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July 31, 2013

Category: News

Author: Charles

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Work has been progressing slowly, but steadily on Concealed Intent. Regular goals are set to puncuatate development and in the last few days the Alpha4 goal has been reached. This goal calls for the game to be minimally playable. So now people need to try playing it.

This is scary stuff. Up to now only three people have seen the work in progress. Now there will be a small audience judging it and offering feedback. All I can see are the rough edges of “developer art”, awkardness of the controls and stupidity of the AI enemies. I hope they enjoy it!

Concealed Intent has never been a hobby. The intention has always been to finish and sell it. I could keep improving it forever, but feedback is needed if there is ever to be a final release. As I’m so close to it I know exactly how to play, barely notice the GUI, and know all the controls by muscle memory. I expect others to play it in different ways and to spot the things previously overlooked. Hopefully they will also provide insight or suggestions on current features. Silence would be the worst outcome.

If you would like to join the testers, just drop me an email.

The goals for Alpha4 are below. All but save files have been completed.

  • At least one single-player campaign mision – Burial is probably best.
  • Full skirmish scenario generation (player vs PC) and players can chose from multiple ships
  • Logging of gameplay for later analysis
  • Network connectivity test
  • If possible, niceties like key bindings, menus, and save files

Here is the email I’m sending out to my list of potential testers.

Hi,

If you are receiving this email I have you listed as someone who might interested in Concealed Intent, the computer game I'm writing. 

If you are interested, an early and rough alpha version can be downloaded at XXX (with versions for PC and Mac). Just download and run. 

The game will default to running at 1024x768 resolution inside a window, I strongly recommend clicking on "Options" and playing at the highest fullscreen resolution your computer supports.

Q: What is it?
Concealed Intent is a turn-based tactical space combat game, partially inspired by Homeworld and Frozen Synapse. There is a short in-game tutorial under the Campaign button (and a manual in the download folder).

Q: What state is it in?
A: A minimally playable state. There is a tutorial, one campaign "mission" and a skirmish generator (player vs computer). This should be enough to give a feel of the game. No online play yet. The graphics are rudimentary and the gameplay can be awkward. That is where I hope you can help.

Q: I'm busy, or, can I wait for a more complete version?
A: No problem, just let me know and I'll include you on the list for the next version.

Q: Can I just take a look and see what you are doing, rather than testing?
A: Sure go ahead, download and play - that is fine by me. I won't contact you again for testing unless you ask me to keep in touch or reply with your thoughts on the game.

Q: How can I help?
A: If you have time and interest, please play the game and email me with your thoughts. If something is good, bad, hard to understand or awkward or annoying - anything, please let me know. Even better would be the reasons why you like or don't like something. I particularly welcome any suggestions for improvement. I have a long list of things to change or add and some guidance or ideas on what you think is most important would be hugely helpful.

Q: Is that it?
A: I'd like to create a short survey based on the feedback received. I'll only send that out to people who reply (if you don't want it please say so).

Q: What comes next?
After the survey I'll get back to work on the next version. A better GUI and smoother gameplay will be the first priority. Also I hope to add more of the campaign missions and some online play. If you don't want to be contacted again, let me know and I'll remove you from my list. Otherwise I'll get in touch when the next version is done. There are also occasional updates at the website for the game www.concealedintent.com. In the meantime, if you want more information, let me know.

Q: What do I get?
A: A warm fuzzy feeling from helping me out!  Ill also list anyone who gets back to me with feedback in the credits. As a small token of appreciation, I can also offer a Steam game code (mostly from Indie bundles) to anyone who sends me feedback.

So thanks again  and I look forward to hearing your thoughts, however frank or brief!
Tags: ConcealedIntent and DevDiary
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