Alpha Release Document

Today we see the release of phevo-0.0.33, the first alpha release of the game. It features a very basic AI opponent, more extended gameplay over previous versions, a brief set of instructions, and a number of bug fixes.

Phevo has also been set up for distribution at, the largest open-source development site on the Web. It is through SourceForge that development of Phevo is likely to continue into the future.

Because of the difficulty in developing and testing a game on my own, I have decided to open-source Phevo under the GNU Public License and release it to the public for testing and development. It is my feeling that Phevo will be able to find an audience, attract developers, and improve in quality because of this.

I would like to address these future developments point by point. First off, the audience for open source games is small but growing. There are a number of sites online, such as the Linux Game Tome, the specialize in Linux and OSS games for the community. It has been my experience that open-source users are very willing to try out new games, test them, report on them, give feedback, and even begin to crack them open to see how they work.

This presents me with a two-fold benefit. I develop a following for the game without having to commit financial resources or deal with a publisher. This following becomes my group of alpha testers as development continues. The second benefit is that I begin to attract other developers to the project.

If the proprietary world of software competes for financial resources, the open-source world competes for developer interest and time. I think I can garner enough curiosity about my project to be able to pull in at least one more person, and possibly a range of others who may commit small improvements with graphics, sound, and the like.

In addition to visual improvements, there are a number of game-level tasks that I'd like to see fulfilled in the alpha stage. One, I'd like to be able to get networking up and running so that two people could play the game against each other over the Internet. It would be especially great to get a meta-server running for it. Second, I'd like for there to be a massive code clean up in the graphics engine, which is starting to show serious weaknesses, especially with animation. Fixing this engine would allow for many more possibilities in display and UI innovations. Third, I would love to see subtle improvements in the game play as alpha feedback starts tickling in. The more feedback I get, the more I'd like to incorporate those experiences into better and more intuitive gameplay.

This concludes the pre-alpha development cycle for Phevo. I'd like to thank Peter Lee and the Casual Games class at Parsons for their continued interest, support, and criticism, which has made this odd little genetics simulation into something approaching a playable game. Cheers!

Copyright Mike Edwards 2006-2009. All content available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license, unless otherwise noted.