Beyond initial development and in-house testing, SHK was released to testers in late May 2009. The game is currently being tested and progress is shown below. Testers are not permitted to comment on the game beyond officially released information, but as information is released this page should be brought up-to-date.
Alpha Testing PhaseEdit
The initial first test most MMO's undertake. This is usually a "friends and family" phase (regarding friends and family of the developers) sometimes outside help is sought after. Comprises of :
- Very early system setup.
- Standard Tier 1 User Interfaces.
- Server setup.
- Minimal in game activity.
Phase 2 of any Alpha builds upon the first, adding alot of new items, whether they are new windows, fonts, in game units, textures etc - for testers to see. More testers are added from close friends, relatives and the public. This phase usually comprises of :
- More stable server setup + in game experience compared to Alpha 1.
- A heavily large amount of new content to test in game.
- Alot more players to test against/with.
- Faster application of fixes, hotfixes and updates.
Alpha 3 is used to further refine the game and add new features to fix issues and asses balance and playability. The game should be coming together at this stage. Alpha 3 looked to be the last round of testing before the game went to Beta, but Alpha 4 was announced just before its closure on 8th July 2010.
Alpha 4 will add and test additional features, continue to fix issues and address playability and balance concerns brought up in the previous alpha. Captains, tactics & new enemy siege camps are the additions confirmed so far. Additional players are added, bringing the playing experience further towards the real one.
- Captains added, with additional research related to them.
- A new wiki added for support, replaces the FAQ.
- Balance changes across the board.
- Ai retuning and additions.
- UI changes.
Beta Testing PhaseEdit
An open-beta is a "soft-release" common with multi-player games where it is critical both the client software and server software are bug free. The Beta phase is currently ongoing.
Release and BeyondEdit
On release the game should be stable and bug free. Updates usually occur pretty soon after release!
Support and Future RoundsEdit
Development for multiplayer games goes beyond the date of release. Developers have to continually maintain the servers and periodically release new features and game modes.