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Beta One Arrives

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Well, the bugs are pretty few and far between (downright trivial, actually). The help-files are way behind, so I'm picking up the slack there. I renamed my common DLL's, so they won't mess up the older versions of the games. Except for a few help-files, I'm feature-complete. I figured I was close enough, so I have officially burned:

[trumpet fanfare = true]

Beta 1!

[trumpet fanfare = false]

That's right. Going against the conventional game-market wisdom, I have a feature-complete beta. Given the state of the game market nowadays, the incomplete alpha is usually called "the beta version", and the feature-complete beta is called "version 1.0". Since my games are aimed more at novice users rather than gamers, I need to have fewer bugs. My bug-count on past offerings has been very small, and I hope this set will continue that trend. I'll probably commandeer some local pals for beta-testing so I can keep unauthorized distribution under control. It's not that I'm not a trusting soul, but a very old beta of a game I wrote several years ago managed to make it on a Japanese pirate CD, so I know that things do tend to find their ways out.

On Saturday, I did the IGDN mini-conference in Plano, TX. All in all, it was quite a good value. Not as many vendors and presentations as the CGDC conference in Austin last year, but the presentations I saw were better. The talk on what to do when your project is in trouble and the talk on how to keep hackers from messing with your game were excellent. The after-party was OK, but I don't seem to have much in common with the developers from the big studios. I was interested in chatting about how developing for the discount-rack was different from developing top-shelf stuff, but I was mostly treated to people talking about how the discount rack was crap.

It was interesting talking to John Munsch (your humble XPlus webmeister) about possible future directions for new game projects. I think I've now got a good idea for a future direction. I don't think anything will materialize soon, but I'll keep you posted.

On an unrelated note, Microsoft has announced a fixpack for VC++ 6.0 shipping at the end of the month, and they don't recommend that you don't ship anything with the current runtime DLL's. People on the newsgroups have been gripin' up a storm about 6.0, but I haven't had any trouble with it. Reading the bug-list, it looks like most of the problems are with changes to MFC that broke some existing apps.
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