This week, so I'll limit myself to a quick overview of what I've done and what's still coming.
The past and present
As you may remember from my last blogpost, none of the friends I invited was able to find out everything you need to do to be able to play. To fix this, I've implemented some nice little user friendly buttons on several places in the game. The most important one is this one:
To be able to play, you have to click Desura's 'connect' button (which creates the essential Olvand account the game uses to save your game data), and this little box tries to help you with that. The new build with the user friendly buttons is already uploaded and accepted on Desura.
At the moment I'm finishing the member area on the website. The achievements section is almost done (so you can see an overview of which achievements you completed, and which ones are still to be done), and I also want to write some stuff about how to report bugs and do suggestions.
I get asked a lot about a release date, but that's incredibly hard to say. I'll share my future plans, so you can see why:
- Phase 1: inviting the server admins. Some of you may remember that some weeks ago, I asked for people who will be able to have a server online at all times, so the testers have one main world to play in. Two people responded (thanks!). My plan is to invite these two people once the member area is done (which could be any day now), so they have some time to prepare the servers before I let more people in.
- Phase 2: giving these admins time to set up the servers. While the admins set up their servers, I will fix all bugs they might find along the way. Maybe there are no bugs, and everything works immediately, maybe they both can't get their server to work and have to spend months trying to figure out why. My guess is that, if we not too much goes wrong, this phase will take about 2 - 3 weeks, but the reality is that everything between 2 days and 2 years is possible.
- Phase 3: invite the first group of testers, which consists of the first 35 people who explicitly asked me if they could test. I've collected many more names over the last few weeks, but I'm afraid my own central server will melt if I open the gates to everybody at once. By inviting people in small groups, I hope to have a little more control. I should note that because I want people to play with friends, I implemented an invite feature, so this group will grow slowly.
- Phase 4: invite more people. If everything works, I will invite more people (again, in groups of about 35 people), and see if everything still works.
For most of you, you'll receive an invite during phase 3, or maybe early in phase 4. As you can see, that time might be very soon, but it might also still take a long time. In case it takes a long time, why not follow [twitter] or [facebook]?
Let me know if you're also interested in running a 'main test server', which is a server that's always online and all other testers know about.