Alphas 11 and 12

Posted in EpicTable Development on November 21, 2010 at 3:12 am

Due to a variety of work and family conflicts, my group had a longish break between tests. (And yes, I know, if that happens again, I should pull in some of you folks who have offered to wade into the alpha fray. )

I had my own set of conflicting priorities, though, so the extra time didn’t hurt. I posted Alpha-11 to my group on the 19th in anticipation of testing Friday night. However, Friday night before the test, I fixed some things related to handouts. So, I quick spun up an Alpha-12 while the guys waited patiently, and that’s what we ended up testing.

Here are some highlights of the delta between Alpha-10 and Alpha-12:

  • I fixed “Brennen’s Terrible Scrolling Problem” – scrolling stopped prematurely on Brennen’s small(er) laptop screen than on my test screens.
  • I eliminated the “Tribble Notes” – notes that cloned every time they moved.
  • I fixed an issue with the installer that was causing it to not update an existing installation.
  • I fixed some things with character edits and character portrait transfer.
  • There are better “wait” screens now than there used to be, for things like waiting for the game organizer to join, retrieving game resources, etc. There’s still not as much feedback as I’d like, but it’s better than it was. For the trivia fans out there, the splash screen is actually the same image used for the EpicTable banner we had in the Gen Con booth this year.
  • There’s a nice self-extracting exe for the installer now, so there’s no need to go through the hassle of opening a zip file, wondering if you should extract the files first, and then wondering whether you should run setup.exe or the .msi file. There’s just a single exe. You run it. The product installs. Simple.

The really good (from a glass half-full perspective) things to come out of tonight’s test:

  • There are things wrong with character portrait transfer that just aren’t misbehaving in my lab. (The glass half-full part about that is that I wouldn’t have found this without the alpha testers, and the rest of you would have been hit with it in the beta.) This is curious–since the server is central, it doesn’t really matter much whether two clients are in my house or across the world from each other. So, I don’t yet have a satisfactory explanation for why character portraits work so well for me.
  • Something’s not right with the auto-updater. I wonder if my installer “fix” has anything to do with this….
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