Time for a new progress report on Gravonaut. Last night we held our second βeta test session, a mixed group of males and females all of different skill levels. A great help since we discovered unknown bugs, not necessarily game breakers, but enough to hamper on the experience, so a big thank you to those who took time to come out and test.
So I sit here with my list in front of me of issues, as I run down it, checking off one by one of bugs that have been squashed, thankfully! The past 2 weeks have been insane (well, even more so than usual), been clocking in the hours, pulling early mornings and late nights crushing evil bugs and creating lovely new 8 bit sprites, as bad as it sounds, I love it. I still have a bit to go, mind you my “to-do” list is exponentially shorter than it was 2 weeks ago.
I’ll be doing a screenshot update soon, post a few new screens of the most current version as well as a comparison of all the versions.
Going off topic for a second, as a side note about our Xbox 360 game Black Sun, a little update I can give you. While Gravonaut has been my focus for the past while, Brian has been working very hard in the background on new assets for the game ranging from ships to stations, hopefully we’ll have some new models to show off to you guys soon.
With polishing well under way, Gravonaut is shaping up very well and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer. This past Tuesday we ran our very first βeta test session, this focus group I decided to make it an all female team of testers to reflect their ways of playing compared to male players. The session went extremely well, some minor bugs were discovered that I had not experienced before and the input given by the testers shed some new light on features and or changes that best serve the final version of the game. So I would like to thank everyone who participated in the session. We will be running a second βeta test soon for male players, get some near final input before we hit “gold” status when the game is complete.
As stated previously, the game is getting closer and closer to completion, I still have a small list of tasks that need to be completed before submission so still no final dates for release yet.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, on the Facebook Gravonaut page, I have uploaded some pictures of our snazzy faux game box that we just had printed recently, only for promotional and other purposes so don’t expect it on store shelves sadly.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am extremely happy (and exhausted) to announce that Gravonaut has officially hit βeta status of development! Clocking in countless hours, the game content wise is complete. Since this is βeta however, does not mean the game is 100% finished…yet! For those unfamiliar with the term “βeta”, its a software development term for when a game is complete content wise, a game is playable start to finish, but still has bugs or unfinished assets to complete. So yes, the game is done content wise, but we still have music, menus, some graphics, and a list of bugs to squash before we can submit to Apple, all in addition to play testing. Don’t worry though, all the hard stuff is done!
As you may have noticed, Gravonaut has slipped past August since it is now September, some major issues occurred in the development cycle that caused me to scrap some major assets and rebuild, this overall has lost me about 2 weeks of work, but in the end the delay made a better game. As the great Shigeru Miyamoto (the creator of Mario) once said “A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever”. The delay has made a better game in the end and is giving us time to add a plethora of new features and performance optimizations, but I do apologize for it being longer than anticipated.
As a celebration of hitting βeta, we have lowered the prices of all our shirts in the online store. Now is a great time to show your support for Nexus and Gravonaut by rocking some of our sexy shirts, plus all profits made help aid future development of our games. If you’re on Facebook, you can also show some support by “liking” Gravonaut.
I am extremely excited to have finally hit this stage since we are in the final stretch now, has been a long time coming with too many sleepless nights and hair pulling moments, but thanks to our amazing team, family, and friends, it has made the process all worth it.