Belief & Betrayal - Developer Diary (The final stages)
In our previous installment of the translated Belief & Betrayal developer diary, Artematica detailed the gruelling middle months of production. With the game now reaching store shelves in some areas of the world (in Italian and German so far), today's entry concludes our retrospective as the team details the final stages.
To help keep track of the many people responsible for making Belief & Betrayal a reality, the following is a handy list of the Artematica staff members referred to in this entry.
Andrea Barbetti (Andrea B.) -- Lead coder
Alessio Fallabrino (Ale) -- Lead animator
Francesco Fugazzi (Franz) -- Cross service & video assistant
Paolo Infusini -- Location assembly
Riccardo Cangini (Ricky) -- Managing Director
Sergio Rocco -- Designer & Product Manager
Stefano Campo dall'Orto (Ubik) -- Programmer
Gianluca Palazzi -- Programmer
October 18, 2006
The work on the game is going on without problems. From the month of July to this morning, Andrea has been assembling all of the missing code. He is especially proud of the Main Menu that he developed in a very customizable way (note: modularity is really important in our job). Meanwhile, Alessio has finished the last real-time sequences, which Andrea has quickly implemented in the game. In the last weeks we've been also been helped by the "boys" who have tested the game: a great THANKS to all of you!
November 5, 2006
The day that JD (and all of the staff) was waiting for! Today we've finally produced the Italian Gold Master of the game (the first copy of the DVD game that'll be used to produce all of the other copies). This is really important since we're using the Italian version to derive all of the other localized versions of the game.
The day started without problems. Sergio had been testing the game over and over again without finding any error. We decided (only to be 100% sure!) that we would assemble the game and the installer Sunday afternoon.
The front-end had been programmed by Ubik with my help, while Sergio had already finished all of the necessary graphics. I had already tested all of the front-end interface and the installation process. No problems, everything fine! After 13 months of hard work, the Italian Gold Master was finally going to be "burned"!
However, this strange, quiet sensation was disturbing... maybe because we're not used to it... maybe because we've learned from experience (and from Murphy's Law) that something would surely arrive to erase all our happiness and quietness...
And it was so.
As scheduled, on Sunday afternoon I arrived at Artematica's office to finish assembling the game. "Hey, everything's okay... let's burn the first Master! Finished! Wow! Let's test it! But? But what the...? No, no, nooooo..."
Surprise... Ubik had left us a little "cheerful" bug in the game installer that wouldn't let us play the game from the DVD!!! "NO PANIC! Okay! No problem... let's call Ubik and ask him to quickly fix it!"
After talking with Ubik, we found out that:
A) The error could be fixed in a few seconds (YES!!!)
B) Ubik couldn't be home to correct the problem earlier than 8:00 p.m. (Noooooooo!!!)
So, after new testing sessions and the fixing of little bugs finally at 10:45 p.m. (more or less), the three Masters were ready. We test the masters and decided to burn other backup copies. At last we gave the copies to Riccardo who had scheduled a meeting the following morning to deliver the game by hand to the Italian publisher (Leader).
Someone says that at Sergio's house (who decided to continue testing the game), the light was turned off only after 4:00 a.m. the following morning...
November 29, 2006
During the entire localization and final debug period, Andrea and myself had to be "fullfull-time" available. Working with DTP testers, we finally managed to give birth to the first Release Candidate, the version of the game that will probably become the official Gold Master.
Note: more than a month later, we knew that a lot of time would pass before the real official Gold Master would be ready... the German publisher asked us to fix a lot of minor bugs.
December 5, 2006
During the month of November, the game gets printed and finally at the end of November the game is out in Italy!
We wait for the first players to try it... we wait for the first reviews... we are really curious to find out what they think of our game... and... yes, yes! They're having fun playing our game! People like the game and even the first reviews are good.
Puff pant! No time even to breathe and relax, as part of the staff is already working on another new game!
Andrea has started working on some changes to the German version that the publisher asked for. Meanwhile, Gianluca and the "German staff" are debugging the German version (not without asking a hand from Paolo and Alessio every now and then!)
During the German debug, we decided to develop an Italian patch to fix these minor bugs and implement the few new game improvements.
January 26, 2007
Today is a great day! After many long and hard weeks of debugging, the "boys of DTP" and Gianluca have finally finished work on the German version. In a few days, we'll prepare a new Italian patch to upgrade the game to the same version as the German and the other worldwide versions.
I'd like to use this last moment to say just two things:
1) Thanks to all of the Artematica staff, the boys that have tested the game and all of DTP staff I've worked with during the last months.
2) On our website you can find our new newsletter (available in Italian and English) that'll keep you informed on the development of our next games and offer news on the intriguing surprises we're preparing for you.