Q) “When RESPO is implemented, will we see large amounts of lag over the initial start up of it or will it be smooth running from the word go?”
The whole concept of RESPO is to create a smooth and fast experience on all devices; mobile phones, tablets and desktops. The end result should be a perfect experience across the entire spectrum. While RESPO looks far better and more professional than the current Torn, it should also be quicker in terms of loading speed. There’s a chance there might be a few bumps in the road right after the initial release which may increase errors or lag for the short term, but we have a huge development team now who can quickly find any problems that arise. Hopefully upon release, things will be smooth and everyone will find the site quicker to load.
Q) “Will us normal players get to beta test RESPO or is it just the developers/committee doing the testing?”
We’re not sure at the moment. We’ll most likely have a closed beta with the staff and committee teams, but it’s more than possible to have an open beta after this if we need it. Some features will be drastically changed and incompatible with current Torn, I.e. Racing, Missions and the Bookie as just a few examples. In the case of an open beta, these pages would need to be disabled to avoid conflicts.
Q) “What kind of missions will there be after the complete redo of the missions system?”
Initially, we’re taking everything back to square one. We’ll most likely see only 4-5 of the current storyline missions remaining – and these will be completely rewritten. In effect, missions will start off as a complete reversal with far less content than the current system. However with the new system, we’ll be able to constantly add new missions with infinite possibilities. We’re going to reserve the main storyline missions for long, challenging and in-depth missions instead of the currently super simple ‘Kill that guy’ or ‘Use that item’. Eventually the missions system will grow tenfold with seriously high-quality content, each mission having totally unique mechanics. We’re also looking at introducing an honor bar as a reward for each completed storyline mission.
I also haven’t mentioned one of the future main systems of missions, ‘Contracts’, which are like small, randomly generated missions which users can do daily. Through contracts and storyline missions, you’ll earn mission credits which can be spent on cool new stuff. However …. With RESPO, missions will start off as a very simple barebones system, the foundation of ‘Missions 2.0′.
Q) “I personally feel Torn has been left to stagnate while these major updates have been in the pipeline. How do you intend to re-engage players?”
I completely agree, I feel bad leaving Torn with little to no updates for almost a year, but I’m totally shocked by the loyalty of players. Our daily user count hasn’t decreased at all, which I’m totally baffled by. This wait will not be in vain, I’m more excited about RESPO (Or rather the foundation for epicness) than I’ve ever been in my life. RESPO itself, to users… Will just be a brand new look and a faster & easier to use website on mobiles and tablets, with a few new updates thrown in. For me, it paves the way to do everything I’ve always wanted to do with Torn, It paves the way for Torn 2.0.
Q) “You mention how RESPO is a foundation for something so much bigger and better, what are your future plans/dreams for RESPO years later (long term)?”
There are literally hundreds of updates, small, medium and large that we have planned. For example. Crimes 2.0 which will blow your mind. It’s literally at least ten times better than the current crimes system and has been in design for over two years now. Then there’s the new attacking system, which at first I’m sure will be controversial and maybe even disliked by older players – but it’s a base which we can build upon massively, which was impossible to do with the old system. Also factional warfare, which will be totally revolutionised and see factions fighting over actual territory in the city.
Q) “With the many changes coming to Torn in RESPO. Do you plan to make any modifications to the Donator system?”
There will be no changes to the donator system, and none are planned. We’re keen on keeping our ‘free to play’ status. We’re in a very unique position where we can fund the game completely without stepping in to the ‘pay to win’ territory or mandatory subscriptions. We survive solely on the loyalty of players, we only request you donate however much you feel Torn is worth to you. $5 a year, or a $4.85 per month subscription… However much, it all goes towards building our city.
Q) “Will the Respo update cost to use or will we have to be donators or subscribers to use it?”
The RESPO update is a free expansion, like all updates we make on Torn. The voluntary donations and subscriptions fund our developers, who in-turn generate future content.
