Oktober 2012 blog archive

This page contains all the blog posts from oktober 2012. To read the most recent blog posts, click here.

28/10 - Preparing the beta

Pretty much all the stuff left to do before the game can be released is content : card images, daily challenges and the storyline campaigns. Next patch will already contain some of that content, and at that point the game will be put into beta. All registered nulll-void.com users will have access to this beta. This first beta phase is estimated to last two weeks, after which a second beta phase will last for another two weeks, during which all visitors of nulll-void.com will have access to the game.

If no big issues or bugs slow down the creation of all this content, i expect all card images to be complete in two weeks and the campaigns in 4 weeks, putting the actual release date of the game somewhere around the last weekend of november or the first of december.

The progress can be followed in this topic on the forums : http://nulll-void.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&p=13523

21/10 - Daily bonus content

The latest HD:X alpha patch added 3 new elements to the game.

First, there's the daily slots - similar to the HD:S version - where players can try their luck, once every 24 hours. The slots are setup such that players who visit it every day are guaranteed to win one unique or legend card every 30 days.
Second, the daily trader, which offers a set of randomly chosen commons and elites (and sometimes a legend), allowing players to trade away their surplus cards for new ones to complete their collections.
Third, the daily challenge, which offeres a relatively difficulty fight against the AI for a guaranteed elite card reward. This challenge is available in 3 difficulty settings, each offering the same elite card, but at higher upgrade levels.

14/10 - Continuing work on the alpha

Continued work on the hi-res version gave me a better idea of the amount of time it would take to bring it up to the same level as the current flash alpha. It's not just a matter of scaling up the game to allow it to run at higher resolutions, especially seeing all the detailed work that went into the UIs in the flash version - for things to look equally crisp and neat as the current flash version, i'd ideally have to write a seperate UI renderer for each screensize the game would support.

For the time being i'm halting work on the hi-res version in favor of getting the flash version into beta relatively soon. Taking into account both the amount of work that needs to be done in general (mostly content and campaign stuff) and for a possible hi-res version, it could take 4-5 months before the game is ready for release and that's really too long. The hi-res version might be revamped at a later date, but for the coming weeks, the focus will be on the flash version again.

07/10 - HD in hi-res

The very first version of Hidden Dimensions was written in C#, using XNA Game studio. After a first alpha, i switched to flash. Around the same time, i had an early version ready of Star Mass and the difficulty in finding players was the main reason to switch to flash. When it comes to distribution and ease-of-installation, flash games have a clear advantage. But there are also some limitations when it comes to performance, acceptable file size and gamescreen size.

Currently i'm one week into creating a C#/XNA version of the current HD:X alpha. Most of the code has already been transfered over (Actionscript and C# are very similar) and right now, i'm working on updating the code that deals with drawing stuff to the screen. A fair bit of work is still to be done as there are several areas where working in XNA vs flash are very different, such as rendering, player input, database communication and the entire PvP setup.

So far, things are looking okay, but it's too soon to say how much additional work will be needed to finish this version of HD:X. If it takes too long, it might have to be postponed and the flash version might go into beta first. If things work out ok, both versions of the game will enter beta at the same time, and from that point onwards, they'll be updated in sync.