So anyways, this 'blog' is off to a rocky start as things have been going pretty bad indeed. Tomorrow I'll upload patch 1.2.1, and I will for the rest of the week crawl up in my lonely corner and feel ashamed for ever having to to that. I patched chapter 2 once a day after release, merely optimizing the frame rate in playfield and the working woods a little bit. (culling more objects, increasing the threshold for popping, a little mesh baking) There and done, and I was so proud slash happy that that was the 'only' thing that needed to be done in order for the game to MOSTLY run great, ofc not glitch free but at least nothing gamebreakinig.
Then what. 3 days ago. There was a game breaking bug right before the credits. What is so ridiculously shameful about this is that I was so damn tired of the last day of debugging that upon reaching the final scene, I was like 'yeah, neat'. Because the credits worked all those days prior to that last stretch of debugging. And I believe that that frame rate patch caused the credits glitch, but of course I didn't realize because I ran a debug test only in these areas where the frame rate needed to be tested.
The thing with glitches and bug - there is, especially for an indie developer, NO FREAKING WAY, your game will be devoid of glitches. Making a game and debugging it is like that Greek beast. For everyone you remove, there's five more. If you remove two, sometimes there'll be three more and sometimes there'll be 50 more. It never ends. A great game dev is not someone who makes the game glitch-free, it's someone who knows when to stop, for if you have 23 glitches, risks are that you'll MAYBE get 21 or 20, but if you try that you run the risk of end up with 40 glitches instead.
Some things that happened:
I believe the end credits thing was that I altered the function that was supposed to destroy the hud in the credits in order to optimize the play fields. (an area in the game) . I tested the play fields, it ran good, and I didn't realize that altering that function would mess with the credits. But it's just hud, right, but then when I tried to optimize the working woods by making the overworked theme stop, I accidentally named it and tagged it the exact same thing as the post-credits song. So now, that song would load the same time as the song in the ending cutscene, but only if you would've saved in Anastasia prior to that. (which ofc I want people to do)
And then now, like 2 days ago, I discovered this other major glitch where there was a strand of code left in a scene so where you would press X, it would load the library, but not Sigrid, forcing you to restart, and it was left there simply because the dialoge tree would go off to that branch because I, in another scene, set up the value for the library the very same as the scene after that scene, but only after you would finish the 1st dungeon.These things happens all the damn time and it makes me throw a tantrum and cry and scream all the damn time because this is just that hard.
And I, well. I really have to fight against the narrative that 'Well, stop complaining because we know it's hard, just work harder." And I really think that any game developer should be perfectly entitled to 'complain' as much as they want. It really is that hard, and frustrating, and depressing. We, as developers, can not tell you this enough. Whenever there's a breaking glitch in an indie game, I feel empathy. It's hard for a consumer, perhaps, to come to terms with the feeling of having wasted 10 bucks, and I understand that. But please note that glitches really is like fighting that Greek monster.
And I'm beyond proud for each and everyone who pulled this of as good as they could. Whenever I see the next Golf Story or Owlboy. I get so happy. Yes reviewers are bound to double down on those games for their glitches. But still. These people are so awesome for pulling this off. And I hope I can be like you someday.