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Image by teaguelabs via Flickr

Beta testing is turning out to be FAR more important than I ever anticipated. It’s been less than ten hours since the Maze beta was sent to the tester, and I’m already on the second version. Four testers have sent in word about the drastically long load times, which they perceive as game crashes. So for the past ten hours I’ve been optimizing left and right, finding workarounds to speed up the startup process. CPU loads were alarming with the first release – 100% CPU lockups in Celeron and Pentium processors, and even an AMD Athlon crashing.
Since then, I’ve gotten everything running FAR faster. The neatest solution seems to be loading all the graphical resources externally while keeping the sounds packed into the game file itself.  Now the load time stands at under 15 seconds on my PC.

The Maze, online 🙂

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Technical stuff aside, there’s more happening on the game dev front. Sometime back I was contacted by Dawn Patrol Games, which looks to be a superb, professional addition to SL’s meagre game development industry. Unfortunately, I had to back off [due to school and my own inexperience with Unreal] but I have my sights set. Target locked. Confirmed, commander 🙂

I’ve also set up a meeting with a few budding game developers in SL – there’s relatively little I can do for them, what with exams looming on the horizon. However I will do my LEVEL best to help them succeed. I’m setting up a forum, gamedev.freeforums.org. All Sri Lankan indie developers are welcome to join, collaborate and get together online. My way of helping the world 🙂

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