Your game is now on BGA: congrats!
But what happened when there are some bugs to fix or when you want to optimize something?
Don't be afraid: you're still allowed to modify your game. You just have to pay attention to the points below.
Bugs are reported in the BGA bugs forum.
During days after your game has been published and from time to time, please have a look at it to check if everything is fine.
How to submit changes?
To submit your changes, you just have to commit your work from BGA Studio backoffice, as you did during the development phase.
Warning: as soon as you commited your changes, we assume that your code is ready to deploy anytime on BGA. Consequently, please do not commit a development in progress.
BGA packages: when my updates will be visible by players?
BGA website is updated with "packages". When needed, we build a new package with all games and release a new version of BGA with this package.
It means that your updates won't be visible by players until a new package is build and released on the website.
Usually, there is less than 2 weeks between 2 packages, so it's quick. BUT, if you detect some major bug in your game, please warn us immediately so we can decide what to do. Usually, we do the following:
- We can do a "hotfix": you send us a very little change and we fix the website immediately. This is only possible if you change only the PHP side. The good news is that most blocking bugs are on PHP side - the client side bugs are most of the time solved by a page refresh. Of course, we don't hotfix minor bugs.
- We can build another package. Of course, it's better to fix several bugs in each package, in order we don't have to build another package right after the first one :)
- If the situation is critical, we can suspend the game from BGA waiting for the update.
Of course, we particularly care of your game during the days after your game is available on BGA. During this period of time, there's no problem to build package and to hotfix just for your game, and this is done in close collaboration with you. You just have to inform us when you're ready to publish a new version.
Note: don't forget that in any case, you need to commit your changes to made them available for the next package. Modifications that are not commited are not included in the packages.
What can be modified after release?
Everything can be modified. BUT, some items requires a special attention, and you must inform us in some cases:
Changes that breaks the games in progress
Some changes will break the games in progress at the moment the release/the hotfix will be performed. Each time you make a change, you should ask you the question "it is safe to make this change in a game in progress", and if the answer is "no" you have to inform us.
Example of changes that break the games in progress:
- Changes in the database schema of the game (dbmodel.sql).
- New global variable or game option accessed during the game (if it's only used during setup, it should be safe).
- New statistic (it won't be initialized properly, so it's going to crash the game).
- Change ID of existing game states (adding new game states is fine).
Of course, as a rule of thumb, you should avoid to introduce changes that break a game in progress. Sometimes however, you do not have any other choice. In this case:
- Try to group all your updates in one BGA package, thus we won't have to block your game several times.
- Tell us explicitly that you introduce some update that can break games in progress, as soon as you commit your update.
- Thus, during the package delivery, we will block the game and let game in progress end before publishing the new version.
You should be careful when updating a statistics:
- If you want to add a new statistics, please refer to the paragraph above ("changes that breaks the games in progress").
- If you want to update a statistic, please update it and do not remove/create another one. Otherwise, the statistic won't keep the same ID and players will lost all the historical statistics data.
- If your game is published on BGA, please don't remove any statistics (historical data will be lost).
Updating string to be translated
When you update a string that has been marked to be translatable, please keep in mind that all current translations done by the BGA community will be lost.
Consequently, when you are about to modify a string to be translated (after release), please ask you the following questions:
- Is it just an English misspelling? In this case, it is better to fix the English translation of the string than the original string to be translated.
- Has the meaning of the string changed? If yes, you HAVE to change the original string in order to invalidate all translations that has been done already.
- Is there a similar string already used elsewhere in my game? In this case, you'd better use it again to enjoy immediately all translations already available.
If you do some major changes to your game like:
- Introducing a new expansion.
- Major code rewriting/refactoring.
... please tell us. In this case, we can:
- Make your game back from "gold" to "public beta", to incite player to report bugs.
- Discuss with you about the release date of the next BGA package.
- Pay attention to your game when publishing the package.
- And eventually, publish a news about it :)
Post-release and commit
As said above: for games already published on BGA, we assume that your code is ready to deploy as soon as you commited your changes.
In consequence, please:
- Do not commit until you finished and tested your updates.
- Do not commit a development in progress.
- As a rule of thumb: do not commit something that will bring the game in a state that should not be seen by players.