Q) “Will RESPO have live warfare via the city? Will factions actually be able to control things such as banks and shops?”
RESPO does not include such updates. Factional territory warfare is scheduled for launch quite a while after RESPO as it requires City 2.0 and Attacking 2.0 to be flawless. With territory warfare, factions will take over city blocks one by one. The initial release will not include special bonuses generated by special landmark buildings, however this is planned for a later update. As with all colossal 2.0 updates, we’re trying to release them as barebone stages first, and then advancing them. This method drastically reduces the chance of issues, and lets users become familiar with the new systems before they become more complicated & advanced.
Q) “Will there be an alternative version of Torn with less graphics for mobile users?”
The main feature of RESPO is that it will detect which device you are on, and cater specifically to that device. With mobile devices for example, the page layout will totally change. This includes bigger buttons (for finger tapping) and less images. You’ll no longer have to zoom in to sections of the site in order to read text or click links, it’ll appear as if the site was designed specifically for your mobile phone, much like mobile apps are.
Q) “Will respo feature a new functional chat?”
The chat system is not part of RESPO, but rather a separate entity. We now have a very proficient full time developer working solely on chat, so big updates are right around the corner. Currently we’re focusing on the back-end of chat, making sure that it’s working fast & smoothly for everyone. In future updates, we’ll be allowing users to disable certain chat rooms and set what kind of people can private chat them, as well as a bunch of other advancements to really boost the social aspect of Torn and keep you in the loop with your friends & faction.
Q) “Will we get rid of Torn mobile mode now that Respo is responsive and should handle it? Will this mean chat on mobile devices?”
Mobile mode won’t exist anymore. RESPO will automatically detect what device you’re on and provide you with the best experience for that device. If people have a problem with chat appearing while on mobile devices, we’ll have to do something about it, however chat works well on most mobile platforms and should not increase bandwidth by a discernable amount.
Q) “Will Respo release mean you’ll get back to fixing bugs and maintaining your users?”
We’ve never stopped fixing bugs and maintaining users, I personally still go through the Bugs & Issues forum almost daily, and we currently only have 13 confirmed minor bugs. Maintenance of users is done by our dedicated staff team which hasn’t changed during the development of RESPO.
Q) “Will you launch a new Torn advertising campaign after release of Respo to get new users back to the game again?”
We will very likely be looking at doing large advertising campaigns some time after RESPO has been released. The power of these can be quite substantial, and previous campaign results are still shown on our “Users online” page which has a record of 48,404 daily players. This high number was caused by a huge spurt of new users joining in a 3 day period due to intense advertising, although many quickly left bringing this number back down to normal levels. With the advancements we’ve made with RESPO, we think new users will be much more likely to stick around – even more so when the other 2.0 advancements start rolling in.
Q) “Will current layout and/or old-school layout disappear completely?”
The current sidebar will be replaced by the new RESPO sidebar, which is very similar but has a few big advancements. We’ve made an effort to keep ‘Old school’, however to keep the site responsive, it looks slightly different to the current old school layout.
Q) “When RESPO is finally released, will there be things added for the older players to do, kind of like Operation Ancient.”
Again, RESPO is just a base, a foundation that all future content will rise from. We have big plans to keep you occupied for at least 15 years. The older users will not feel left out, although you might have to wait until some 2.0 features are released first. But yes, the content we’re developing is focused on older players just as much as the newer players.
Q) “I wonder if our so far made progress (thousands of crimes, busts, working stats etc) will have some value in Torn 2.0? Will e.g. 10.000 theft crimes done grant user with something special or everyone will have to start “making progress” again in various updated game aspects?”
Even with the future 2.0 updates, no previous work will be reset. For example looking at Crimes 2.0; Your current crime experience will be converted in to the new systems crime experience.
Q) “How do you expect RESPO to affect the overall dynamic of the game for the users? The dynamic is an extremely sensitive area which is difficult to predict and, being here so long and having known your original devs so well, it really feels like you had a stroke of luck with this in the beginning. What do you feel are the major risks of this update in this respect?”
