Archive for December, 2010

Chat rework efforts

December 23rd, 2010 10 comments

Big worlds are still without a working chat (naming here de12 and de11). This is anything but nice but I am working on that issue for quite some time now. There’s progress – beta players might have noticed the numerous chat server restarts and … err … crashes. There’s a big change going on under the hood of the chat / fort battle server to prepare it for large worlds. Considered the drastic changes, it runs quite stable (just like 1-2 crashes in 2-3 hours and a few more when debugging). Some runs lasted a bit longer (10 hours). I can’t really say when it’s working well enough to be run on public worlds (one early version was tested on de 12 and it was working in principle. There was just the flaw that it had a problem with fort battles … not good). So I believe to be on the right track and once it’s stable, we can roll it out. The improvements should have also the effect that county chat should work on larger worlds as well (this is not a goal, it’s a side effect) because it had not worked for similar reasons. There was also one improvement that should let it consume less memory, something that should also pay off a bit on production servers. And here’s a boring graphic about how it’s behaving right now:

What you see is the number of players logged in (blue / white), the maximum allowed memory usage (yellow)  and the currently consumed memory (red). There are only 300 logged in players right now, as it’s 3 am already :P. And it’s been running now for about 30 minutes. I am curios how it’ll look tomorrow morning. If it hasn’t crashed. But I better go to bed now.

Oh, and I still need xmas presents :(.

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Beta player limit raised

December 21st, 2010 15 comments

Just a side note: We raised the limit on the beta to 8000 players. We need more players to test server load behavior. So please join and play 😉

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1.30 update on German Worlds

December 19th, 2010 12 comments

The 1.30 update is on German worlds. It’s been quite some work to get it there. First we had an inefficient SQL-query that blocked the update process on the first world we updated – it took about 6 hours until the server was back online. We cancelled the script in between and had a database that was in a pretty wacky state. We still managed to drag it over to 1.30 so it’s running fine now. The only problems we currently have are the two biggest worlds. The chat is not working properly when the server is on heavy load and that is pretty annoying.  I worked quite a lot this weekend to find solutions, but it’s anything but simple. The problem is too technical to be explained easily, but altogether, it’s a architectural misconception footing on my first concepts when laying out the software. We try to figure out ways to counter this, but in general, it’s pretty complicated to get out of that now. For smaller worlds (<2k online users) it’s not really a problem, but above the 2k limit, the air gets thin. So I am working now on that – that’s why beta chat is wonky today.

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Pretty late …

December 15th, 2010 22 comments

… already, going to bed soon. Worked mostly on graphics today with exception of fixing a few bugs (like getting rid of  jobs that are outside of the map – yes, there were some …).

Here’s what the items for the greenhorn set are going to look like … (and hey, I found the gallery function of wordpress!)

So 1.30 … I hope it’s happening soon. I still need to get Xmas presents for my friends and TW is stealing lots of time right now. But right now, the greenhorn’s horse is still missing – sigh.

Tomorrow, we’ll be making some final adjustments.

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Annoying stuff before release …

December 13th, 2010 5 comments

fixing IE bugs is one of these tasks (next to finalizing translation texts). And of course: Bug fixes. So not much to tell you today, but here’s a pair of new shoes to look at:

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Wohoo, artwork

December 10th, 2010 21 comments

You probably don’t know, but I also like doing artwork from time to time. And I don’t mean “The Sword of the Thousands Truths”. I mean stuff like the one above. Usually I only code, but since we are running really out of time and we lack a lot of pictures for products and jobs, I asked if I should help our artists (who have piles of work to do…) if I could help. So I picked a few things and started doing it. Nearly done with my batch now – it’s really a bit refreshing to do something that is not related to coding…

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Good bye, Anthraxx

December 10th, 2010 7 comments

It’s been a nice time having you around. You have outlaid the very foundations of the code long time ago – so you’re presence will accompany us for a long time (probably forever ;)). You have now decided to move on and so I wish you good luck and I hope to hear from you! So farewell and a merry christmas!


Note to the suspicious reader: No, we have not been downsized – a new developer joined us long time ago. In fact, Anthraxx has not been working in the team since June. It just happened that he decided to move on and left the company. I hope he still enjoys his vacation though! 😉

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Fresh from the testdesk

December 8th, 2010 21 comments

Just a quick test – wouldn’t this kind of job integration into the map look cooler? It would need more UI for telling players that it is clickable, but still… I like it much more that way.

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1.30 progress

December 6th, 2010 5 comments

Ok, we updated Alamogordo (Beta 1) and it should have updated all the town traders with the new belts and pants according to our constraints (hopefully done right, better pray :P). We are about to set up all the new works on the map and straighten out some bugs and errors. Shouldn’t take too long until we are ready for getting it out on productive worlds.

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December 4th, 2010 17 comments

It’ll be possible to color chat messages through prefixing the message with a slash followed by 3-digit number where each digit represents a color channel. So 999 is white, 000 is black, 990 yellow, 900 red, 009 blue and so on.

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