If you’re into the indie game scene, and in fact, if you follow a development blog for an indie game, there is one assumption that can be safely made: you’ve probably played a game or two. In fact, it’s entirely possible that you’ve played a lot of games over a very long period of time! This latter assumption is certainly the case for myself. You know what I’ve never noticed though? In all my gaming career? How complex a good inventory system really is.
MMO developers know this better than anyone. They create some of the most intricate inventory systems, designed with clarity, stacking, stack-splitting, persistence, equipment, limitation, durability, aesthetic, and immersion all in mind. That isn’t even all of it! And while we’re not making an MMO, we’re making a game that requires a pretty complex inventory system too. And, as any developer can tell you, the more complex a system gets, the more bugs you’re going to find. So right now, our job is to play the exterminator and hunt down every single last one of those.
It started simply enough. We noticed that the “collect” button (which is meant to collect crafted items into your inventory) was always there, regardless of whether or not there was anything to collect. Pressing that button at the wrong time caused an immediate crash. An easy fix, but one that set off some alarms! Rather than letting it be, Ben Sledge has started some deep dive bug hunting missions on Twitch, streaming for hours while compiling a long list of culprits. Even knowing this, it wasn’t until I started this Dev Update that I could really fathom the number of little quirks that pop up while developing an inventory system! We manage our workload with Trello, and the programming board currently has dozens of small bugs that have cropped up being dealt with! And, honestly, the vast majority have been handled! I have no doubt that you’ll be finding plenty of bugs for us in Alpha 2, but I’m so proud of this team that we’re doing such great work already.
I think it’s only appropriate, however, for me to go down the Trello board and list off some of my favorite bugs that have come up:
- New drill bits inherited old drill bit durability values.
- Scrolling in menu scrolled the camera.
- When inventory is 100, moving stack caused stack to disappear.
- Separate stacks could not work together during crafting.
- CTRL-Right Click created a keybind conflict since CTRL also changed the camera mode.
- Crafting table is clickable from halfway across the asteroid.
- Parts disappeared forever after being replaced.
Just imagine it! All the work we’re putting in to find bugs, and there’s just no way that we’re going to find as many as you all will. I can’t wait! That’s it for this week’s Dev Update, but we’ll be back next week with even more Gears of Eden game developments! Until then, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest and greatest Gears of Eden news. Thank you so much for sticking with us, thank you for reading, and I hope you have a great rest of your week!