Yes, it’s difficult to determine exactly what makes Torn so successful, so we’re very careful in making sure we stick to our roots. The RESPO system itself I don’t think will be a problem; it’s a vast change & improvement in every sense, but with very few actual gameplay changes. The gameplay changes come with the feature updates that follow RESPO, which collectively form Torn 2.0.
Q) “Will the player committee been involved in the Respo process, and if yes in which way?”
Yes, the committee will be on the front line of testing and providing feedback on RESPO. I’m hoping that they, along with the staff team, will be able to seek out every little bug hiding deep within the different sections of the site.
Q) “For implementing RESPO a lot of new developers have been attracted. Will they stay working on new developments after Respo has been released or are they only hired for the Respo project?”
Most likely yes, there will still be plenty to do after it has been completed. After all, RESPO is just the start of Torn 2.0.
Q) “Will we be able to vote for Torn on game sites again? It might help bring in some new blood.”
We decided the voting sites are only for far smaller websites & games that do not have an established community yet. We can easily achieve 1st place on all voting sites, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. We are simply giving other games our users and generating traffic & money for the voting websites themselves. We can get much better results via advertising campaigns.
Q) “When we go onto RESPO do we still run the risk of having roll backs? or is it more secure then the current system?”
There are no big specific security advancements, although a lot of the code is being improved. In the short term we will most likely be more vulnerable as a lot of the code has changed. While we’ll be testing everything vigorously before launch, there’s a chance there may be issues after release. Rollbacks are certainly possible, and more likely after big changes/updates like RESPO, but we don’t fear them too much. With every rollback, a serious issue is fixed, you might just have to bear with us for the first couple of weeks. Having said that, there’s every chance that everything will be fine too, and that we’ll have very few problems after launch!
Q) “Will the current Defensive Armour be replaced by the new gear items? Also will the new gear be interchangeable to create different fighting stat builds?”
No new armour is being added with RESPO, although the new ‘empty slots’ will be visible on the items page. The different armour parts will be released with Attacking 2.0, allowing users to equip Head, Legs, Hands & Feet armour as well as Body. A future upgrade to Attacking 2.0 will then release full armour sets which will allow users to totally optimise & customise their stat builds.
Q) “With the implementation of jail riots with respo will busting be made harder?”
An update planned shortly after RESPO will change the way busting works, making it more challenging. We want to achieve at least a couple of pages of people in Jail, rather than having it constantly empty. Jail riots is not fully confirmed yet, it obviously requires people to be in jail – so would most likely follow the former update.
Q) “Have you thought of making an app for torn to allow easier access for players using iPhone or android plus the app being in the App Store could attract new players is this an idea you would consider?”
An app similar to CityWatch is planned for mobiles and tablets, however this will be far into the future. The new RESPO Torn will look and feel just like a mobile/tablet application, so there’s really no need to create one. If you want, you can save a shortcut to Torn.com on your phone, so you can quickly gain access to the game much like an application.
Q) “Ok I’m not going to go into too much detail just one question, will the respo update mean there will be more mobile data usage when using mobile torn?”
RESPO was designed to improve the mobile playing experience. Named after the term RESPONSIVE web design, meaning:
A web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).
Although the RESPO update achieves everything stated in the description above, we are still very mindful that an enhanced mobile experience also means fast loading, light-weight, pages, which ultimately reduce data usage.
Whilst we believe this has been achieved, there’s always more we can do and we plan to optimise any heavier pages after release, should they exist.
Whilst the added functionality, additional JS scripts and CSS required to make pages responsive have made the pages slightly heavier than they are now, we believe the optimised cache settings we’ll be deploying could make subsequent page loads much faster. We’re not guaranteeing there’ll be a huge reduction in data usage across the site, if any at all, but we can guarantee the mobile experience will be worth any small incremental data usage.
We also believe there’s more we can do to optimise any heavier pages after release, should they exist.