...Moments after writing that other post, the Google Play link has suddenly become operational, meaning that I can finally do a mobile beta version! Gasp! If you have an Android device and want to be a part of this, then please keep reading!
Register as a beta tester
To be recognised as a beta tester, you'll have to join a Google Group thing I've made for this purpose; you can do that here:
∞ MARDEK Beta Google Group ∞
I only did that because it was necessary! It's set up like a forum, but I'd rather handle feedback here.
Acquire the app!
If you've joined that Google group, you'll be able to download and install the game from this link:
∞ MARDEK in the App Store! ∞
I can't seem to find it when I check the Google Play Store on my actual mobile device, so I had to view that in my browser and install it to my device from there.
4th of August update - you needn't worry about the Adobe Scout thing now. It's no longer needed!
There are currently critical bugs in the game that make it suddenly crash or become otherwise unplayable seemingly at random; like you'll be half way through episode 2, and then suddenly the menu won't open anymore. Restarting fixes it, but obviously I'll need to find the exact cause so then I can prevent it from happening in the first place!
And you can help with that! There's a (free) program called ∞ Adobe Scout ∞
which basically analyses what's going on in the game and records the causes of any problems in its log, which you can copy and paste to me so then I know what's going on.
You need to download it for both your PC and your phone for it to have any effect though, I think. The PC version shows a graph which details the current performance, while the mobile version basically just serves as a link between the two. I've linked to the PC version, but you'll need to find the mobile version in the app store yourself; search for 'Adobe Scout', and it should come up.
You should get and install the desktop version first. With that open, you'll need to get the mobile version, and tell it to detect other instances of Scout on the same wireless network. For whatever reason, my versions can't seem to connect to one another, meaning I'm not able to monitor what's going on in the mobile version, which is why I'm hoping other people might have better success with it.
With both versions of Scout up and running, start playing MARDEK! If you encounter any game-breaking problems, go to the desktop version of Scout, make sure you're looking at the graph thing for MARDEK (there'll be a list of everything it's monitoring in the lower left; you'll have to select the one called "*MARDEK" which is the LOWEST in the list; there might be multiple if you've restarted the game), and then go to File - Save. You'll need to send me the .flm file that it saved, somehow; it might be possible to add it as an attachment to posts in that Google Group, but if not you can probably send it to me as an email attachment; I'm firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know this is a fairly complicated thing to ask, but I just hope that at least one person is willing to do it!
I'll keep a list of the bugs, missing features, etc that I'm already aware of here, and I'll update it as they're fixed (which they hopefully will be).
- There seem to be issues with saving
for some reason. I don't know why; it worked alright in the development version. You should be able to log in to a cloud service from the title screen, which allows you to access your saves from anywhere, but in theory you shouldn't need
to log in at all; it should store your saves even if you don't. And even if you do log in, that might not work?? Odd; I'll have to look into this.
- Deugan's 'walking' animations during 'battles' are buggy!
- The icon's unusually small for some odd reason. Weird!
- Currently there's no easy way to quit the game; pressing the Back button does nothing, so I have to press and hold the middle button and end the process manually. I'll need to work on this.
- If you switch to another app, minimise the game, or the screen goes off (this is called 'context loss'), many graphics might be corrupted or missing when you return to the game. They should restore themselves when you open or close the menu or move to a new area or something, but it's a bother, and something I still need to fix.
- Sometimes the menu doesn't open, and when you tap the screen, a bunch of blue dots appear instead. I don't know what causes this, and it's one of the things the Scout data would really help with.
- Sometimes a conversation or 'battle' is supposed to start but doesn't, or it just stops abruptly, or some similar thing. This is something else I'll need Scout data to understand.
- There's a scene where Mardek meets Rohoph in episode 2, after which some characters seem to disappear; again I don't know why, and it only seems to happen sometimes. This happens in the browser version too, it seems, so I might be able to track it down myself.
I'll add more to this section when they're reported to me!
Also, your thoughts!
If you do play this version of MARDEK, I'd love to hear what you think and feel about it!! Specific details you liked, didn't like, bits you feel could have been done differently, irritations, bits you were particularly interested by, and so on. How do you feel about the characters? Was it an enjoyable experience? That kind of thing. This is really my last chance to fix things before the proper release, so I'd really be able to use feedback in order to do that!
I'm going to play through the whole thing myself for the billionth time now, looking for issues and little bits I could change. It's exciting to be making progress at long last, and thank you for your patience getting to this point!