Friday 19th Feb – 1pm – 4pm – Beta testing at Bristol Games Hub.
Through email communications with Nils Hallberg I had arranged to come in to participate in some Beta testing for his game Battle for Sector 219, a digitalised turn based card game from Large Visible Machine company.
Before the Beta testing on Friday me and Jake, popped in on thursday to introduce ourselves and get a better idea of what to expect. We confirmed a time for friday and how to prepare – Jake needed a laptop to do the Beta testing so Nils provided his own to use. Also as the game is based on a physical card game Nils lent me the deck of cards to look through and get acquainted with, alongside some rules and instructions on gameplay from their website/ a forum somewhere. I researched the game at home and found an explanation demonstration video of the previous version of the game Battle for Hill 218, most of the same principles applied to the Battle for Sector 219. As I had never played this before I wanted to have some understanding for when I went in the next day. I familiarised myself with the game rules alongside the physical deck of cards Nils had given me, laying out cards and referencing the rules to see what gameplay was to proceed. This was slightly irrelevant when Beta testing as the rules of gameplay are enforced through game mechanics and GUI – e.g. physical gameplay you can put a card anywhere you like and if it’s incorrect you can pick it up and play a correct card —- in Beta testing, when a card is selected to play only the available correct plays are shown to the player.
There was a few issues with the build. Alex made a build for us to test. This was then shared with me on dropbox. Once downloaded Nils had to make a few adjustments to the contents through adjusting the file extensions and folder hierarchy. “.app” are zipped/compressed files that uncompress when run. The dropbox content I downloaded was just a folder named “content”. This would not run so in order to solve this issue, a new folder was created named “app” – the contents folder placed inside and the prefix of the contents folder changed to .app
Nils is the CEO of Large Invisible Machine and a director of the Bristol Games Hub.
Alex and Rich are programmer/developers working under Nils on Battle for Sector 219.
Nils has links with Steve Jackson in USA / Ogre Studios for project outsourcing – uses a friend in USA for music composition.
Uses a freelancing graphic designer from Auroch Digital on the floor below.
Nils works with windows and unity but is building for iphone, tablet/ipads and steam – osx and windows. He has issues when porting to different platforms.
Thursday 25th Feb 2pm – 5pm = 3 hours
Secondary testing session pushing the online play functions. When a game is created it sits on the server and players turns are pinged between machine and server taking a maximum of 5 seconds to refresh.
Gameplay was smooth and generally undisturbed. A few glitches and bugs were uncovered through continuous gameplay (GUI glitches mainly).a single network issue occur where the network crashed from multiple games being run at simultaneously.
Multiplayer – large matches with a lot of strategic planning and placement of pieces, like a combination of chess and battleships.
LMXD02 Statement of work – Games Hub – Beta Testing – Jasz Pike
- a statement about what you hoped to learn during your time in the workplace;
I hope to learn the processes of testing games at a beta stage. I would also like to learn more about how the game was constructed, the roots of the game and more about the Bristol Games Hub / 77 Stokes Croft.
- a job/ project description
Job Role: Beta Game Tester
I was assigned the task of testing a game in development at Beta level. The game was almost complete but iterative testing and revising was needed. I was given an online document to fill out that focused on the areas of the game that the developers were unsure were fully operational or had bugs that needed identifying.
- samples of your record of the experience, for example diary entries, blogs, critical incidents, to include your initial reflections on this evidence
I can provide examples of the game itself with annotated screenshots and the online document that was provided. This shows the game in action, documentation of the bug areas and written feedback from me as a end user.
- a signed verification by your supervisor that you have completed the equivalent of at least 20 days.
I do not have a signed verification of work completed and time spent yet but will be able to towards the end of the semester.
- Illustrations of the kind of work that you undertook (what you did, how and why you did it this way) and an analysis of what was learned in the process – in the case of a substantial production project you can identify your role and submit the actual production as evidence of your learning in any suitable digital/ electronic format.
The questions and areas of development to check during gameplay