be recorded in the annals of world history, but I’d figure at least the subannals. Or maybe just the online version of the subannals. In 6pt font.

© Allen Pike. See also Twitter and Steamclock.