Everything is heating up!

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Shorelines & Rivers

It’s not only getter hotter outside but work on Feudums continues to heat up!

Overall, the development team of Mat, Sándor, and Steve continued their work to finish up their current projects.  Here’s a recap:

Server

  • The last time we told you that we're finally starting to work on the cloud-based Game Catalog, ie. re-establishing our multiplayer environment. The good news that in this iteration, we've pretty much finished the first "release candidate" version for this task. O-kay... but what does it mean?
    1. We have extended our communication APIs and dedicated channels for the whole MMO ecosystem, so the Game Catalog, Game Instances (Game Worlds), the cross-platform Clients and the Administration Backoffice (and the Platform behind the curtains) can all communicate with their logical counterparts on a well-defined, secure and somewhat optimized way. So our Game Clients' long-running Solo mode is coming to an end, so they can finally meet their ancestor, Han, in a galaxy far, far away. (don't blame Mark for this horrible pun!). 
    2. The Game Catalog can effectively manage Game Instances, and Game Instances can feed Clients directly as intended, while the Backoffice can be updated from both the Catalog or directly from the Game Instances whenever it is necessary (ie. status and error reporting), and the Backoffice can also put requests on the Catalog to do a certain thing with an Instance (ie. status commands). The system as a whole is working, every part can fill it's own role, though it is not yet tested under heavy load and is probably full with edge-case bugs - as normally anything in it's early internal release period. But it's our baby so we're very patient with it. :)
    3. Game Instances can be distributed amongst multiple (Cloud) VPNs - which means the ecosystem can scale and is load-balanced quite nicely. 
    4. We have a working logic and schema for Game World persistency (cutting the bullshit: we can finally reload or rewind stuck or suspended games from our databases at a reasonable speed. Normally, you probably take this feature as granted, but if you're one of our hardcore Phase One testers, you know that this feature is Pure Magic!)
  • The - theoretically - bad news: this is still an internal release. We’re still working on a "real" server dashboard page within the Admin Backoffice - so we can have a fancy yet clean "Supervisor Page" on top of the current console -, load testing and fixing bugs. The communication library in our "public" clients should also be updated to connect to the ecosystem instead of the former offline Local Game implementation.

Landscape

Website

  • We have continued making some effort to provide a better GDPR experience. The fact is, as far as our lawyer informs us, we're already GDPR-compliant, but we know that certain things could be automated or redesigned for a better experience. Rewording (and downsizing) our T&C is actually one of those things, providing better tools to handle your data is another. These things will be gradually updated in the coming weeks. Please don't sue us in the meantime. :)

Shared

  • We've updated the default World Builder AI. It can now procedurally generate maps that seem more natural and are completely seed-based.

Client

  • We finished the Shores & Rivers logic (ie. tile edge decorators), including heavy optimizations for utilizing the least memory and GPU overdraws possible. Rivers are making their full return with firths (mouths), sources and multiple branches on a hex's edges being correctly displayed. We've also updated the World Builder AI with a configurable river spawner (which will be available for world modders).
  • Regarding waterbody transitions, we chose the most affordable approach for dealing with them and changed the underlying presentation codes accordingly, then, with some help from Sándor, tested the concept with dummy visuals. Overall, it seems to be working quite well (okay-ish artistically and great performance-wise) so we're sticking to this solution.

Rivers

Graphics

  • Since the logic is final, Sándor has jumped into creating additional assets and fixing the current ones for Shores, Rivers and Waterbody transitions, creating their seasonal and overview sub-variations, so in short, making the game map beautiful and way less repetitive. You can't imagine how much work is necessary for a hand-painted landscape with some variety, but he is a beast and so he is almost done with these tasks

Misc

  • We finished revising the first chapter of the Game Design Document
  • Lastly, we’re preparing to add another senior programmer to the team. With luck, he’ll be joining us in a couple of weeks. With another programmer, we should be able to really increase the work getting done in a given period (ie. in our indie-metrics, another guy means over 50% boost in coding capacity)!

Bonus Challenge!

An easy one: who can catch the issue with the following landscape?

Winter Landscape

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