Author Topic: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)  (Read 2595 times)

Offline x4000

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Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« on: July 13, 2015, 03:53:56 PM »
New version!  https://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Stars_Beyond_Reach_Beta_Phase_2_Release_Notes#Version_0.902

No, this isn't the much-awaited new-diplomacy version.  That's looking like that will be right at the end of July, so this is going to be a pretty dead month for us in a lot of respects as far as releases go.  That said, there's a ton of stuff in this new version.

1. First of all, there's just a lot of general mantis housekeeping.  Lots of balance and bugfix things, and usability improvements and so on based on your feedback on prior versions.  Stuff that's all still going to be relevant in the future, and that we need to get done prior to 1.0 anyway, and that Keith could work on while I'm working on the diplomacy redesign.

2. There's also a substantial amount of new code for the diplomacy system in here that Keith put in, although it's not ready to show yet.

3. As the title of this release denotes, we've upgraded to a newer version of unity.  This should solve some linux and some windows 8.1 bugs in particular, mostly semi-little stuff but some of it relating to graphics compatibility.

4. Graphics scaling!  Holy moly, you guys have been after us for this since 2010 at least, in all our various games.  I've resisted for a variety of reasons, all of them technical-oriented (in other words, I wasn't disagreeing with you on principle).  The various technical issues are now sorted out, and now here we are.

5. As a side benefit of that, the game is now sharper and a bit brighter in general, PLUS you get brightness, contrast, and sharpness controls that you can adjust in the graphics settings menu (or you can turn those off if you're on a much older graphics card).


So in general this hits a lot of cool goals for us for 1.0, although it's not directly visible progress on the things that you're waiting for most in the short term: diplomacy.  All in good time, but I'm taking a data-first approach to diplomacy to make sure that things work out in the data definitions before we start running wild with code.  Overall it will save us time on coding and architecting, and have more of a content dump on the first version of the new diplomacy stuff.  It also helps me find weaknesses in the underlying assumptions sooner than later, although the interface doesn't get helped by these in the very short term.

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 04:39:30 PM by x4000 »
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Offline gnosis

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2015, 04:08:08 PM »
Any word on the next wave of beta-testing for us the new ppl? Should I set my calendar notification for the end of August as well? or are there other plans?

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2015, 04:35:06 PM »
More or less the end of August, yes -- I don't see much point in introducing new people until we get the new diplomacy system in place, because I want the first experience of folks like you to be with that.  I also don't really need a flood of other mantis issues in the meantime, because we wouldn't have time to work on them appropriately anyhow, to be honest.

So it makes for a bit of an extended hiatus while we get our house in order.  Overall I'm not expecting the existing beta testers to do much of anything during this period, either.  Having them check out and verify some of the fixes and the new graphical stuff would be great, but in terms of actual testing time I'd be just as happy to have them rest from the game until the new diplomacy stuff is out, too. 

That's up to each person individually, but this is basically "the calm before the storm" in terms of when we hit our final stretch of 2 months where we're really hammering on polish and just wanting a deluge of feedback again, etc, etc.  Right now we're kind of repairing from the last round of that, so to speak.
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Offline topper

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2015, 04:38:51 PM »
No, this isn't the much-awaited new-diplomacy version.  That's looking like that will be right at the end of August, so this is going to be a pretty dead month for us in a lot of respects as far as releases go.  That said, there's a ton of stuff in this new version.

Is that supposed to be "end of July"? A month and a half dead period for Arcen would be almost unheard of. (you are probably capable of cranking out a new AI War expansion in that time  ;) )

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2015, 04:40:07 PM »
No, this isn't the much-awaited new-diplomacy version.  That's looking like that will be right at the end of August, so this is going to be a pretty dead month for us in a lot of respects as far as releases go.  That said, there's a ton of stuff in this new version.

