The past month has been a flurry of exciting movements in HitBox’s development. We’ve pushed hard to get the game out in January and we are going to succeed in that goal. We’ll have a more official announcement of that and the launch trailer extremely soon. But for now I want to talk about the beta and the various improvements we’ve made, along with new content!
The beta was intended on being a content complete test of the game. All maps and modes available to thoroughly test before release. Often bigger studios only do one map in a beta, but we’re only two people and we wanted help and feedback. We also went into the beta confident that the game was pretty stable. This proved incorrect almost immediately.
Reports started coming in that joining an online game full of bots and real players caused a crash. This is game breaking. My heart sank as I immediately returned to code. Interestingly code would take 20 mins to compile a single file. Something was wrong. Really quickly my computer became slow and sluggish and the culprit appeared to be the hard drive. Great. A failing hard drive. The night the beta begins with a game breaking bug.
I had to leave the game and go buy a new hard drive in the morning. I actually ended up getting an SSD so that was a nice bonus. The next two days were all about attending to the most critical bugs. We had issues mostly with joining games and and bugs that resulted from players with a lot of ping playing together.
In recent months we’ve added several team based games. One of which is round based on top of this. They were the most significant changes since the alpha test and thus ended up being the cause of most of the bugs reported.
Over the past week the game has become more and more stable as each update has been released. We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve made and tests of release candidates today have proven the game is the most stable it’s ever been in it’s life. We will make sure we release a product with a high enough level of quality that’s it’s really worth the money.
Other than bug fixing, we’ve actually had time to add in some more polish and refinement, along with one more feature. The game now features music! It plays during matches, and presents you with the artist and song name on the UI.
We’ve got improvements for controller support, more settings to refine your experience, little changes in the UI to fill you in on more information, a few new sound effects and visual effects. Overall the polish in the past couple of weeks have really come together and made the game feel whole and complete along with all the new maps! Here’s one you may not have seen before:
Work has also been done on the free demo we will be releasing along side the game. It features one map and mode and has online multiplayer features removed, along with all the music. Testing it has fortunately been easier since there’s so much less content. But it also looks ready to go.
All in all we’re rapidly approaching a build of the game we can call complete, and much credit must be given to our volunteer testers!