Optimizations, delays, and other fun stuff | Announcements | T…
Optimizations, delays, and other fun stuff
    • Chedburn [1]
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    Thread created on 15:40:00 - 26/05/16 (6 years ago)
    Things are moving forward nicely. I wanted to provide a little update as we've been a bit quiet recently.

    - Firstly, two new developers are joining the team this week to increase productivity. I think there's more projects currently being worked on in tandem than we've ever had before, it's pretty insane. These new devs will take a short while to become adjusted to Torn's structure, but we're looking forward to them becoming an integral part of the team.

    - I've prioritised some new Duke contracts, 21 in total have been designed and will be added to the current pool. They're a lot more interesting and complex than the current ones, and add a lot more diversity. They do still focus around attacking mainly, which brings us nicely on to the next planned agent...

    - The second contract agent is all planned out. She's meant to provide all the contracts that are non-attacking and non-courier related. She's an incredibly interesting character and a stark contrast of Duke. The difficulty we had was... When avoiding the crimes system (because of Crimes 2.0), and the drug system (because of Drugs 2.0), and travelling (saved for courier agent), we didn't really have enough interesting / unique tasks to cover 50+ contracts. So we've got a little creative, introducing whole new mechanics into Torn just for her that are being worked on currently. This has moved this agent to a whole new level, far more advanced with loads more content than initially expected. Just as Duke evolved from little mini-project into a saga, so has Amanda.

    - Weapon mod design and templating are complete. Implementation on the development server is starting this week, after that's done and we make some finishing touches - you'll see them starting to appear on the mission rewards panel! There are 30 modifications in total, all for firearms currently. I want to try and buff guns a bit to encourage more people to use them - since they need purchased ammunition and cost a turn to reload, a lot of players just stick with melee. That said, we do plan on adding some melee mods, but they might be less potent than the gun mods.

    - The new 'Books' system we mentioned a while back has been halted for now while we make optimisations to the databases. Basically, some of the books do fancy new things that we've never done in Torn before, so need some new special parameters, and to add these parameters in it makes sense to remove some old unused parameters. So currently we're doing that - the 'Spring clean' project I mentioned in the last bulletin board thread.

    - Over the past month we've had lots of random issues. Slowness, lag, gateway errors, random outages and other painful stuff behind the scenes. Whenever this stuff happens it's pretty stressful - even a fifteen minute downtime makes me feel very uncomfortable. Anyway - while trying to locate the problems (logging and tracking) we've come across a bunch of areas which can be easily optimised. Fixing them should improve load times and reduce the chance of issues in the future.

    - Territorial warfare is basically all done. We're aiming for a beta test involving real factions as I've mentioned already. We've decided to hold off on this while the main map developer fixes some overdue bug reports. With a clean slate - we'll be able to take this headon. We've all been hitting bugs hard over the last couple of weeks - currently the number of confirmed bug reports are close to the lowest since we began recording them.

    - Faction upgrade trees is 95% complete although we had a setback with the loss of a developer. It has been picked up again by another developer who will be moving forward once he's finished his current priorities.

    - A project to revamp attack stealthing is coming to an end. The committee have been figuring out how to assign a 'stealth level' (very subjective) to every weapon in Torn (weapon mods can affect this stealth level). Using weapons with higher stealth levels will increase the chances of stealth, while using very unstealthy weapons may render stealthing impossible. The aim is to introduce tactical decisions around stealthing, rather than it being based on dexterity alone.

    - Crimes 2.0 is pretty cool, I don't want to talk about this because I think it's a long way off, but it is progressing slowly. We've just hired a creative writer to initially plan the detailed structure and formatting of the crime results.

    - Discussions on Drugs 2.0 are going well. I think we've got a pretty solid plan for how they're going to work, it's going to be a very interesting update: We're talking about being able to take more than one drug at once (with extra risks), mixing different drugs to create cocktails, and renaming the popular Xanax and Vicodin to illegal drug names rather than pharmaceuticals.

    - Travel 2.0 I'm pretty excited about, but that's going to be a big project. I figure I'll get the detailed design totally done (have the committee check over it) and then pass it on to a developer when we have completed some of the current projects. I think the travel system will pretty much be rebuilt from scratch - a system that's far deeper than the current one.

    - The newspaper should be getting a lot more busy shortly, hopefully with regular and consistent articles. An expert writer will be providing real game news mixed with game lore. The chronicles will also be seeing a huge revamp to ensure Torn's storyline and 'facts' are both realistic and consistent.

    - I'm finishing up the initial designs for a new competition called "Elimination" which is loosely based on the old 'World War' competition. I'll run it by the committee in the coming days and then it'll move into design, templating and finally production. I guess it should be ready for just after Mr/Ms Torn in July, that's the best estimate I can give.

    - Oh, the android application is coming along. I've tested the second iteration - while full of bugs it shows a lot of potential. I can see it becoming an incredibly useful tool for every-day Torners.

    - Daily players and general activity appears very strong, we have lower daily players than we had years ago, but those daily players are far more active. The daily donations are double what they were this time last year which is amazing. We're using these extra funds to get in more and more developers / designers / writers to increase the amount of projects we can work on at once. Thanks to everyone for sticking around (even during these quiet times), and for your generous donations that continue to strengthen Torn.

    So lots of stuff is happening - but the team is mainly focused on making optimisations and fixing bug reports right now. Keeping Torn smooth and bug free is always going to be priority number one.

    Last edited by Chedburn on 15:58:21 - 26/05/16
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