Phil Hassey - game dev blog
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The Galcon Fusion beta testers rocked

Galcon Fusion has arrived.“Yay, itโ€™s finally here! Check out Galcon Fusion today! Weโ€™ve got a free demo and it works on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Steam! It features some crazy nice hi-res graphics and soundtrack. And epic multi-player battles like youโ€™ve never seen โ€˜em before! Have fun!” <– marketing blurb ๐Ÿ˜‰

Okay, for some dev thoughts. Man, it was a long week! Adding the “demo” feature to the build was a ton of work. And then doing all that other ‘stuff’ that sort of comes up. I think the one serious lesson I’ve learned in this whole process is that beta-testers are awesome.

Really awesome. I had about 50 people who I passed out 10 builds of the game to over the past 3 months. Some of these people put in several dozen hours of play time. All this was a huge help for me, as this was my first desktop ‘3D’ game, so I had a lot of learning to do in terms of graphics capabilities. As in, I was able to get the game to run on my computer which is a pretty nice MacBook Pro .. but not everyone else’s.

The beta tester feedback was huge, I was able to get the game running on old PPC macs, various linux netbooks, and who knows what else .. as long as it had a somewhat reasonable 3D card. I changed the memory requirement for graphics from about 200 MB down to < 64MB. Without any noticeable reduction in graphics quality even in HD video modes. In fact, that reduction changed the loading time on my computer from 5-8 seconds down to about 1 second ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, I think I'm going to take a nap. It's been a long week, and I really appreciate everyone who helped me get this game put together. Give it a whirl, and thank the beta testers!

7 Responses to “The Galcon Fusion beta testers rocked”

  1. Shawn Wheatley Says:

    Congrats, Phil! Did you end up using PyGame, or are you compiling down to C++ with TinyPy? I’m curious as to what the challenges were when making this work on an old PPC Mac.

  2. philhassey Says:

    @Shawn –

    This was an all C++ / C game. So, no python in the game, though I used it quite a bit for building the fonts, game assets, and server management!

    PPC – just a ton of endian issues, some in the graphics but most of them in the network protocol ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Jason Maas Says:

    Hi Phil,
    Congratulations! Galcon Fusion is a great game and was a lot more fun to beta test than what I work on! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for making cool stuff for the rest of us to enjoy!

  4. Jack Diederich Says:

    Phil, I tried out the windows demo and It is unplayably slow on my XP box (4 gigs ram, dual 2Ghz AMD64 CPU, NVidia GForce 6600). Mouse clicks and hover effects take several seconds to happen and the “time played” accumulates several times slower than wall-time.

    On my linux box which has a GForce 6600 GT, less memory, and a slower processor the demo works fine.

  5. philhassey Says:

    @Jack – hmm, do you have the latest video drivers installed under windows? Galcon Fusion requires recent OpenGL support, and your latest video driver should have that (maybe) ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes the Windows default driver doesn’t include OpenGL.


  6. Jack Diederich Says:

    @Phil The windows driver is 4 years old, so that would certainly explain it. The linux version might be that old too but it would have had OpenGL support.

  7. Jomskylark Says:

    Beta testing was a blast. Thanks for including me and congratulations on such an excellent game!