Battledroid Alpha Sprint 2

So, here we have the latest Battledroid alpha release, the second so-called “sprint”. You will notice it is lamentably already 4 days late – way to go guys! We’ve clearly not quite got the hang of this agile development malarkey.

Firstly, anyone who does not yet have the client already can get it here:

Battledroid for Windows
Battledroid for Mac
Battledroid for Linux

If you’ve already got the Battledroid client, you don’t have to redownload it – it should update automatically with the latest release like the rest of our games.

Known Issues

Expect to encounter…

  • tabbing doesn’t work in forms
  • scary security certificate warnings from emails

What’s New

In this sprint we wanted people to be able to register a guest account, change their email address, change their passwords, reset password if they forgot it, and log out again. We wanted the titlescreen UI to behave fully correctly, (less library bugs that is) and its design to be more or less finalised.

Well, we did all that, but we’ve also implemented the Options panel as well, which wasn’t supposed to be in till next Friday. Graphics options are a little more expanded upon from previous games, and check out the cunning GUI scale feature. The GUI will also automatically scale if you go below 4:3, meaning the game is perfectly playable on a monitor set up in portrait mode.

Anyway – if you could, we’d like you to test out the registration and login processes, and the account management functions. You will notice a scary security certificate warning if you click on any links we send you from the Battledroid mailer, but that’s because we’ve not got proper SSL certificates in place yet.

Also, if you would care to click on the second tab icon at the top – world map – you’ll get an early test of our new sprite engine. Though not completely optimized yet, we’re currently testing with 60,000 dynamic sprites on a background of 1 million static sprites. Middle mouse wheel will zoom, hold RMB to scroll, LMB to paint more sprites!

And… first cut of a theme tune – work in progess – open options and slide music volume to 11 🙂

Post Mortem

So how did we manage to miss this sprint by 4 whole days? There were a combination of factors which I’ll list.

  • We foolishly started working on something that wasn’t originally in the sprint scope – the options pane – and then even more foolishly continued working on it to make it finished even though we acknowledged to ourselves we weren’t supposed to be doing it yet – but hey it made a nice change from login dialogs 🙂
  • Never forget how fiddly something like a simple forgotten password form actually is, once you add validation and connection and success and error states.
  • There have been several deeply buried bugs in SPGL2, our UI and framework, which made some bits of the UI misbehave in very complex ways, which took a while to sort out
  • Also, I had an unscheduled time off of about 3 days and I’m unfortunately a relatively critical piece of the puzzle

Although the world is still actually turning and no-one has exploded, it is slightly embarrassing failing to manage to release what we planned to release on time. The next sprint is now in just over a week’s time but fortunately we’ve already done the Options pane that was supposed to be in it. What comes next is:

  • Full Steam integration
  • Upgrade to Premium Account
  • Downgrade to Free Account
  • Delete account

However, Premium Account handling is a whole bunch of extra work that isn’t immediately apparent, and I can’t help but wonder if we’re only basically going to get Steam integration working at this stage. One or the other. I think I’d like to do the Premium Account stuff before Steam integration.

What’s a Premium Account you say? Well, these are accounts which have a monthly subscription. The idea is that as well as putting your monthly subscription into your account in “game gold”, you’ll also get some huge discount on your IAPs (say 50%). Nice.


17 thoughts on 'Battledroid Alpha Sprint 2'

  1. 1) tab/spacebar (i.e. keyboard controls) for the UI seem wonky/broken beyond just not working in forms. for eaxmple: click exit, click cancel. hover over exit with the mouse. at this point, space does nothing. then, press tab. some UI element at the top will get focus, the mouse cursor vanishes, and then a tooltip will pop up for the tab-focused ui element. but, pressing space at that point will activate the exit button dialog. after clicking cancel in the exit dialog, then the effect of whatever UI element the tab had focused will *also* trigger (immediated after the exit dialog closes, without UI input).

    2) when trying to reset a password with an un-confirmed email address, i got an ugly error (truncated raw exception data in one of those pseudo-dialog boxes).

    platform: ubuntu 12.04 64bit.

    i saw no other issues in the couple minutes i played with it.

  2. It downloaded and verified the update just fine, but it quits on startup. Should I just try a new copy, or dig up some log for you guys first?

    1. Clarification, it puts up the puppy games splash/loading screen gets about 80% through and then quits

    1. Nah, it immediately logs you in anyway, and if you got it wrong you can just use the “forgot my password” feature if you’ve put in an email address. I think it’s got all the bases satisfactorily covered with safety versus inconvenience.

  3. Cursor is not visible, ever. As soon as it enters the area of the window content it disappears. Move it off the window area – it’s visible. Full-scrren – the cursor is not visible as well.

    Fedora 18 x86_64, Intel graphics

  4. Everything works fine, great work, but there’s still one thing, I can’t see the cursor. I use Mac OSX 10.8 with 4GB RAM, 128 MB VRAM NVIDIA GEFORCE GT 9600M, 2,4 GHz Core 2 Duo

  5. Windows 7 64bit
    AMD Radeon 5770
    Looking good, no crashes, cursor visible, and other than the issues mentioned by Loof78, I’ve only noticed:
    1) If you change your password successfully and quit, then auto-login doesn’t work when you next start up Battledroid. Though it will if you login (with new password), quit, then start-up again.
    2) When trying to interact with GUI elements with the World loaded behind, you still paint sprites behind the GUI.

  6. I just went through the Alpha again and went through registration. Everything worked great, even the link in the registration email. I’ll spend some more time trying to break it later. Great job so far!

  7. Hmm, am i missing the whole concept of this game? I have logged in. only button other than settings, connective, profile and WORLD does something. When i press world, it takes my to strange “digital area” where puppygames droid’s roam free 😀

    But here comes the problem. Is there anything else to do than zooming in and out, scrolling trough landscape and setting some spiderweb with left button? I have tried almost every keys in keyboard and interface and tried to spray those droids or landscape but nothing else happens, or is this alpha at that stage where these are the only things you can do?

    1. i think you just answered your own question. the previous Puppygames blog post goes deeper into your natural insights.

  8. When Playing in full screen, if you alt tab away and come back, the windows taskbar is still visible, and the game is shifted off screen to compensate. Exit and re-entry into full screen fixes.

    Is the payment system implemented yet? I’m guessing no as there is no content. I tried it just to test it out and it came up with a billing problem, both with the subscribe button and the setup payment button.

    I’m sure that part hasn’t been activated yet, but just in case.

    The music …makes my hand creep toward the Bass knob on my audio system. 😀 Love it!

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