Watching Your Child Suffer

Tonight was an interesting experience. After some thought, it was totally my own fault. I wanted to blame other people, and I have valid reasons to do so, but ultimately, if I put in the extra effort, even when it seemed like it wasn't needed, I could have fixed the atrocity that happened.

Suburban Scavengers was chosen to be part of a local game tournament. It was nested with a few other locally developed games. I sent a new build to the organizer (which was totally unnecessary) and was struck with problems. Game breaking bug.

I fixed the bug and exported a new build. I tested an install and noticed that the game clock was off. This is a known issue with Game Maker build exports. I've had this happen before. 

I changed the necessary settings, guessing what I used to fix it before and did another export. Uninstalled and reinstalled the game and everything seemed to be working fine.

Ship the build.

I sent a note to the organizer saying that the new build should be good and that if it felt sluggish to just use the old build.

Well...I don't think the organizer tested this one. I think he just assumed that since I made changes, everything was going to be working fine.

Cut to the tournament. Late into the night, my game is finally up. I'm excited to see people experience it for the first time. There are always fun reactions.

The game is running unbearably slow. Slower than I've ever seen. We're talking 20% normal speed. Sound still works as normal so I know it's a clocking error. This game is set to run at 60fps. The sleep mode setting in Game Maker fucks it up and makes it not.....

I ask the organizer to shut down any other background processes to see if it fixes the issue....Of course not. The build is running as Game Maker has exported it.

I was very embarrassed. This was many people's first impression of my game and it was a buggy disaster because the game was making roughly 5 times more checks per step. Grabs were not grabbing correctly, players were glitching when jumping near the couch (admittedly that kind of happens at normal speed), and the running at 20% of its normal speed.

For those who haven't played Suburban Scavengers, it's a fast paced game. 

I internally blamed everybody possible and beat myself up about it all the way home. It was about an hour and 15 minute ride.

I got home, installed the latest build on my living room pc.

It's slow.     Not to the extent that it was at the tournament, but the clock was definitely off.

I made another build, and the game runs correctly here.

I'm going to continue to learn things from this experience. 

It's put this sort of fear in me about shit going awry outside of my control. I should be used to it by now having worked in computer repair for 6 years, but it still gets to me.

Kind of felt like I needed to get that short rant off my chest.

Going to keep cracking at Loop of the Lost until I have a game to sell.

Until next time.