The Rebuild 2 playtest is over and was a huge success. I sent the test out to 63 applicants, and of those 45 played at least once and 21 sent me some sort of useful feedback (and get their names in the credits – thanks guys!). A couple shared their access despite being explicitly asked not to, but it was worth the risk and I had some security to impede ne’er do wells. So far my faith in humanity is intact!
Some testers were above-and-beyond awesome, playing lengthy games on multiple difficulties, finding all the endings and rooting out my many grammatical errors. They found dozens of bugs I’d missed, and helped me make Nightmare difficulty (now called Impossible) harder than ever.
Being fans of Rebuild 1, they weren’t as good at finding noob issues, so I did some extra tests with people who’d never seen the original. In person is best for this, although I find it nerve racking to watch people play my games. Like every other aspect of the game, the tutorial got an overhaul.
I collected stats using Playtomic (formerly SWFStats), including the fact that a few games went 300, 500, even 800 days. That’s dedication!
Playtomic wasn’t ideal for such a small test. I broke down the survivors, squares, and food by day and difficulty, but when I added map size it all got out of order and became a wall of numbers. I needed more options to sort and filter, or download the data in an xls. I also logged any errors as custom metrics, but without room for stack traces all I knew was how often each error happened. Again, not what Playtomic was designed for, but it would have been useful.
What Playtomic does do well is analytics for published games, like Google Analytics but simpler and more game-centric. I wish I’d put something like it in Rebuild 1 so I could at least know how many plays that game has. 6 million confirmed on the big portals… maybe another 2 or 3 from the hundreds of smaller sites?
Anyway, with help from my army of volunteer playtesters, Rebuild 2 is now (just about) finished, and is off to sponsors for bidding. The process usually takes a month, so you’ll finally all be able to play the new game in September!
Until then, here’s a very brief Rebuild 2 trailer I cut together: