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Dev Blog #5: The Nightmare of Bug Fixes

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

Probably the most heart breaking topic of development! BUG FIXES!

The game has went through many iterations at this point, from early development of just functionality to adding art elements and making sure the computer remembers which characters are where and putting them in the right hands.

We've certainly come across our fair share of bugs we've needed to fix during the game, and our major ones have been bugs that have stopped us getting to the end of the game. The good news is that the game doesn't actually crash, it's usually just getting stuck somewhere in our logic as cards change hands.

We've gotten through a bit of a rollercoaster of bugs where we get to a stage of the app where the game works all the way through as a solid build, but we have yet to add another feature that would round off the Quirk! experience as a card game. We add more functionality and we end up breaking previous parts of the game that worked.

For example we built the game in stages. We started off with the core portion of the game which is playing "go fish" with character cards. Once we got that working we could implement stealing and block cards. We got them working in a very basic way, where an AI would steal from you but just took the first card from your steal pile and if you had a block card, you would HAVE to use it.

As we progressed the app, we built in a function where you can choose with Quirks you steal from an AI player and the ability to choose when you use a block card if you wanted to. This is important because we built in a sticker collection screen where you get to collect all the Quirks over many games. Then later you can make them bronze, silver and gold.

With this functionality in place, it matters what Quirks you give to the AI and which Quirks you decided to block for your end game stats.

The whole process of programming gets one step more complicated when the rules change during the game. This is something that happens in the real card game. When we start a game, we start with only character cards, this is the core of the game but you also have the ability to steal, block and stop other players as you add them in.

In terms of programming, we need to be able to tell the computer that some of these cards are non-playable cards in your hand for some of the game. At the beginning of the game you may not be able to steal until someone wins a Quirk, so that card becomes non-playable until the conditions are met in the game, then it becomes usable.

All of that needs to be coded in so it recognises when it can be played or not. We have another rule at the end of the game so that the game does end! All 13 Quirks must be collected, at that point no more cards can be played even if you saved up steal cards in your hand. We have to tell the computer again to end the game.

It's this logic that we need to get right otherwise we end up with bugs where it's running two different rules which are both true. This is what is leading to our solid games and buggy games and why it's a bit of a rollercoaster.

We are at the point again where we are fixing bugs before launch. We are very close to launching the app and thought we had managed to get through all the things that needed fixing and creating solutions or them, only to find out more things had broken.

When we had a solid game working that linked up with the stickers, it was all very exciting! But then we went back to a broken version, broken beyond what I thought was possible, we've since fixed a lot of them and hope to launch soon.

I look forward to us working out solutions so we can bring you an awesome game of Quirk! straight to your mobile!

From the Creative Director,

Emma May

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Get your copy of Quirk! The Laugh-Out-Loud Family Card Game from Gibsons, John Lewis or Amazon.

A game full of sounds, actions and mischief to make your family roar with laughter. Great for children as young as 5 and adults of any age who love to unleash their inner child!

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