Alpha 22 has been released!
No more shall all your laundry baskets gradually migrate to a single laundry room, leaving all the others empty!
No more will you be able to install Garbage!
No more will your dead prisoners slide off morgue slabs and hearses, and lay there in the road forever!
No more will your entities get stuck (FOREVER) on walls, corners, doors, and just about everything else in their way!
We decided to do things differently this month. This month was a Bug Bash.
Generally speaking the monthly release schedule is an incredibly healthy process for us - it motivates us to work hard and finish things to deadline, and gives us a monthly routine to work to. However the process is not without its faults. We’ve become increasingly aware of the number of bugs that have been creeping into the game with each new release, and with just four weeks between alpha launches there is almost no time to address them. The result is a bug tracker filled up with literally thousands of bug reports. We had to do something about this.
So for the month of June, all the programmers on the team worked exclusively on fixing bugs. (That’s Chris, Johnny, Leander, Gary and Andrew, for those who keep track). Five programmers working for an entire month, just clearing bugs. For those who didn’t notice our messages in the main menu, we also released regular test builds via steam so that the community could test out our fixes and report back to us. Many thousands of PA fans got new builds every few days rather than once a month.
It’s been a fantastic experience, and many serious bugs have been tackled. We could have ticked off hundreds of trivial fixes, but we instead attacked the list starting with the biggest and most terrifying AI fixes. In total, 73 major bugs were fixed. This may not sound like many - it represents about one bug resolved per man-day, which in the Software Engineering world is a fairly respectable rate. But it puts it into perspective just how long bug fixing can take, and makes it clear to us that we shouldn’t be ‘saving up’ the bug fixing for some mythical end date just before the v1.0 launch.
Our community really rose to the challenge this month and gave us invaluable assistance. Our bug database is full of duplicate bug reports (most people don’t search first when reporting their bugs), and we’ve just never tackled that. Several community members organised into a group and closed well over 1,000 bugs during June, all duplicates. They also helped us to confirm our fixes worked and to test against regressions. Thanks guys! We wanted to give special shout outs to these community members who went above and beyond:
Reef : Thanks so much! You were a huge help to us this month. We are gifting you a free ‘Face in the Game’ upgrade as a token of our thanks.
mazetar, RGeezy911, _alphaBeta_, koshensky, Phydaux, Guvnor, Mhoram : You guys were incredibly helpful, thank you. We are gifting each of you a free ‘Name in the Game’ upgrade.
Normal service will resume next month, and we’ll have a set of lovely new features for alpha 23. But in the mean time, enjoy the new version.
Here's a full list of bug fixes: