Tales from the Beta

January 31, 2010
Beta, Development, Weapons

Sorry for being so darned quiet! I’ll try to better myself. Promise. Flog me into action, should that be broken.

Anyway – the Seal Hunter beta is progressing quite nicely at this point – so far there’s been a total of 12 major beta revisions released. A whole load of bugs has been ironed out, many features have been polished, and quite a bit of balance/stability testing has been done. Currently, what I’m trying to focus on is the balancing of three player games – it’s way harder than what is reasonable (I wouldn’t be surprised if the difficulty of this will force me to limit the game to a total of three participating players – technical issues contribute, too). To make matters worse, I’m in the process of adding a few new weapons, as well.

Carl Gustav

One of these new weapons would be the Carl Gustav – a high-tier recoilless rifle that packs a lot of raw power while lacking in splash damage. To make envisioning this weapon a bit easier, for $9500 you get a weapon that currently deals approximately 700 damage at its epicenter. It currently has somewhat of a support role, much akin to the AWP, but trading bullet penetration for area affect. It’s still very much beta material, so expect some tweaking to be done on it before the final release. (And maybe even get rid of my programmer art for it.)

Something that I had planned out for quite a long while and then suddenly ended up implementing on a whim was the addition of achievements. There’s 60 of them in the game as of this moment, and they’re all pretty ‘hardcore’ in the sense that many are kinda hard to actually earn. I’ll most likely end up extending the number of achievements even further before the final 1.0 release.

And to abuse the segue – the final release, while not exactly close, shouldn’t be crazy far away any longer. Keep in mind that I’m the only person doing the actual production and coding for Seal Hunter, and with school effectively keeping me busy from 7 to 7, working on SH isn’t my top priority. I am working on it; my time is just severely more limited nowadays.

Again, sorry for not keeping you updated as frequently as I’d like to. If you have any suggestions for future posts, please do tell – I’ll happily accommodate you!


October 15, 2009

Good news, everyone – the walrus is now pretty much all done!

What is the walrus capable of, you might ask?

  • Encouraging me to rewrite large portions of the game.
  • Devouring me alive (Either he’s way too hard right now, or I’m simply a sucky player).
  • Forcing me to implement proper interpolation.
  • Moonwalking.

With all that in mind, there’s still a few kinks left to work out. For example, you can’t finish the game yet. I think this is a kinda crucial feature. There’s a bit of menu work left to do as well – mostly on that darned SHHQ page which will basically contain some basic account information as well as a link to the stats website. I hate menu coding.

Shouldn’t be too far away, now, despite all the massive delays. Sorry ’bout them, people.

Todo List

September 7, 2009

Yeah, I know, I’ve been lazy come updating lately. Anyway! What has happened since last time?

  • I’ve finished the game intro cinematic. Yes, there’s a whopping 60 second long intro cinematic, and it’s fairly awesome.
  • I’ve rewritten the music player. I ran into some issues with AllegroOGG, so I’ve now switched over to irrKlang for music playback.
  • I’ve attempted updating my network library to the latest version twice, and horribly failed in doing so because of some teething issues with a major new update to RakNet.
  • I’ve added the Punt Gun. About time!
  • I’ve worked on the statistics website and finished the experience system. Leveling up is awesome.
  • I’ve made the master server send Rank/Unlock/Title data to the client upon logging in. While this sounds fairly innocent, I imagine it’ll make beta testing a lot easier come certain aspects, and it’ll allow for dynamic content updates, albeit in a very limited fashion.
  • I’ve started school again. PlaygroundSquad is awesome, but it reduces my free time during the weeks to a whole 3 hours. Thus lack of motivation.

With all that behind, what’s left?

  • The fucking walrus. Yeah, I still haven’t added this bad boy yet, but I’m in progress of doing so at the moment.
  • Miscellaneous account statistics in the main menu. I love menu coding. So much. This would be stuff like a killcount. I’ll probably just end up tucking on a link to the statistics site though, because I really do prefer presenting data in HTML.

And that’s about it for now; until next time!

… And before you ask for a release date, I still don’t know. When it’s done.

Another Quick Update

August 4, 2009

… Yeah, I’m too lazy to come up with a proper post title this time, too.

There’s actually been some progress since last time, but sadly nothing that’s actually really easy to, uh, take a screenshot of and show off to the public. Most importantly, matches are now submitted to the master server and inserted into the main statistics database. That alone is a huge feature, now (almost!) all finished up.


In close relation to the submission of the statistics, they are also passed around amongst clients for the ugliest debriefing screen in the history of… uh, menu coding. Did I mention I hate menu coding? I think I did. As can be derived from the above screenshot, though, there’s still no functionality in place to track score – which is pretty much what is left to do. Plus adding the walrus, finally getting around to making the boss code not suck too hard, and fixing some minor bounty related bugs with explosives. And damn, I still need to add the Punt gun.

… I’m still lazy, okay? ;)

Quick Update

July 9, 2009

I’ve been slacking off quite badly as of late – at least compared to the amount of work I got done before the summer vacation – but what the hell, you can’t blame a man for wanting to play games rather than make ’em.

That being said, I have with the help of a fella named Cory managed to finish up the last of the sprite/strip related work which I swear to God is the most boring thing about this entire project. Basically, all the fancy animations have been imported properly from the original game now, so I don’t need to bother with those any longer.

So what’s done? I just finished adding the turtle enemy, which leaves the rather infamous final boss – more dirty code hacks will most surely follow in that particular bastard’s path. Parts of the internal bounty code has been rewritten, too.

But what’s left? For now: said endboss (aka the fiercest predator in the world!), statistics submission and validation of said data, some boss fight code improvements, a statistics menu in-game, and more importantly, a quick draft of the game balance with 3 and 4 players (for 1 and 2 players SH will match TSH’s structure).

I can’t give an estimate of how long all this will take, since I’d most likely end up disappointing you anyway. Let’s just say my motivation is dangerously close to zero for the time being, which makes me a very lazy coder. I’ll try to keep updates more frequent (maybe even – cough, cough – get a Twitter), but for now, this is just about everything I’ve done. I’m looking forward to the private beta testing as much as you guys probably do, but I don’t wish to give out a rather broken and unpolished prototype – even if it is, as aforementioned, merely for private testing.

‘Till next time.