What is it? As Wikipedia says:
A release candidate (RC) is a beta version with potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. In this stage of product stabilization, all product features have been designed, coded and tested through one or more beta cycles with no known showstopper-class bug.
So, I'm proud to present you Loren Amazon Princess version 0.97a which is a release candidate! Download it here:
The game should be playable from beginning to end and not contain any blocking bugs. Does it means it doesn't contain ANY bugs? not even a wrong text, or a slightly different value in gold, or some skills report a slightly different damage prediction, or...?
Again Wikipedia is useful:
A release is called code complete when the development team agrees that no entirely new source code will be added to this release. There may still be source code changes to fix defects, and changes to documentation and data files, and to the code for test cases or utilities.
Once the game is released as version 1.0, we'll keep releasing updates to fix any new bug that might be found, while we work on the expansion for the game.
Murphy's Law at work
In the last 3 days I've seen all possible things to happen to prevent the release candidate to be tested. First, a few days ago I uploaded a wrong build myself (0.95) that had a crashing bug early in the game. But that was my mistake because I didn't retry the game from beginning, as I should have done.
Then yesterday (I live in GMT timezone) was the last drop: the new version was uploaded, but SOMEHOW the file was corrupted! It's the first time that this happens in over 5 years that I'm indie. How can a file be corrupted, if shows the right size on FTP ? A mystery, really, especially considering that I uploaded it in one single try, and connection didn't drop.
Anyway I uploaded it again, and several people tested it confirming that it works.
A few final words
I'll do a proper "post-mortem" about Loren next month, but all I can say is: making RPG game like this one is really very very hard. It was stressing. I was foolish for not having an autoupdater system in place. It was a real pain, even with the help of Aleema (writer) and Anima (RPG coder) that really did an awesome job, and I want to thank them again publicly for what they've done.
But as simple fact: it had the logest development time and it's the most expensive game I've ever attempted to make. Will it be ignored by the main press as always happens for my games ? Won't end on any big portal (Steam...) like usual? So in the end, after all this time and money spent to make the game, it was worth it?
I think it was worth it, no matter what will happen, since I'm very proud of the result. However, if I must say the whole truth, I am not looking forward to make another one before next year minimum (this doesn't include the expansion of course). I need to RELAX! :)