Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bugs, Virus and other Abominations

Chet and I must have hunted down over 100 bugs and other issues since alpha began. I fixed most of them now, classified several as low priority (will get to them if and when I feel like), and have been really stumped by just two or three bugs thus far but they aren’t critical ones and, if need be, I know there are workarounds for them.

It’s amazing how bugs just keeping creeping up though. All you need is to forget a journal advance at some point or put in the wrong conditional on a convo node. I cross my fingers we will have caught all of these subtle errors before release.

So bug hunting and polishing has been going at a swift pace… until about two and a half weeks ago.

It started with my 5 year old daughter contracting a flu, with fever lasting a full week (most likely H1N1). Wife and I split the time at home. Paid-work productivity went down of course, and so did time spent on Trinity.

And then it was my turn. Woke up the day after my wife left for a 12-day business trip to South America with flu symptoms: test results two days later confirmed H1N1. So have been struggling to get over this since. Still not fully recovered. Wife is back now, so that is a measure of relief.

At one point even, my 3-year old had flu-like symptoms, but she was out of commission for just 3 days. Good to see how the young ones spring back so swiftly.

Although at home every day since, I haven’t had much energy to put into Trinity. Did feel good 2-3 days late last week and started work on a brand new area (felt good to sculpt and texture again) for the “drider and destruction” quest. Got a new alpha out to Chet too for a fresh runthrough, and looking forward to seeing the results of his hunt. But I haven’t had the spirit to do much more.

Instead, I’ve have been putting time into Dragon Age, and killed a ton (certainly feels like it) of abominations and other darkspawns. Playing as a mage, which is hugely different than playing a wizard or even a sorcerer in NWN2. The quick spell refresh and low spell variety means the same strategy again and again in combat. Though combat is fast and furious, and the animations and especially sounds are extremely satisfying, it’s gotten a little old already, and I’ve put aside the game for now, still, after no less than 40 hours of playing.

Picked up Fallout 3 again, installed a couple of mods from Fallout Nexus, and I’m enjoying the exploration and the quests once again, though I expect killing Super Mutants, Super Mutant Brutes, Super Mutant Masters, and more Super Mutants to get old soon again. But for the time being that’s where much of my time before the LCD screen is spent.

Should be back on Trinity soon.

Thanks for reading.


Starwars said...

Glad to see work commencing even with the problems and all that. Good to know you and family got through the flu alright. :)

I really liked the Dragon Age campaign overall and thought it was excellent. But I have to agree with you as well. I know people always really crave the superlong RPGs, but for me personally, a really long RPG usually means that I run out of steam.

I did finish DA, but the thought of replaying it is quite remote for me at the moment. Not that I don't want to see the different choices and all that, but because I don't cherish the thought of going through all that combat once again. Even though some encounters are excellent, I find it's too combat-heavy overall for my taste, especially for such a long game.

Looking forward to seeing Trinity unveiled!

Chaos Wielder said...

Good to hear you're back in the saddle. The flu is no fun at all.

SirChet said...

We are all very happy to hear you're feeling better.

If you don't feel like doing it, don't do it.

Getting well and feeling better is far more important than releasing Trinity sooner.

Oh ... making notes while I nit pick my way through the latest Alpha.

Wyrin said...

sounds like a nasty few weeks - I've had similar when I haven't felt 100% fit for months now with one bug or another i nthe background - the perils of working in london sometimes I think...

i know what you mean about the combat in DA. I'm really enjoying the game, but do feel that there isn't much freedom between class development. Mages might specialise in only on type of spells and no two mages may be that similar - but then they only have a small range of abilities to pick in each combat. And for fighters/rogues, it does seem that once you've picked your 2-handed, dual-wield, sword and shield, archery style, there's not that much difference between two PC with the same style...

Jclef said...

Eek man - glad to hear you and your Family are OK. Killing Darkspawn has been wicked FUN! I love some the Killing Blow animations they've put in for bosses and stuff - really nice touches here and there with this game.

E.C.Patterson said...

Thanks for the well wishes everyone. Got some new medications yesterday and it's really making a difference.

Starwars: yes, lengthy is not a big criteria with me either. When I hear a game has 80 hours of playtime, its almost a downer as I just think how long it will take me to finish it! Both in regards to my ability to sustain interest and my available time. Same goes for community made mods: the longest mod won't necessarily be my first choice. I'm hugely more looking for a dense, intense experience than a long drawn out one. I've certainly kept that preference in mind while building Trinity.

Chet: I'm counting on you to pick all the nits, gnats and other bugs there are!

Production value of DA is sky high for sure. It does look like it benefitted from the long dev time, huge team, and no doubt big budget.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Sorry to hear about the flu virus. Nasty. Hope you are all better now.

Bugs ... I know how easy it is to find/have them. One small step by the player in a direction you had not planned and the plot breaks down because of a mistimed variable or journal entry (as you say).

I can't comment on DA as I don't have it yet, and probably won't for some time. Will do one day, hopefully. :)


Daronas said...

I'm glad to hear you're doing OK. I was sick for a week or two about a month ago. I suspected H1N1, but never confirmed it. I luckily hardly ever get sick.

I've been having a blast with DA so far. Over 150 hours with 2 characters. The first I'll probably delete. Still haven't neared finishing. I think I'll finish with my current character. He's a dwarf 2-hander. Lots of fun. Though I've been controlling the rest of my party more than my own character. Which is cool. It's the way I played all of the Infinity games.

Definitely really looking forward to Trinity. :)

E.C.Patterson said...

Good to hear from you guys! I've set aside Fallout 3 for now, and have a hankering to go back to DA, or SoZ... But right now I'm back in full swing on the TS, which really is where I want to be... :)