Confessions of a lonely QA + Development Update

Greeting Traveller,

So yesterday I think I lost control of my own mouth when trying to explain to the rest of the team that I am only one man and no amount of “reminding” can make me get the testing done any faster. I say this in jest of course, however there is somewhat of a “test crunch” this upcoming week.

Being part of an indie team means I get to blag the title of Lead QA, when in actuality, I’m the only one in the QA “department”. This can offer up many challenges, the most prevalent of which is finding enough time to get everything done. I work with an amazing bunch of devs that are both talented and driven. Ultimately this is a wonderful and deadly combination as when asked about what they think they will be able to get delivered for the next update the general consensus seems to be “go big, or go home”. Which is wonderful for an inspired, motivated and talented team as everyone in the office gets pumped when talking about all these awesome features they want to get in and the excitement grows over the next week or so as they begin to knock out prototypes and implement features and I can admit that this is contagious. It’s always a little short lived though.

So picture me, like a kid in a sweet shop, bounding around like the over excited court jester I am. Laughing and joking with the team, patting them all on the back as they showcase their work (oh and I occasionally try and get a little bug fixing done in between laps of the office). Then it starts, slowly at first, like a zombie apocalypse movie where at first one person gets sick and its no big deal then before you know what’s happening you’re knee deep in reanimated douchebags. In my case its not zombies, its features to test. It’ll start at around 2pm on a tuesday, two or three weeks into the sprint. Someone will tentatively approach my desk and calmly say “hey, I’ve just committed [insert feature name here]. Could you give it a quick test for me?” and my response is always the same “yeah mate, I’ll get on it right away”, as I’m just as excited as them to see how this new feature or content will look and work in the world.

About an hour later, someone else will say “hey Andy, can you look at this please. It’s in the mainstream.” This is the “one person is sick” section of my zombie apocalypse. Then by wednesday night I’ve got 12 devs “reminding” me that their work is in the mainstream and ready for testing. Now its a full blown outbreak and I’m up to my knees in work and I can’t see how I’m going to survive.

Thankfully being an awesome indie team, there is always someone close by to offer you a helping hand. This always helps me loads, just being able to split the work loads is a relief. This week it all got a little much though and I couldn’t see how I was going to wade through all this testing even with the help of others. I felt bad for the people offering to help me with the work. As though they were Hershel from the Walking Dead and I’m screaming “dont do it buddy, you’ll end up losing your leg”.

In true Flix form though, when one person struggles the whole team pulls together to help get them back on track. So from yesterday feeling like I was the protagonist in a George Romero movie, to today where I can see a way out of this shopping mall full of untested features and content (if you get the reference without the help of google we should be friends) thanks to a lot of help from my Flix family.

It’s not always easy being indie, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Andy Lead (and indeed only) QA…Over to Kyle

FaunaBipedDev

…Thanks Andy, Annnnnywho, slightly laboured but entirely understandable Zombie metaphor aside, let’s get on to our dev update for the most Eden of all the Stars.

The Flix Gnomes are busy tinkering away on shiny new features to bring to the next update of Eden Star. We are currently working on a multitude of new features, however here we have decided to list only those of which we believe are on course to the April update

These features include, in true Generation Game style, are:

  • An AI Overhaul – Rewritten all AI to utilise a task graph rather than a behaviour tree. Creating less rigidity and more fluidity, To allow the Ai to adapt to changes in the word and react to the players actions.
  • Laser Walls – Static posts that can be placed in the ground between which a Kinetic Beam acts as a barrier to all those pesky critters.
  • Laser Turrets – Acting as a variant of the Ballistic Turrets, they utilise kinetic energy to deal damage to the indigenous wild life hell bent on hastening your demise.
  • A Decorative Dining Set and Matching Napkins
  • Alien Ika’s – A flying enemy that shoots projectiles from a distance
  • Ika Hives – Well even evil alien flying squids need somewhere to call home
  • A Crushed Ice Dispenser
  • Wallrun – Added ability to run along horizontal surfaces, acts as a buff awesome way to navigate your base.
  • His and Hers Toasted Sandwich Makers
  • Re-absorb and Repair – Added RMD/MATA Tool functionality to enable Pioneers to sell structures and reclaim minerals, or repair damaged structures
  • A Cuddly Toy
  • RMD/MATA Tool Upgrades – A plethora of upgrades that include faster mining, increased mining range and a personal favourite, the shotgun like Gauss Gun spread.

And last but not least, We have had a ton of awesome responses to naming the newest edition to the Eden Star universe. Many thanks to all who contributed to the ‘Name this Creature’ thread, we have narrowed it down to 6 of our favourite names.

Click the link below to vote for your favourite name for our first benign fauna.

Vote Here

Stay frosty,
Kyle

March Development Update #2

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Greetings Pioneers!
Today we have another development update video for you showcasing the new Regeneration module, selling structures, progress on the IKA -flying enemy- and some Zbrush recordings of some of the awesome things our Art team have been working on…

Please bear in mind that all of these features are work in progress for future updates and are subject to change. If you missed our previous March Development Update video, you can find it here.

Biped

So our little ‘Bipedal Neutral Fauna’ creature needs a proper name! We are currently accepting suggestions from the community in this thread. We will pick our favourites from those suggested and let you vote on which one you like best! :)

-Team Flix

Eden Star at EGX Rezzed!

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Right now we’re thrilled to say Eden Star is playable at EGX Rezzed at the Tobacco Dock in London! We’ve had amazing feedback from everyone so far.

If you’re heading down tomorrow, or happen to already be at Rezzed today then come meet the team and play v0.0.3 at our stand, we’d love to see you there! (We also have awesome posters on offer).


In development news we’ve got a sneak peak for you today. Check out the video below to see what we’ve been concocting.

What we’re showing in this preview is all work in progress for future releases, the footage does not represent the final quality of the features.

Summary of features in development:

Defenses

  • Laser Turret
  • Laser wall pillar

Controls

  • Editable key bindings

A.I.

  • Neutral Fauna Creature

Characters

  • First person player body

We’re also working on fleshing out additional Mata-Tool upgrades that we’ll reveal more of in the future. To keep fully up to date with our current development progress in the mean time, please visit our Public Trello board.

Huge thanks for the support, and check back for more updates!

Pioneer signing off.

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