Now that Dawntide has entered beta phase 2, Working As Intended developer Christian Hummeluhr bemoans Murphy’s Law in his journal entitled, “Why Must Things ALWAYS Break at the Last Minute?” It’s an amusing and informative inside look at the joys of development! Read on!
Why Must Things Always Break at the Last Minute
This is my second developer blog here. I’m Christian Hummeluhr, or zodium, the producer on Dawntide. Once again, Dawntide’s a low-fantasy sandbox MMORPG with a focus on civilization building and equally enjoyable gameplay experiences for all types of players. We want to allow players to be able to play each individual aspect for its own merits by themselves, but also allow them to come together and accomplish something more – for example, Settling allows players to build settlements with a wide range of building types that allow players to become self sustaining far from safe territories.
Since Beta 1, we’ve really gotten the game in more coherent shape. People aren’t falling through the world anymore, performance is starting to feel managable, and the world is getting big enough to start feeling like a world. Combat has been revamped entirely to be faster, though I recommend reading our website article for details on that. We also gave our website an overhaul and added lots of gameplay information and a gallery.
Beta 2 launched as planned on October 8th, and for the first few days the game was riddled with patcher and stability problems that seemed to make for a less than stellar experience for a lot of players, but after a few days our developers pulled through the worst of them, and it seems most people stuck around. It’s been a hard grind for us getting the game back up to speed and feeling wholesome after all the bugs from the Beta 2 changes, but it’s starting to pay off. Invites are still open, and we’ll be accepting new testers continuously through all of Beta 2 (as soon as performance is good for the current amount of testers).
Aside from performance, which has been a huge priority, we’re currently working on fleshing out combat abilities, crafting recipes and spells in order to get the base game rolling. We’re also working on Settling and adding more resources to the game to help the economy, if you can call it that at this point, and we’re considering the viability of switching resource harvesting to a prospecting system, rather than a clickable node system. More player races and probably other stuff I’m forgetting. It’s pretty exciting for us all around now that the major post-Beta 2 launch bugs are getting cleared up.
People seem to be warning up ever so slightly to the possibility of us actually pulling this off. Like I mentioned in my last developer blog here on Warcry, the most common reaction to our designs has been and continues to be, “They can’t pull it off.” There seems to be a broad consensus for what people expect out of a new sandbox MMOG if it is to succeed, and from what I read on our forums and the MMOG blogs, I’m becoming more confident by the day that we’re on the right track. The game is visibly improving towards the goal at a fairly quick rate and getting more and more coherent.
Overall, I’m happy that people have been morally supportive but skeptical of our efforts, since we seem to be slowly winning folks -people are thinking about our ideas and liking them, and not just going with hype. Creating a sandbox is simply not going to be possible unless we have good, critical feedback from our players. Development wise, features and content are currently going according to plan, so I’m just waiting until the last few performance bugs get stomped on to declare myself a happy producer.
I’m especially excited to see Settling get tested. And look, I finished the blog on one page this time!