Is that supposed to be "end of July"? A month and a half dead period for Arcen would be almost unheard of. (you are probably capable of cranking out a new AI War expansion in that time  ;) )

Whoah, what a typo!  I mixed up "end of July" and "start of August."  Yeah, that's meant to be basically "2-3 weeks from now."
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Offline jerith

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2015, 04:49:27 PM »
All in good time, but I'm taking a data-first approach to diplomacy to make sure that things work out in the data definitions before we start running wild with code.  Overall it will save us time on coding and architecting, and have more of a content dump on the first version of the new diplomacy stuff.  It also helps me find weaknesses in the underlying assumptions sooner than later, although the interface doesn't get helped by these in the very short term.

This is the perfect opportunity to share my favourite version of some wisdom that far too few programmers seem to remember:

Quote from: Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
This is where the heart of a program lies. Show me your flowcharts and conceal your tables, and I shall continue to be mystified. Show me your tables, and I won't usually need your flowcharts; they'll be obvious.

A lot has changed in the forty years since this was published, but it's still as relevant now as it was then.

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2015, 04:50:38 PM »
Ha -- as someone who used to be a database programmer as much as anything else, that definitely makes me smile. :)
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2015, 05:38:20 PM »

So it makes for a bit of an extended hiatus while we get our house in order.  Overall I'm not expecting the existing beta testers to do much of anything during this period, either.  Having them check out and verify some of the fixes and the new graphical stuff would be great, but in terms of actual testing time I'd be just as happy to have them rest from the game until the new diplomacy stuff is out, too. 

That's up to each person individually, but this is basically "the calm before the storm" in terms of when we hit our final stretch of 2 months where we're really hammering on polish and just wanting a deluge of feedback again, etc, etc.  Right now we're kind of repairing from the last round of that, so to speak.
glad to hear that I'm really looking forward to when this new diplomacy gets added so I can finally get back to business even with all the inevitable wandering around being lost dazed and confused that's inevitably going to happen especially if this diplomacy system is as strange as you make it sound. ps hey anybody else playing the escapists at the moment? its super dank although it doesn't explain it self to well at times and has some strange design choices.
c.r

Offline gnosis

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2015, 06:16:43 PM »
Thanks,

I'll be setting up my calendar for the end of July then.

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2015, 07:17:34 PM »
Sounds good!

Can folks with OSX in particular test the current build (with the new unity version) and let me know if you have any problems?  I'm specifically interested in those folks upgrading from a past version.  I think that new installs will do okay.  Deleting your StarsBeyondReach.app and then verifying your file cache should fix the problem if it doesn't run after the update, but I'd like to know if that problem does exist just for future reference.

Thanks!
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Offline Tolc

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2015, 07:45:07 PM »
The additional graphics options sound awesome! I don't really need them personally, but I think there are more than enough people who will love them :)

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2015, 07:49:10 PM »
I'm definitely excited about them, myself -- I find myself using them already, really.
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2015, 03:49:54 PM »
I'm definitely excited about them, myself -- I find myself using them already, really.
These are great!
Just gave them a shot - they create a whole new visual appearance for me on my laptop.
Kudos :).
And in the mean time you can mark this as resolved - the new screen scale thing did the job for me!

Lastly - just in case you have trouble keeping Keith busy - I would very much appreciate if you could put this on his task list. This really kills the city buidling for me once I have more than two territories.

PS: I forgot to mention: Using screen scale currently dislocates the icons in the bottom bar of the main screen. They stay functional, though.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 03:52:26 PM by nas1m »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2015, 04:02:34 PM »
Awesome, glad to hear it!

Marked that one as resolved, and noting the other one onto the task list.  Good call.

Regarding the screen scale, that's actually not dislocating the icons in the bottom bar; the underlay plate on that was redesigned by Blue and changed sizes, so they are offset on all scales.  It's a known issue, just not something I've gotten to yet.

Thanks!
Chris
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Beta 0.902 (Unity 4.6.7 Upgrade)
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2015, 04:04:51 PM »
Awesome, glad to hear it!

Marked that one as resolved, and noting the other one onto the task list.  Good call.

Regarding the screen scale, that's actually not dislocating the icons in the bottom bar; the underlay plate on that was redesigned by Blue and changed sizes, so they are offset on all scales.  It's a known issue, just not something I've gotten to yet.

Thanks!
Chris
You bet ;).
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