Greetings true believers!
I’m bringing you an insightful post about our testing procedures for releases and explanations of why we do things a certain way. Now some of this may be filled with techno-babble, but that it is to be expected, we’re a group of nerds who love the Chrono Trigger.
-What we use to test-
Our releases are put through A FULL PLAY THROUGH RUN BEFORE RELEASES, these are done through 2 main platforms, and are done through SNES9x variants. We play through on a PSP and on the SNES Pi “master testing unit”.
-Why we use SNES9x and not ZSNES any more (for testing purposes)-
Back in the early stages of Flames of Eternity when we were just getting things started and rolling, we play tested using ZSNES, which although it is an awesome emulator, it is not the best for play testing. There are 2 reasons why we switched over to SNES9x for testing.
1) Originally the ROM was not expanded properly and was not useable on ANY OTHER EMULATOR other than ZSNES
2) SNES9x is the most ported SNES emulator on the Internets, YOU CAN FIND IT ON EVERYTHING (except for babies, you can’t play it on a baby).
-Why ZSNES is included in every CTM update released instead of SNES9x-
CTM or the Chrono Trigger MusiCompanion is the sister project of Flames of Eternity, and developed at the same time, with the function of replacing the ENTIRE SOUND TRACK with MP3 quality music, by reading RAM calls made during game play for music and sound effects, then muting the SNES produced sound while playing the assigned and preconfigured music and sound effect tracks on cue, seamlessly while the game is being played through ZSNES and do this without affecting emulator performance. This is also why the CTM packages are so big, you’re downloading the entire soundtrack that we have included with the game, so instead of the usual 6MB SMC file, you’re downloading a 100MB+ package so that you get the full effect of modern music and sound with retro game play.
-How we test each release-
Each release is subjected to a complete play through on both the PSP and the SNES Pi from start to finish in SNES9x. We test EVERYTHING, every side-quest, every area we can get to, every trick we can do, and every ending we can access. We TRY TO BREAK THE GAME with every release, we play with the intention of trying to make it so that it won’t be release worthy.
-We use the same game save for EVERY testing play-through-
We do this because it brings ALL of the New Game + features to us right from the start. We are then able to play through more quickly, and touch upon everything quicker. It cuts down the testing time from a month on a fresh game to a week with the ‘uber save game’.
-Why we only test on 2 devices-
Honestly, if we tested on EVERY port of SNES9x on EVERY device available, we would not be able to get any releases out. As stated before, if the game works on one version of SNES9x, it theoretically will work on EVERY version of SNES9x. Though since SNES9x is open source and ported to many different devices, with many slight variations in code, not every version of the emulator will be exactly the same. We use the SNES Pi for testing because we offer these for purchase (You pay for the price of the hardware, the shipping, and the time spent configuring each device [more advanced configurations take more time –i.e. XBMC]; we do not charge for the software) and we use the PSP as that is a portable device and we can play any where.
-Proposed device compatibility list for the future-
We will start compiling a compatibility report list for future releases, so that you will be able to just look at the list and see if your version of SNES9x (and hardware) are compatible with the current release. This will take participation from you as well!
Now, if you want to purchase an SNES Pi, we have these available (with many customization options), just shoot an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org to get the process started!
Work on RC8 continues! We have had to remove the “Champagne Room” from the gambling mini-game portion of the game to secure more areas. The Champagne Room offered nothing more than a place to waste time and consume game space that we desperately needed else where (Like in 2305AD!)
Please continue to stay tuned for further updates!
Share and Enjoy!