Alpha and the Road Ahead

January 16th, 2015 - 1:02 pm

Click to enlarge

As teased in my screenshot for last Saturday’s #screenshotsaturday, the big news in the world of Hidden Asset is that the game is no longer in pre-alpha. There are quite a bit of different opinions on what pre-alpha, alpha and beta means in the world of videogames, but here’s how I use these terms:

  • Pre-alpha: Missing core features and functionality.
  • Alpha: Core features and functionality done – missing content.
  • Beta: All content done – missing bugfixes and balancing.

So this means that all the core features and functionality of Hidden Asset are done. This is basically all the hardcore programming – a huge milestone! I can now focus almost all my dev time on designing levels, making assets and writing the full script for the game. As a result, the pace of development should also pick up a lot going forwards.

There’s just one thing I need to change code-wise before I can leave the heavy coding behind: switching from SDL 1.2 to SDL 2. This shouldn’t be that huge of a deal for Hidden Asset, since I only use SDL as a wrapper for OpenGL and for processing sound and inputs, which I believe hasn’t changed much from SDL 1.2 to SDL 2. I’m also switching Ascii Sector over to SDL 2, though, which should fix some problems with running that game on Mac OS X. Ascii Sector uses SDL for graphics rendering, which seems to have changed a lot from 1.2 to 2, so that may take up some dev time. We’ll see.

When I’ve switched everything over to SDL 2, I’ll build the last of the two introductory tutorial missions for Hidden Asset, and then this alpha version will be ready for closed testing, barring a few bugfixes and polishing. I’ll make an announcement when I’m looking for testers.