Posted by Christofosho on Oct. 28, 2016, 9:45 p.m.
I am glad to be back posting another update from the developers. Today I want to touch on a few things we have been working on, and some of our general goals throughout our pre-Beta development period. I also want to highlight some of the awesome work the other developers have been doing. There are so many working parts, and I’m glad I can share some of those updates with you.
Let’s get this started by talking a bit about our goals. The team has a lot of features we are working on, which I listed in the previous post. Almost all of these are complete in their initial code phase. This means we are currently testing and compiling bugs on the various features, so that we can work on them in bulk instead of jumping from feature to feature. As with most games, we have an iterative process that involves sending code back and forth between various stages of testing before we allow it to be considered “complete”. That being said, there are a lot of things that the initial stages of testing miss. This means that the code sometimes gets pushed up to the next stage (sometimes right up to our test server) before someone catches a bug!
So you might be wondering what type of bugs we see on a daily basis. As you might expect, the issues can range from a simple, “This is the wrong color”, up to, “This causes the entire server to crash”. In between that we sometimes see client crashes, client freezing, various levels of accuracy in content, and sometimes features randomly stop working! Most of the time we are able to catch those server crashes before they hit our test server. However, on occasion bugs sneak through. When this happens, the developers need to look over the code again to figure out the problem. Sometimes it can take days to solve a problem. Bugs can be hiding in very sneaky ways, and we always like to ensure they are solved with the most efficiency. This means we take our time and create well structured code that helps repair the problem, while also preventing similar future problems.
So as you can see, a lot goes into the general development process. And this is really only a small part of the overall idea. Now, to tie this in to one of our goals, I want to talk about good code. As developers, we have experienced a lot of interesting code. Some of us work with code as a career, some have in the past, and some of us are aiming to do so in the future. It’s one of our goals to ensure we are writing high quality code that meets the standards of major companies. This ties in directly to another of our goals: to make sure your playing experience is as good as we can make it. We hope to present you Beta with as minimal bugs as we can. We know there will be a potential few that we miss, but we want to give the game back to you with as much quality as we can muster without large-scale testing!
Now to the specifics: What have the developers been up to this past week, and since alpha hit it's end? One of the major things we have recently implemented is an entirely new teleportation system. The appearance in game looks the same as what you saw in POTCO, but we’ve rewritten the entire back-end to add more efficiency and allow us to hook into the system easily. Another thing we have done recently is rewrite a large portion of inventory and ship content. Specifically, we have focused on ensuring various actions are performed quicker, with higher accuracy, and in a more logical manner. This has sped up inventory processing and also allowed for a more accurate representation of ships on the server. We also have been working on a few features we’d like to surprise you with, so I’ll keep those until another day.
We understand patience can sometimes be difficult to maintain. But I hope that this update helps you understand how much work we have been doing and what our goals are for the code aspect of the project. That being said, not all of our many goals have been said in this post. We have many other parts of our team, and there is much more than just writing code (conceptualizing, researching, asking questions, debating, and many of the standard things that come with working in a team on a large project) that we do! We also hope you see how much care and thought goes into our code.
Thank you all for reading, and feel free to message us on the forums if you’re interested in chatting further. Oh, by the way, I hear there is a contest going on over at piratesforums.co . You should totally go check it out!
Christofosho and the TLOPO Development Team