About 3 work weeks (and more than a calendar month) have passed since our last update, so I thought it's quite time for a new post. Thanks for your patience. Also sorry for the long post. I'm in a talkative mood it seems, but here is the TLDR version: we're still working on stuff!
September in our country is like a second, chaotic re-start of the year and that certainly made it's mark on our early September results. Most team members had to take off time to do last-minute errands on various personal or business matters. September has also brought many changes to my everyday life: my smaller kid just started kindergarten (here kindergarten starts at the age of 3 and lasts until the first grade of school, which usually means three years) and at the same time, my larger kid started first grade. We've also adopted a dog who had to start getting used to us (and our absence during the day). On the business tech line, this is also prime time for last minute projects with crazy deadlines.
Trust me, that's a lot of stressful people suddenly crying, bargaining or shouting for your immediate attention, time and resources.
Honestly, I liked this short intermezzo. It gave me some time to worry about completely different problems than I had to in the past ~9 months and I could spend some quality father-son time with both boys, and some training time with the dog (even if I sometimes felt I should have switched the participants of these exercises ;)). In business, I've also had some opportunities to exercise our "problem solver" attitude.
That's the background. Now, Feudums.
Since all team members were diving deep in their own September Madness things, it's been difficult to sync our schedules for these past few weeks. For me, in the time I could spend on Feudums, that meant freedom, to work on stuff I wanted or had to in order to make steps forward to our next goals, and to think about our plans for this year, without the repeated interruptions I would usually have. Being able to work uninterrupted helped a lot to focus on some challenging tasks that nobody else could do on the project. It was also beneficial to regenerate my enthusiasm towards the project.
One of the technical challenges I've been working on was the refactoring and improving of client-server communications. I've had a certainly working, altough a bit PoC-quality code from Gabor (along with a test screen for all the implemented features). This could have supported the CoA creator, but was not ideal for the longer run. It came down as a frustrating "popular" vs "strategic" choice whether to release the integrated CoA, built on a codebase that is working, but is suffering from technical debts buried under a number of architectural layers, or to postpone release and turn this library into "mature" code first. I chose the latter, because I felt tech debts would be pressure mines in such a fundamental part of the codebase. Phase 1 was full of such mines so I didn't want to repeat the old mistakes.
Therefore, in the past few weeks I was adding all the extra bits I felt necessary, did architectural changes and optimizations, and made the communication code a lot more extensible, maintainable and stable (most of which can be actually measured with (and comparable through) code metrics). I think it's pretty robust now, though I'm still in the testing - post optimization phase. But I wanted a reliable library with all the fancy, cool features we may need (and/or solely missed during the Phase 1 playtests) that I can just bury deep in the project and forget about it once I'm done, but is still really straight-forward to extend should we add something, and I feel we're pretty close to consider it a done thing. So I'm satisfied - and I feel I chose the right thing.
Still, I feel sorry and frustrated for every day we spend without releasing something to you. I hate "all talk" people yet I often feel that I'm starting to look like one of them. But, I must stay on the strategic thinking pattern.
OK, that's more than enough of me. While I have been busy with the communication code, Steve was doing his own "quality assurance" errands on the server code. I've got several emails from him, each listing dozens of fixes and enhancements, and they've also fixed a couple bugs on the admin side. He also continued implementing the backend inventory (which will store the achievements and unlocks and handle the relevant mechanisms - ie. the elevated rights for Vanguards). Game Server has been put aside for a bit, until our work hours can be once again synced.
At the same time, Sándor had a brief away period as he had been hired to contribute in a hand-drawn animation project for Netflix, but has since returned to continue working on our 2d animations. He is close to be ready with the initial set of the animated assets.
So, don't be afraid. We're still on course.