Our Development System (and Beta 4 Update)

Discussion in 'Buildbox General Discussion' started by TreySmith, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. TreySmith

    TreySmith Moderator

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    FYI guys, I am working on a new game for Ketchapp. This is the first game I've personally done all the level design in since Phases. I was in BB2 VERY heavy the last 10 days and have been working close with the team to ensure BETA 4 fixes every crash I could find.

    I'm working today on the final version of Beta4 and let me say, it's solid as a rock for me on OSX El Capitan. I've got a very complicated game as well. This is what it looks like so far:

    [​IMG]
    When I get done with this one I will shoot a video showing you guys how I did it all. The routing looks crazy, but it's actually pretty easy to follow. It has some cool features we've never done before like an advanced store with multiple tabs, 5 different gameplay modes and more.

    Back to Beta 4...

    Each time we finalize a beta, we run it through a ton of tests to make sure everything is working correctly. Or as well as it should in it's current state. As we've added more options, this list gets extended and takes more time. This is why we can't ever give a specific time or day of release.

    It takes 3 hours just to build the executable of Buildbox 2 and about 5 hours to test every major feature. Even then, the ball can still get dropped as it's nearly impossible to test every single function. If we find an issue, we have to repeat the process from the beginning. Any change we make in the software can effect other aspects we might not see.

    The team is doing testing on Beta4 over the weekend and we hope to release it early next week barring any issues. This release will have a few new features (and presets), but it's main focus is bug fixing and stability. I think you will be pleased.

    There were two major crashes (one with Menu and another with Paths) that were causing 90% of the problems. I lost a lot of data with these two crashes so I feel your pain. And I back up often. It was really strange as it was machine dependent. I had issues when other guys on the team did not. Those are always the worst, but Nik figured it out.

    While on the subject of backing up, here is how we handle backups for all of our games. Hopefully this will help out some of you who are making complicated games with our beta versions.

    1. We add a new number and quick description anytime we make a major change:

    [​IMG]
    2. We also make it a habit of saving every 10-15 minutes. Even though there are only 2-3 new versions per day, it's probably 100 saves.

    3. We use Box (or Dropbox) so it automatically creates a backup of each of these saves. While this current game has 102 save files, there are probably 600-800 backups created on Box.com for us.

    We had to adopt this because we're obviously creating games like Sky and The Pit on alpha builds that are very crash prone in the beginning. The system has worked well and we rarely have huge data loss since we can always roll back. Hopefully this helps some of you all, but more importantly, I am pretty sure that Beta4 will solve any crashing problems you might be having. I can personally vouch for the OSX version I am using now. It's solid as a rock.

    Thanks for your patience and support with Buildbox. I can assure you that we are all constantly reading your posts and thinking about how to serve you better. We would not be doing this without you guys and we do not forget that.
     
  2. AndyG

    AndyG Miniboss Boxer

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    Thanks for the update @TreySmith Looking forward to getting my hands on beta 4 next week (i presume). Sounds like this version will be getting pretty close to a v1.0 release. Great stuff. Awesome Mind Map :)
    ps...thanks for the Save/Box tips.
     
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  3. Kevin W

    Kevin W Avid Boxer

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    Awesome! Can't wait to see this ;) Itching to jump into BB2 soon!
     
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  4. Simon Crack

    Simon Crack Avid Boxer

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    Had a play with BB2 and to be fair pretty impressed so far. A couple crashes here and there but generally good stuff. You get to know how to handle BuildBox after a while - she can be a handful sometimes but you gotta love her.

    We do a very similar save system using DropBox and a billion iterations just in case. Has served us well so far. Would love to test the "fancypants" and "smartypants" versions of @TreySmith's new game ha ha :)
     
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  5. wayne_martell

    wayne_martell Avid Boxer

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    Trey I know it must be tough there's a lot of advanced stuff in BB2, I think there needs to be more effort in testing window version as that where most of the bugs are it's like there are 2 different versions of BB2 OSX has nowhere near the problem of windows. But keep going guys the software is brilliant and way ahead of anyone else for drop and drag !
     
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  6. Shawh

    Shawh Boxer

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    Nice work Trey. I'm also trying to make different levels with different gameplay settings, such as one is ghost jump and the other advanced move. And I really wanna thank you to make these two work great so far. Only issue I have is that ghost jump doesn't let you jump downwards.

    Other than that, I really hope that Beta 4 fixes the crashes for paths. Can't wait for your game too.
     
  7. sysads

    sysads Serious Boxer

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    @TreySmith I use windows so hoping Windows fixes are also in parallel with the OSX...
     
  8. TreySmith

    TreySmith Moderator

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    Paths are definitely fixed and I hear you guys on Windows. We will make sure to put focus there. Thanks guys.
     
  9. sysads

    sysads Serious Boxer

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    I just can't wait to attend Buildbox Conference in Silicon Valley :D
     
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  10. brdchn25

    brdchn25 Boxer

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    What a buildbox conference? I'm in when and where?
     
  11. Andy

    Andy Miniboss Boxer

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    @sysads, I'm not sure if you might be confused, but we are not having a conference at this time. We attempted to have one for Master Collection customers, but there was not enough interest to continue.
     
  12. Phill Mason

    Phill Mason Serious Boxer

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    This is great news, thanks @TreySmith, really looking forward to some good, solid, BB2 stability. New features and presets, can't wait, thanks.
     
  13. tomass_sarts

    tomass_sarts Boxer

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    I think I really need the beta 4, I accidentally saved my file and I didn't realize It deleted one world. 2 hours of work destroyed :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
  14. Rebel Studios

    Rebel Studios Avid Boxer

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    oh wow.... AWESOME news!! can't wait to get our hands on Bbox 2:D
     
  15. Machine Rises

    Machine Rises Serious Boxer

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    Looking forward to it;)
     
  16. reegannaidoo

    reegannaidoo Boxer

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    @TreySmith, thanks for the notification, this little glimmer of hope has restored my faith in BB2 for the moment.
    This week would be greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  17. Phillip Kung

    Phillip Kung Boxer

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    This is great news. Can't wait for a stable version! :D
     
  18. mobile_gamegraphics

    mobile_gamegraphics Boxer

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    @TreySmith Thank you for the elaborate info! This rules out a lot of frustration and provides a deep insight into your testing! Keep this information flow going and you will deal with less frustrated customers - Information is the key :)
    Don't forget to send us an email when Beta4 is out though.
     
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  19. AndyG

    AndyG Miniboss Boxer

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    @TreySmith "...we hope to release it (beta 4) early next week..."
    tomorrow is midweek so today's the day :)
     
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  20. eyal

    eyal Serious Boxer

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    wow - looks amazing and complex @TreySmith - how can I join the beta ?
     

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