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Tank Negotiator

Ok, this time I’m really going to do it. This is a basically finished game of tank combat in a maze. It was the first modern video game I created – most of it was done about 4 years ago.

It’s been put through play-testing twice on XBLIG. Once, probably 3 years ago. I got some good feedback and made significant changes, especially to the UI.

 

 

Then earlier this year I put it in play-testing again, intending to finally ship it. I got no feedback, no downloads. I don’t think anyone bothers play-testing XBLIG games anymore – it’s a lot of work!

The extra catches with my game are that it is multi-player only, and supports Xbox live network play. So I suspect it will take some work to get it through peer review. The networking has been tested extensively over system link (with simulated latency), but only once or twice over Xbox live.

Right now I’m going through the checklist of failure reasons to ensure I’m not in violating of anything.

The title-safe area is a bit of a concern. My UI elements are near the edges of the screen, and are large enough that I don’t want to move them any closer to the gameplay. There are definitely parts of the UI outside the 80% title-safe region, but definitely all of it inside the 90% title-safe region. The parts of the UI outside the 80% region aren’t strictly essential for gameplay, so I’m not sure if this is still a reason for failure or not.

Another hassle is that Microsoft broke the ability to start XNA games in trial mode with the latest dashboard update. Folks are currently using a workaround that involves a command line option to trigger trial mode (for testing).

It will probably take me a few days to get things ready so that I know they are solid.

For extra piece of mind I have a test harness that drives the UI and cycles through different options, ensuring the correct things happen. I also have a stress test that plays the game with random controller inputs. I can let it run for hours with two machines over the network.

 

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