Saturday, June 11, 2011

Battle for Venga Islands v1.1

Within a day or two after BFVI went live, I knew it wasn't up to my standards.

The main problem was that the difficulty was too high... once the map was all filled it, it was very difficult to make forward progress.  And if you did happen to capture a region that extended into enemy territory, it was extremely easy for the enemy to take it back.  This lead to pretty deadlocked maps.

In spite of that, there were some really dedicated players who captured many hundreds (and one of a thousand) regions in the war for their monarch, which was awesome.

So, I put out a patch version 1.1, which had the following changes:

  • Regions were generally made easier to capture.
  • Ocean regions now counted as friendly when calculating difficulty
  • Added a global percentage to show how much land Blue and Red both held
  • Added the ability to change teams once
  • Added anti-hack measures.
  • Made healthballs show up slightly more often, and last longer before despawning
  • Your own name shows up in red on the high score list
 I think that's it.

I had to wait a week after my initial release to even begin Peer Review for the patch.  The Peer Review itself took about two weeks.  So during all that time, people were buying the game and being greeted with a world that was extremely difficult to make any headway in.  I haven't gotten any hate mail, but I feel bad for people who dove in and paid a buck and were unpleasantly surprised.

Finally, last night, I got my final peer review and the game went live.  Through the night and into today, about 30 people have logged in and started capturing territories.  Since the map and high score list started fresh, it's been fun to watch those fill up.  Some enterprising players captured regions in such a way as to make a smiley face, a frowny face, and the worlds "FU" and "LOL".

The leaderboard looks like this:

I'm totally shocked that people are playing the game for hours on end to capture that many regions.  That's really rewarding.

I'm pretty bummed that the changes in 1.1 weren't released initially, since lots of people have bought the game and are no longer playing it, but I hope it's not too little too late, and remains fun for those who are still playing it, as well as the last stragglers who join up before it falls off the New Releases list and into oblivion.

But I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  Unless something goes horribly astray, I'm done.

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