Well, its a milestone for me today, as VRbloX is finally playable from start to finish. That doesn’t mean its complete, far from it in fact, but it does mean the I can sit down and play the compiled build as intended. Now I am entering probably the longest phase of development now which is the final 10%, and that’s gameplay tweaking and ensuring that each level has the correct balance between difficulty and play-ability. As a one man developer this final stage gets really tricky as I have played this game so many hundreds of times now, that I am starting to get numb to the feedback the game gives me, and also I’ve become rather adept at it too, so knowing whether gameplay is correctly balanced is becoming a difficult task.
This is where having a supporting wife, family and group of friends comes in really handy, as you will need people to test the game for you and give honest feedback. However, sometimes feedback from people close to you can possibly be a little biased in your favor, so going out to the wider audience is a good idea too. I have posted on twitter and various forums about needing beta testers, so if you are interested, please get in touch as your feedback during the final QA stages is invaluable.
I also got high scores working too, which is totally awesome, as it now means that my players can see how they rank against all other players worldwide. If you want to get simple highscores working in your own games, I followed Sebastian Leagues awesome tutorial that shows you how to use the excellent online score system by dreamlo. These guys are awesome so if you do get something useful from this, consider supporting them.
Its worth mentioning here as well that not every player will have their pc online at all times, so try to save a copy of the players score locally to their PC as well so that you can retrieve that if you cannot access the online scores. Unity saves to local machine using the PlayerPrefs class, but this is saved in plain text and can be easily edited. I use this method of encrypting the PlayerPrefs so that it gives you just a good layer of hacking prevention. It wont compeltely prevent anyone wanting to hack the scores, so I only use this routine for local scores, and send everything else online via a different routine using HTTPS, this way its nice and secure.
So, next on the list now is to plough through my bug list and start fixing some of the known bugs, before my beta testers start giving me a list of new ones to play with! So, thanks for reading and follow me on twitter for more updates.