The original idea to have Blackhole with big online functions had to be put aside for a bit, but just today was the day when we got the time to get back to it. Saturday is the day we get some extra time, as most of the team is on a break (except for Patrik and Vojta who are creating levels, see more in yesterday’s blog), so yep, there’s some time left for the interesting stuff.For example?
We are, of course, delighted that you’re approaching up with requests for copies of the game because you want to shoot a review. Both bigger media and youtuber newbies are sending messages, and today was the day when I made time for email managing. It might not seem like it, but dealing with about 15 emails takes up to 40 minutes. Very often they are in English, and it’s rather hard to respond, because the questions asked can be very specific: why don’t we have an actual collector’s version in the U.S.? Why don’t we have more dubbings in different languages planned for the game release? Will our game have the steam cards system? And will there be achievements?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m just saying that mailing is very time-consuming. However, it’s really awesome that we have so many people interested in getting the game, and especially abroad where no real marketing has been done yet. Basically, we’ve only propagated the game within the Czech and Slovak republics.
Saturday is an ideal day for business! Well, at least I thought so. I went through planned forums and discussions in the administration of the Steam, looked at what other developers have to deal with, and finally found out how to integrate some things that had concerning me.
Things that normally don’t come to your mind, e. g.
How will the player enter his name on Steam Big Picture, when we don’t have a keyboard in the game?
A: That’s something that Steam API takes care of, and they have a virtual keyboard.
And what if a player plays with a controller, but disables Big Picture?
A: Well, they have a keyboard, right?
And what if we release the game on consoles?
A: Then the console API takes care of the keyboard.
Keyboard on screen is exactly that type of problem that worries me. It’s an intervention of another software, which must communicate with our game. The good thing is, the game really manages to do it and we don’t need to worry about not bringing you the ‚controller experience‘ as it’s supposed to be.
BLOCKER, just the word itself blocks. So I assume it’s easy to explain what it means in the our game’s code. It’s the situation, it can be a bug, an error, a badly composed object, anything that may prevent us from playing, finishing, or worst scenario, starting the game. A blocker happens easily, by mistake or by accident during implementation of something new.
One blocker appeared in the environment of Up & Down chapter, where the game crashes randomly. It’s frustrating, because when you design a level, you want to try it. And you either can’t, or you can but you have to hope that you’ll somehow avoid the crash. But you won’t. And that’s how a blocker happens to be. And then off you go, to do something else because the developing work has to wait for the blocker to be removed. Seeker’s working on it, but as I’ve mentioned before, he’s got finals now; so the work takes him longer than it normally does.
Originally, my thought on leaderboards and world’s time rankings was more complex and included sophisticated system of generating something called Wildcard. Meaning a special code which you use here on these websites after you buy your game. Thanks to that, a function that allows you to share anything from the game unlocks.
Today I’ve learned that if we distributed these keys through Steam and so the player would need to submit another code out of Steam (even though it’d be here on this website), it would mean disabling the Family Sharing opportunity, the possibility of streaming through platform and a couple more disadvantages which I skimmed through and don’t even remember, because I was clear on this: this is not the way.
WILDCARD should’ve also been a possibility how to get closer to you – the players. Those of you who submit your address could even compete for some cool prizes. And we’d just send them. And with pleasure! We also want to enter the competitions with you, we want to enjoy the game too. Challenge Vault in the perfect extension of the playing time that goes on even after the main story is finished, and we’re really looking forward to it.
Race ahead in individual’s times is also cool! But you just need to log in if you want the whole thing to work properly. And that’s the catch. We wanted to verify the accounts. We lost that option. And as we can’t do anything about that, the chance to set up a Wildcard will be given to everyone. Not just to those that’ll buy the game, but also to those that only register.
But only those who fill in all the necessary personal information will be able to compete for prizes. It’s that simple.
The reason I’m worried about this is the possibility of piracy. Just imagine that you don’t even need to buy the game, you just need to find it somewhere, register, and then you have fun for our money. But I’m going to assume the players are reasonable. We’re going to be checking everything manually, and maybe won’t go mad. We’ll give this more thought.
Thanks for your support :).
See ya again tomorrow!