The Final Countdown [Editorial Update]

https://www.instagram.com/p/BX8qAN0jtw5/?hl=en&taken-by=riot_thunderdome_pvc The final countdown on our last morning isn’t quite as rip-your-hair-out stressful as we thought it might be. We’re sleepy and a little bit haggard and loopy, but as far as I can tell we’re all in one piece. We ended up with a feature finished game late into last night, with our artists hanging out in discord asking for any of- the- cuff easter eggs we could add in last minute. I’ve seen the River Duck, chibi champions, and at least half a dozen donuts floating around in concepts but have no idea what actually made it in. With a pretty solidified concept at last, it was time to choose a name. After some Discord channel deliberation and an eleventh hour straw poll, the crowd favorite name for the last few hours, _Ziggs’ Arcade Blast_,took the lead. Artists jumped on it and spun up a title card to pull it all together, cementing one of the many marks our players will leave on the game. http://imgur.com/RS17N49 We start to pull together testing to find out what needs fixing and polishing in the last dash. It turns out that artists weren’t the only ones pushing the envelope in the wee hours of the night, and the scope creep monster rears its ugly head. As we dive into testing and how all these last minute bells and whistles play together (ahem, not so nicely) we realize that we’ve gone a bit too far down the rabbit hole in a few directions. Last minute cuts don’t feel good, but neither do game-breaking issues. After this we discover that you can fall forever into a game-crashing abyss. In some cases, the boss is completely unkillable. Or my favorite - with certain graphics cards, you _can_ beat the boss but it will result in… sudden death. We fix all of these (we hope). http://imgur.com/LdaeXMc One remaining issue torments us right up until the last seconds - there’s still a bug that prevents a small number of players from ever reaching the leaderboard once they beat the game. This is a pretty big kick to the stomach after finally beating the boss, and there’s no recourse except to start over. We don’t have time for a real fix, but no one is happy with that outcome. In a wild scramble, someone figures out that the problem is coming from the victory animation, and that we can use a less-than-elegant workaround to make sure that even after a black screen, players seeing that bug will _eventually_ get to the leaderboard. _”We’re only at a 3/10 panic level. This could be worse.”_ This is where some of the comms team fun comes into play, and we start spreading it around the discord channel (and here - you have been warned!) that if you see this bug there will be an end in sight (after about...20 seconds). A lot of the pain for a 48 hour project is being satisfied with some _good enough_ outcomes, especially when we’re spent the last few days so connected to the players getting hyped for our tiny launch. http://imgur.com/kHLSApD As the clock hits zero, we gather together our battle-worn team and breathe a sigh of relief (...and some clapping...and some mimosas). Few things bring a group of people together quite like two straight days of nonstop exhilarating challenges, so we solemnly swear to each other that we’ll never stop trying things as crazy as this. The build is cut. We’re ready to ship. There’s a little bit of graduation day celebratory sadness going on in the room (maybe I’m projecting). _”I can’t believe we actually did it”_ tempered with _but it’s over_. To all the players who went on this journey with us, we can’t thank you enough for bringing the heart and soul we just couldn’t have had without you (to the #donut discord channel: we’ll never forget you, donut-fam). We hope you enjoy the game, but even more we hope you enjoyed coming along with us on this wild ride. Without further ado, you can [download Ziggs Arcade Blast here](http://bit.ly/2vLdxmg).
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