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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Polish

     August 2nd 2015 was a very interesting time for me. The release of Summerset Isle. I worked on it for such a long time and with all the testing all colors melded into one. I was getting to a point where I couldn't see any problems with it, I started to get others to test and play it months before because I became blind to what I made. Everything looked the same, editing and modifying it at that point would have only made things worse and a big part of me, quite honestly was drained. Summerset Isle took over and I guess part of me just wanted to be done with it.

   After releasing Summerset Isle I got some appreciation, but I also got a lot of hate, the hate seemed louder then anything nice anyone said. I have pretty thick skin and although the hate did not hurt me, it made me question why I released it, why was I sharing something that I worked so hard on if to be dissected by many who do not have a specific skill set. Inaccurate reviews by well known youtube entities. Ignorant complaints from lesser known let's players who struggle at playing games for a living. I was even given a tutorial by one of my so called supporters on what role-playing is and how I don't understand it. But some good things happened. I was contacted by Halo, who offered to work on some elements of Summerset he thought could use some improvements, a youtuber who has for some reason fallen under the radar of views, but gets involved in role-playing his character. I was nervous about him playing it because he came into it with hatred towards Altmer. Over time, watching his lets play, he ended up loving what I created and I began to get inspired again. 

I started to chart everything that people complained about, about what I complained about, marking areas that could be improved. I started putting in critical fixes. At this point I also became uninterested in copy/paste questions on my threads of people who claimed to have read the troubleshooting section and that something was broken, when every time, it is something on their end. To keep sane I closed all my threads, made sure all the information needed was available via sticky or faq. I worked several months on an off and a while back posted this to my description:



I had one of the play testers try out the polished version. They did full testing on the currently available version as well, they said that the polished version feels alive and like a completed/professional product. While this is great news, there are things that play testers can not do, things that only a developer can. I need to do several tests. To give a broader picture of What I need to do.

From testing, I have discovered that the polished version of Summerset Isle needs to be on a save game that has never had Summerset installed before, this is due to the SEQ file needing to be updated and that any save game with Summerset Isle baked into it will not function. As it needs to be a fresh install, all previous troubleshooting will be invalid.

I will need to play-test myself as if it was never released. Every quest, every option, Full world in game navmesh. portals, multiple companions, stress tests, All old cells and new cells, facial animations, lip sync with all npcs, AI, Combat, pathing, texture quality, zfighting, area ambience and weather. The list is greater then that and exhausting.

As it is right now and has been for the last few months, I have about an hour a day I can put into testing, tie that in with how big Summerset Isle is, we wont be seeing a release of the polished version any time soon. There are still a number of things i would like to put more attention into as well and at some point, I have another 20 or so quests that I would like to work on adding. I've also been contacted by a number of well known voice actors that offered to voice new characters.

Lots of room to grow, but little to no time to work on it due to my job. If I have any ground breaking news of progress I will be sure to share it here. The more time I have available to test and mod, the sooner the update will be released and the more content I can create.

3 comments:

ArchimageKhan said...

Before saying anything else I'd like to thank you for this amazing piece of work you've done. And I'm very glad that you're still working on the 1.4 version as it sounds so promising.
You say that the new version will need a fresh install on a save that has never had summerset installed. But it is not possible to uninstall the 1.35 version, then remake a save without it installed, use the save script cleaner etc... and then install the 1.4? I understand it will mean redoing every quest but that's ok for me, it is just that starting from a (very) old save before I installed summerset will mean a HUGE amount of hours of gameplay will be lost for me. I'm not familiar with the seq files so I don't exactly know if it is reliable or not. I know that I had to do this with dawnguard for several reasons, and it didn't lead to any problem...

yourenotsupposedtobeinhere said...

As with everything with me. I make a recommendation which will act as sort of an explanation/disclaimer. A method that will 100% work. If you or anyone else has a different way and it works, all the power to you. But I can't support your method either as official. I mention it, because it wouldn't be very nice for me to expect peop0le to toss their saves.

ArchimageKhan said...

I perfectly understand your position. It goes without saying that I would try this at my own risk ;-) Thank you for your answer.

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