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Dev Diary 13 :: 2015 November
Halloween is over and it's time to move forward.

Another event is being developed in preparations for the end of this month, but there's more important work going on right now to allow me to provide monthly or potentially bi-weekly content updates again.

I've uncomfortably avoided major content releases lately because I knew the new server development and service transfer was nearing - anything implemented would require converting over to the new service, basically hitting 1 bird with 2 stones and delaying things even further. This is also why the current event is incredibly simple compared to others in terms of interaction - to avoid even more significant service issues with Yahoo.

I'm happy to announce the server development began full time last week, and things are starting to really pick up in that department finally.

Hopefully before mid-November i'll be having major test phases, working into a live environment for the game.

Because of this service transfer, and the Yahoo service issues these last months, content updates have obviously diminished along with support. I can't describe with words my excitement to move towards a more stable, and sophisticated environment.

Here are some of the features that will eventually be possible on the new service, that simply are not in the current service:
  • Chat rooms with unlimited users. I'll obviously set a limit to avoid the spam, but no more 40 player regions, and we can significantly extend what the chat rooms are capable of.
  • Guild-based events & competitions. Guild beasts, and more sophisticated guild building features that won't be plagued by service issues that we have no control over resolving with permanence. Big plans with guilds!
  • An incredible new logging system via SQL. Every transaction, and constant backups of everything to ensure I can provide much better support like I always wanted
  • Guilds with playercounts outweighing the 40-45 player limit. Whether guilds will be able to have more than that is not promised due to balance, but Guild vs Guild and so forth can certainly support more than a 20vs20 player instance.
  • Service issues? I am in contact with the heads in charge and they communicate on a personal and immediate level.
  • Instance issues? Guild issues? Interaction rollbacks? All of this can now be resolved.
The backend service IOU runs on currently used to be incredible, but now IOU is months behind in development because the service that once made this game possible, and ran quite smooth other than a couple short-term ddos attacks has become plagued with a drop in support and bugs that were promised to be fixed with the server architecture were never touched. This was out of my control, but after this service change...the ball is in our field again.

I'll be having a closed testing phase, then an optional open testing phase, and then we'll be transferring everything over immediately.


Just some follow-ups...

It has been quite a hellish week developing an entirely new client/server design around a new service, along with having to utilize other AWS services for work-arounds to ensure an expansion of the game service for all of us....but it's coming along pretty quickly now.

I'm finally beginning to trek through the client & server code transfer now. This means i'm hooking up the existing client into the new client design (See ya, Yahoo!), and the same with the server. From there i'll be self-testing and resolving as much as I can before going towards a closed testing, then open testing, then official release.

A lot won't be changed right away, and small portions will be locked (the less important features, like regional chat probably) as other more important things are dealt with. However I can't stress enough how much my mind is racing with excitement of the new potential that will be possible after this that I can provide IOU's community.

The November Event is in the works, along with a small Black Friday Event (for Kong Promo).

If released early, free candy will be given out to assist everyone towards finishing the milestone map.

These events will be hosted on the current service (Yahoo) unfortunately to give more time to hash and improve things on the new service. If the events happen to get implemented early enough, i'll also work out one extra feature system for the existing service before the transfer. I can't announce what that would be as I haven't a clue what I could fit in a short span just yet, but we'll see Smile


Just an update that there will be some balance changes coming in the next day or so.

The upcoming monthly event will be in 7 days or so, and the Black Friday mini-event will stack with the monthly event between the 27th and the 30th.

I'm waiting on assets and communications with Kongregate for the BF promotion, so bear with me on further details there.
There will be a balancing patch on Sunday around 2pm EST.
Black(hole) Friday event will be released tomorrow between 12:00 and 4:00pm, and stacked with the current event tomorrow. I'm hoping to not have to perform a maintenance but simply require a refresh to receive the updated features, however try to be prepared just in case.

After this release, the development is 100% back onto the new client/server, which i've made some great progress on, and hope to have great news soon.

Thank you all for being so patient with this overly massive conversion.

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