Donham - Producer of CyberStrike 2
John Donham contributions to Simutronics included
producer and designer for many of its products, including
III, the original CyberStrike, and Hercules
& Xena: Alliance of Heroes.
This archive is a running journal of his work on
OCTOBER 28TH, 1998
grueling weeks, we're moments away from being finished.
The last few bugs are being squashed, the pizza boxes are
being lugged out to the trash, the stacks of coffee cups
are cleared off desks. And just to prove that lack
of sleep won't make us psychotic, we're jumping right in
to the last phase of the multiplayer game!
OCTOBER 15TH, 1998
CyberStrike 2 single player
ships to Sony in 8 days. Sleeping, eating, seeing
the sun - forget it - we're working. Aieeeeeeeee!
OCTOBER 1ST, 1998
We made it into Multiplayer Alpha last
week. The first couple of days were rocky - there were a
lot of bugs. We didn't have a stable game that lasted more
than 10 minutes. But the server programmers have been working
extra hours the past few days, and yesterday we had a 20
person game that went on for an hour. Pretty good - we're
closing in on that one.
We've sent our first pass at the single
player alpha to the Sony testers. The good news is that
we fixed over 80 bugs on the lastest version. The bad news
is that they found 50 more. Two steps forward, one step
SEPTEMBER 21ST, 1998
Bugs, bugs, bugs. We're into alpha on
the multiplayer side, and pushing to reach alpha single
player - tying up a couple of loose ends to get us there.
We've got 43 of the 45 missions working, the last two are
the training mission and our Golos mission. Multiplayer
we're moving to bring in our staff this week - we've just
about got the version ready for them to use - perhaps Wednesday
or Thursday we'll be all set. Roger (Senior Technical Writer)
is finishing up some documentation for them to ship along
with the version. If all goes well with our staff testing,
we should be ready to bring in our current CyberStrike1
customers in a few weeks.
The installation system is completed
and working. Besides the trouble with the two missions we're
working on, we've also got the cyberpod arming screen (where
you pick out what weapons you'll carry into battle) to finish.
We had a beautiful interface that was very difficult to
use, and based on our focus group testing knew we had to
fix it. Unfortunately, it's dragging a little longer than
we'd like, and hopfully we'll have it done tomorrow. It's
not as pretty, but a lot more functional and easy to use.
About two thirds of our team has now
been shifted to work on nothing but bugs - most importantly,
our lead programmer John Ratcliff (688 Attack Sub, Seawolf,
Scarab) is working on bugs full time. We have a list of
517 bugs right now (ugh), with 174 currently fixed after
2 weeks of effort. Bugs are split into 3 Categories, A,
B, and C. A bugs are those which cause crashes, stuck conditions
that the player can't recover from, or otherwise situations
that keep you from playing the game. These are the most
severe and most important to finish - we have 8 open A bugs,
with 60 fixed.
B bugs are those which are graphic glitches,
mispellings, incorrect information given in a mission briefing,
etc. We have 445 of these, only 114 of them fixed. Finally,
C bugs are those which are suggestions from the testers
for improvements to the user interface or the game functionality.
We've got 3 of those.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1998
Got the report back from the testers
that 38 out of 45 missions are now approved. The last 7
are somewhat problematic, though. One of the missions is
the training mission - perhaps the hardest to make. Another
is in the city Golos - which still is having some model
adjustments, and that makes it difficult to finalize the
mission since the city may change underneath us. Blech.
SEPTEMBER 15TH, 1998
Started a developers journal. Perhaps
we should have started this at the beginning of the project?
Oh well, better late than never.
Today we've just gotten the approval
from Sony on our 30th mission, out of a total of 45. Our
last 15 missions are all scripted and ready to test - but
there are bugs that will take a week or so to fix. Gave
Elonka (General Manager of Online Games) the heads-up that
we'll be trying to bring our current CyberStrike1 staff
into our alpha testing next week. With a little voodoo and
some small animal sacrifices, this should happen.