Despite a rocky start, Alpha 11 wound up being one of our busiest weekends in quite a while! We finally implemented a much-needed feature: Join-In-Progress. Since we're in Alpha, crashes can come at any time for any number of reasons. Once disconnected from a game, you had no way to rejoin, leaving the remaining players to continue their game down a man. Missing a player always ended poorly.

Join-In-Progress has been a badly needed feature since the start of Alpha, but server stability took priority. Hard to reconnect to a game if servers are constantly crashing! Now that we've smoothed things out and servers are far more stable, reconnecting to a game you've disconnected from became next on our to-do list.

Luckily for us, we ran into an incredibly stupid error that gave our Alpha Testers ample opportunity to test the new reconnect feature. When the server is reading map files for selection, all files are separated by commas. Unbeknownst to us, a Killhouse randomly generated the name of "Bagel Fire," which included a comma in its name.

Ironically, this map wound up being one of the most upvoted / balanced maps, despite causing us so many headaches at the office.

Ironically, this map wound up being one of the most upvoted / balanced maps, despite causing us so many headaches at the office.

When attempting to load this level, the server would read through level names, see something like "[Killhouse] Almighty Judgement, [Killhouse] Bagel Fire,, [Killhouse] Death Tiger, etc" and would promptly freak out, disconnecting all players. It didn't take us long to figure out the issue and a patch to fix the level. It wound up becoming a bit of an office joke for the rest of the weekend.

With the Bagel Fire extinguished, Alpha 11 ended with 561 games played! 320 of these matches were won by Attackers, which gave them their second overall win since Alpha began. While this is a step in the right direction, some of our maps had wild win/loss ratios for both teams. We’re always analyzing our maps from a balance perspective, while also taking in tester feedback. A balanced map isn’t always fun, and a fun map isn’t always balanced. Take a look at the maps that were played during Alpha 11, as well as their wins / losses!

So far, our testers have enjoyed the Killhouse and C-Store tile sets, but Factory continues to be a mixed bag. In this last set of maps, “[Factory] Horace Viking” and “[Factory] Rush Checkmate” received positive feedback from our Testers due to their smaller size and tighter engagement ranges. We’ll be adjusting levelgen to see if these smaller versions of Factory are more fun to play on.

GIF City

Mailstorm turns the tides with 15 shots remaining.

Kaiin Retsu and Ozymandias work together to defuse.

Photon defends a freezer in the dark.

Red Commissar’s team has a similar approach to Kaiin and Ozy.

Despite being on opposite sides of the building, Red’s team uses their door charges to great success.

Due Progress

With Join-In-Progress finally working, Due Process is slowly starting to feel a bit more complete. This week we’re working on cutting queue times down by implementing a sort of “mini-match” feature that would allow servers to automatically spin up 3v3 and 4v4 games during off hours to keep things rolling as user number dwindle. Overall we were extremely pleased with Alpha 11 and look forward to Alpha 12. Another 100+ keys will be going out on Friday, so keep an eye on your inbox, and join our discord server if you haven’t already!