Monday 11 February 2013

Play Testing Is Very Useful

I put the game in to Xbox Live play testing with little expectations especially as it is such an early version.

What I got back was incredible.  I knew the way others look at the game would be different to how I see it, with the 'rose tinted glasses' of the developer on but I was not expecting such useful feedback.

After the initial essential bug fix, many of the comments are about balancing the combat. I got feedback on AI behaviour, the relative strengths of the weapons and even some suggestions for the bullet effect via Twitter.  I also got some useful comments, with screen shots, on projectile behaviour which I knew about but did not expect others to notice.  I know now that if I know about it chances are others will also find it distracting.

I have already fixed or changed many of the things based on the suggestions and just have the more time consuming ones to go.  Some changes have hit performance so I am in the process of moving things about to get a few more milliseconds out of the CPU...  I hope!

Thanks again to all.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Alpha Playtest Version

UPDATE: This playtest has now expired.  The forum remains for anyone interested and there will be future versions when I have made sufficient changes for more testing to be worthwhile.

I'd like to thank everyone who tested the game.  I received some excellent feedback and and am working through it all to make changes.


I have just uploaded the first version that other developers can play.

For those who may be interested please be aware that this is only available to Xbox Live Independent Game (XBLIG) developers who have a premium subscription with Microsoft.  That's the way Microsoft set up the publishing mechanism for the Xbox.  That's a long way of saying only other Xbox developers can get this download:


I am a bit nervous and excited because this will be the first time that anyone other than me has played it. I've demo'd older versions to a few friends before but these only had partial test levels. No one else has played a version where a level can be played through from start to finish.

The game is still a long way from completion.  Lots of the graphics need improving both in game and on the menus.  I need more player characters, more types of aliens, better animations and most importantly I need to write the network code so it can be played on line.

That's what's not there but what is there...

- Character selection.
- Single player
- Two player split screen
- Playable level with an end objective (a bit simplistic at the moment I admit)
- Selection of weapons including different types of grenades
- AI controlled Bots. Despite their limited skill set they still make difficult opponents
- Ammo counters, weapon sights, grenades, the usual stuff...
- Weapon and ammo pickups
- Lots of enemies to shoot at
- End of game scores
and more...

If you are an XBLIG developer I hope you try it out and enjoy it.


For anyone else at this stage it took about 3 hours between uploading the file and it being available to download.