November 29th, 2013
As always, you can read the full blog entry with pictures and the sound track here: http://www.sauropodstudio.com/dev-diary-seventy-two-patchy-fabric/
So, what did we get done this week? Well, the biggest things were getting the broken patch patched, and finally finishing the Fabric integration.
So what happened with the patch?
We released the patch early in the week, but something pretty big slipped under the radar. As a last minute fix, we fixed the blank beacon bug. And, unexpectedly, it had a much deeper impact than expected. Murphy’s law took over from there and everything broke. So, we rolled back the patch. In the short term, we simply removed the blank beacon fix, though it will be making it’s return when it doesn’t break everything. Then we did another batch of testing, just in case, and released the update. Again.
Why it happened and what we learned from it.
This really boiled down to a misunderstanding within the team in the release process. We had what seemed to be a small and simple fix that we went ahead and put in after the patch had already gone through testing, and didn’t test again. Thierry feels he’s got to take a bit of the responsibility for the issue, and he’s incredibly sorry for the unpleasant situation it caused. So, we’ve solidified the release process, and we shouldn’t have any fixes that go into any patches that don’t get thoroughly and completely tested before release, even if it’s technically a small and simple fix added at the last second.
Now, on to better news! We’ve finally finished the migration of the sound engine to Fabric. This is good news all around, though mainly for the Linux users that didn’t have any sound in their game. While it’s true that a lot of Linux players aren’t even able to launch the game right now, we definitely needed to break the barrier with the sound engine first. FX worked hard on putting everything together and learning the new system, but we feel that it’s going to help a lot with the game’s stability since the old sound engine was the actual cause of the majority of crashes people were reporting.
New Unity release, new problems.
Unity3D 4.3 recently came out, and is full of really neat features. But we also know that major updates like these also come with some problems. We tried to port the project into the new version, but it failed in pretty much every way it could fail. So, there’s probably a lot of research needed, and we don’t really have time for that at the moment with everything else we’re working on. so, for now that idea is on the ice, and we’ll wait for a few hotfixes to release before looking into it again.
What was actually worked on this week?
I’ve got a new little segment this week too. Yesterday, I went around and asked everyone on the team to tell me what they did this week in one sentence. A couple of notes to go along with that: I didn’t get a chance to talk to everyone this week, I waited a little too long to ask, and I don’t actually have everybody on my skype just yet. Second, keep in mind that this isn’t everything they worked on. The whole idea is to get an idea of the main thing they worked on. Smaller things don’t get mentioned, since it’s a one-sentence thing. So, here’s the summary.
Bug fixes (as always)
Revising of the content system
Low-level game loop mechanics
Arena mode scoring
Explosion syncing between connected players in MP.