[set, roughly, to the meter of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”]
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
having just returned from GDC a couple days before,
lying in my bed with con flu, none too happily sorting through
the impressions of the journalists who visited before.
“They struggled with the game,” I muttered, “having never played before.
These struggles I do so deplore.”
Ah, distinctly, I remember, it was in my warmest sweater,
as each JIRA ticket crashed like waves upon the ocean shore.
Eagerly I watched the replays, studying hard and searching for ways
to improve the user’s gateway into CE’s dreadful lore.
The mouse clicks were not working, as they once had worked before,
for putting things onto the floor.
Soon we fixed all the selections, having had some recollections
of examining only boxes when selecting some decor.
Now by checking each triangle, we would surely find an angle
which would soon help us untangle what the user chose before.
“This improves the gameplay greatly,” said Daniel to me once more,
“You fixed this bug. Now go fix more.”
Yet again I searched the feedback, stopping now and then to backtrack
to get yet more jet-black coffee from which I derived succor.
Suddenly, there came a rapping, in the game, and then some crapping-
out of all my subjects, trying to get through a door.
“An inability,” I muttered, “of someone pathing through the door.
I haven’t seen this bug before.”
With a face just like formica, I moodily passed the bug to Micah,
sending him a righteous e-mail which I’m sure he would deplore.
Soon he came back with a mocking “We don’t always check for blocking,
trying to pathfind to a cot which we have not tested before.
We need to now disable modules we could not path to before –
only this, and nothing more.”
“We need feedback!” shouted David, his ebullience ebated,
having restored his patience with tofu the night before.
“Show the user, placing modules, all the useful access nodules
which a character will use to work machines upon the floor.
In this way an artisan shall have a workshop to explore
free of problems, ever more.”
“But the memories,” shouted Daniel, his emotions slightly scrambled
as he rambled, having been compared to Molyneux before
by some moody British journos, from a well-known site that you know,
whose reviews had set him aglow but left him shaken to his core.
“Players cannot see what their characters have seen in times of yore.
We need not less UI, but more!”
“Fix the workshops! Fix the clicking! Fix the animation rigging!
Fix the particles that lay leaking memory upon the floor.
All these things must soon be resolved, if we are to go and solve
our UX woes and to evolve into the game that our fans so adore.
We can’t go to to Early Access, releasing this game to the masses with
these bugs they so deplore.”
“Here’s some mockups! Here’s some pictures! Here’s a hundred brand new features,
slowly creeping… wait, you’re weeping! Weeping now upon the floor.”
With my lowly visage shattered, as my keyboard gently clattered
off my desk I pitter-pattered down the hallway to the door.
I knew I must flee the office, for the silence of the shore,
for I knew too well the score.
By the ocean waves I shivered, and I soon felt my neck quiver,
as gills erupted from my neck where there were no gills before.
Casting aside all my ambition to bring my game unto fruition,
I ripped off all my clothing and bolted for the ocean floor.
It’s far better to envision a brand new life as a fishman
than to try to ship a game once more.
Quoth the Vining, “Nevermore.”
Ahem! *tap tap*
Someone left this thing on. And there’s some kind of watery trail leading toward the sea. Anyway, David here, and in other news you may have noticed that we’ve updated clockworkempires.com a bit with a more thorough press roundup of GDC coverage and a screenshot or two just to freshen things up. Things are starting to go
Thank you again to Chestnut St. Pixel Foundry for a lovely website design and Derek, our Gaslamp Games Web Overseer and Totaly Not A Fish Person for connecting all the pipes.