Computer woes, testing, and graphical updates

Airships: Conquer the Skies
7 Mar 2014, 10:22 p.m.

If you've been following my Twitter, you may have seen a series of increasingly exasperated tweets about my computer. Basically, for work reasons, I had to upgrade my Mac to Mavericks, the newest OS X version. Unfortunately, Mavericks causes my machine to freeze irretrievably after a few days, and only a complete reinstall temporarily fixes the problem.

So now I'm, grumbling, back on Snow Leopard (IMHO the best version of Mac OS X), having lost a lot of time in the process. So yeah, that whole idea about releasing the early access version around now isn't happening, but I hope to get it out there before the end of the month.

I have not been entirely non-busy, though. A week ago, I was afforded the opportunity to do some playtesting. As I wrote before when I did this with Patent Blaster, there is just no substitute for putting down someone in front of your game and wordlessly watching them trying to figure it out.

The day after the playtesting I filed something like sixty new issues on Airships' tracker, ranging from trivial graphical adjustments to "feature X does not work". I selected the ones that I felt were important enough to get fixed before the first early access version, and have been plowing my way through them. (At least when I wasn't trying to fix my computer.)

One big change, visually, is that I adjusted the color of the sky to be less saturated, on the basis of this great article on game visuals and user feedback that the ships didn't visually "pop out" enough.

While doing graphical adjustments, I also took the opportunity to put in an early version of the main menu background, a digital painting of airships that I'm working on. It's by no means done, but I just, er, blurred it enough that you can't really tell. As time goes on, the picture will come into focus more.