Anathema Saga Enters Alpha Testing

Hey all! In an unexpected turn of events, one of the summer jobs I got actually allowed me to finish the development on Anathema. I was essentially doing admissions at the MN state fair from 11:00 PM to 7:30 AM, and there was just enough room for me to squeeze my brand-spankin-new iMac into the shack. 4-8 hours of nearly uninterrupted programming time every day gets s### done.

Anyways, I've been doing alpha testing for about a week now; I didn't report this sooner because I wasn't sure how much time I'd have for testing when I started my last semester of college. It's turned out to be a lighter workload than I expected, so here I am.

I don't have an ETA on beta, because due to the special ship system bug in the previous version of MC, most of chapter four is completely untested, as opposed to my usual test-every-week-or-so method. When I'm ready for beta, I'll contact the testers.

On that note, so far the following people have expressed interest:

Jalisurr, Geek, gavin83209, of doom, n64mon, godisdead132 (forum handle unknown, will contact), JoshTigerheart, Kauthor

That puts us at eight, which, assuming everybody can lend a hand, should be plenty. However, if anybody else wants to opt in, post here, send me an email (bmartin2009@gmail.com, please include your forum handle if you have one), or send me a PM. I make no guarantees, and too many more people would probably be an unnecessary drag on the process, so if you have experience programming or modding, letting me know will significantly increase your chances of being selected. Unfortunately, even after having gutted the entire Polaris and Vell-os lines (the only ones that do not have a bridge to the Fed line), the plug uses literally every available mission resource. I think it's at 426 missions total. This means that beta testers will not be able to include their own short string as I had hoped, although those that already exist will still be there, and you will still be able to tailor your own përs.

Oh right, one more thing: thank you everybody who suggested reading to help give me a kick out of my writer's block. It was full of great ideas, some of which I took up, some of which I'll read later (managed to finish Hyperion during my stint at the fair, too).

I think that's about it! All I can say for now about the project is that I am incredibly happy with how it turned out and can't wait to share the experience with all of you!

~Archon

P.S. I have been toying around with the idea of making a "hard mode" plug after release that would make some or most combat missions more difficult along with toning up enemy technology, weakening the player's faction's tech, and taking out a few advantageous mechanics. Keeping in mind that chapters 3 and 4 are going to ramp up the difficulty a notch, who here would be interested in seeing this released? Also keep in mind that due to the number of choices the player can make, the replayability should be decent.

Congratulations on finishing it! I'll have to have a go once it's released.

(by the way, if you want webspace for something about Anathema, even the download itself if it's too big, I have lots to spare)

I'm still here!
Re: Hard Mode, I don't know if I would play it myself. I find stock Nova a little too easy, but if chapters 3 and 4 kick up the difficulty from 1 and 2 then that sounds about right for me. I probably wouldn't re-play a plug just for the hard mode, but if I did replay a plug, I would definitely do hard-mode the second time, if that makes sense.

A hard mode would be fun. However it might make life a bit more difficult for your testers.

P.S. Does this mean I get to test?

If you're still interested, you're on board!

Oh, and the hard mode plugin would be a separate release; although the changes wouldn't be hard to implement, it would take an awful lot of time to balance properly, which would slow down the release if they were bundled together.

I think that balancing a hard mode would be much easier with a good number of beta testers, and tell them to try to break the game.

Just to clarify my earlier post, I'm happy to beta-test a hard mode, I was speaking more as a player for the purposes of judging your audience.

Will you want some kind of website?

Wow, that's quite a generous offer, but for now, I think I'll just stick with hosting. However, if I get around to making more detailed walkthroughs or some such, I may take you up on that.

I'm still lurking about. 🙂

Update: alpha testing is about 90% complete. I may or may not be able to set the beta up this weekend (going home and seeing my lady), but expect it within a week or so.

At least one week later...

Fear not, he'll post it when he's ready. I don't want people berating me about my silly self-imposed deadlines. 🙂

This post has been edited by n64mon : 06 October 2009 - 07:39 PM

Expect it around Wednesday.

(edit)I've made it up to the penultimate mission, but there's one event I'm not happy with a ways back. I'll try to fix it tonight, but depending on how many dëscs/mïsns/bits I'll have to change it may put me back a day or so. I'll keep everyone posted.

This post has been edited by Archon : 07 October 2009 - 05:13 PM

Just tried to send out a few messages, but the board has flood control so I'm just posting it here. Anyways…

Ahem

The Anathema Beta is now live! Everybody who is still interested, send me a PM with the email you would like to use so I can invite you to the group!

I'll post here from time to time to keep the forum community at large up-to-date, but most of the bug squishing will be going on in the group, at least until open beta, which I certainly plan on doing again. It was a huge help last time, and it's good to get a second (or tenth or thirtieth) opinion.

Great! I'll post bugs when I can.

This post has been edited by ez31337 : 10 October 2009 - 09:12 PM

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