July Dev Notes

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  • #9553
    Admin

    London
    Goblin
    Posts: 74

    Hey Guys,

    As posted in the rules sticky yesterday, the forums are transitioning to a moderation queue while we get new mods sorted out and to give us a breather from certain people spamming the forums or spreading rumors. Mod queue means your posts may show up slower for a time as they get approved. So just post as you normally would – we are hoping to get this process sped up and to move out of moderation queue when things settle down again.

    We’ve been pretty busy lately with the game and in general, so we haven’t been able to post here as much as we’d like. So when rumors and misinformation starts spreading, part of that is our fault if we can’t step in and give clear information. We want the forums to be a good place for discussion, ideas, and constructive criticism. Sadly we’ve had to triage and decide which posts we have time to respond to, and which are minor issues as of late. If people think their issue must be addressed then it gives the impression we are ignoring or hiding something when that’s not the case. Sometimes we just have more information and can tell when something isn’t a concern, but don’t have time to write up a sufficient explanation for everyone. Ideally though we should respond to everyone’s concerns. So I apologize for that and we’ll definitely have to improve moving forward. A staff of 2 for a free game holding hundreds of players is bound to run into some issues – I’m hoping we can add to the team soon to help with this.

    That being said anyone who spams the forums with rude threads or pushing conspiracies will of course be stuck in moderation queue, or in worse cases a suspension for repeat offenders – just like any moderated forum. Many games don’t even have forums. My style is to just let things run wild most of the time even when everyone has their pitchforks out. I know that is naive though, and from time to time someone has to lay down the law. We basically want to cultivate a more positive environment and to be more transparent.

    Last year when some people on the forums asked for more transparency, I posted an update saying that I could now go invisible in game. I admit public relations is not my strong suit, I’m just a programmer.. but I love to see people enjoying my game. I just need to recruit some people who can explain my thought processes better than I can, and be more available than I can. I’ll try to coordinate more with the discord community as well – we’ve already had some good talks about getting everyone on the same page.

    It was suggested to me at the beginning of the year that I should post an update at least every week to let people know the state of my progress on the game. That was good advice and I’ve been able to keep up with that for the most part. I hope that has been helpful for you all. Please let us know if you have any other ideas or suggestions. I know it sucks when you are waiting for balance patches or you are afraid the game is going to go in a direction you don’t like. I hear you, and I’m testing a lot of factors to improve the game, but it takes time to see results. With a little patience you will see your concerns addressed. If development is moving slow for you, I understand if you want to take a break and come back at a later time.

    Thanks so much for playing my little game that has evolved from all the RPGs I made as a kid. It’s come farther than I ever thought it would thanks to your support. It’s basically the game I always wanted to play when I got into MMOs. Even though it’s very expensive and difficult to maintain, it’s worth it – and I always want to keep improving it and keep it free to play. Thank you 🙂

    #10037
    Admin

    London
    Goblin
    Posts: 74

    Everyone was asking for transparency, so I made the game transparent!

    Just kidding. Thanks for the great feedback so far after testing the first UI draft. Remember this is just the first version, I have a lot of work to do still! Despite that I appreciate all the people who expressed gratitude for the new interface. It seems to address the frustrations of mobile users especially. For PC users I was already planning to add in more toggles, sliders, customization options in general so they can get things they don’t need out of the way and highlight the things they do need. Though adjusting opacity and sizing will help tablet/mobile users as well. Besides that I need to look into fixing a couple bugs, re-positioning some elements, and adding some general polish to future iterations. For people with small d-pad issues remember to update your app to get the updated graphics. Also a couple people mentioned a black screen issue so I’ll look at that soon.

    I’ve been working some long days to get this draft out for you guys to test so give me at least half a day to recharge and I’ll get back to work 🙂 Also going forward I might have the mods try to merge posts into one feedback thread and leave out duplicate suggestions just to keep things organized and easy to read through. Thanks!

    #10171
    Admin

    London
    Goblin
    Posts: 74

    Hey guys I quickly got another client build out for you (4.8.2) with some basic commands that will let you customize your UI. These commands are not saved across different play sessions YET, as I wanted to get this out without too many delays. That’s also why these are just commands at the moment and not settings in a fancy dialog window 🙂

    This will be great for PC users especially as they can basically replicate a better version of the old UI by turning off and resizing elements:

    – /dpad toggle now extends chat window down like before
    – /action toggle will turn off action circle and place the info panel in it’s place
    – /quickuse will turn off the quick use buttons
    – /invicons will turn off the build and backpack buttons (toggle the inventory with TAB)
    – /chatwidth will let you set a width percentage between 30 and 100
    – /chatopacity will let you modify the transparency of the chat background (0 – 100)
    – /pickup temp command to force a pick up until other issues are fixed (get traps on mobile)

    Chats last a bit longer before fading. The quick buttons now show a red background when durability is low. Also I have switched the use and drop buttons to prevent accidental thumb drops for touch screens (something else to get used to I know).

    So I’ll try to get these settings saved soon, fix some more bugs, etc – as time allows. Thanks!

    #10368
    Admin

    London
    Goblin
    Posts: 74

    Testing out another little update (4.8.3):

    -Fixed music not working on mobile
    -Reduced size of action button and made pickup button permanently visible next to it
    -Wood planks now show as invisible to pick up (like a trap)
    -Moved d-pad over some to reduce thumb strain hopefully
    -Added an ‘Establishing connection’ window which attempts a couple connections to a server
    -Optimized map updates somewhat for better fps and less of a jolt on weaker hardware

    I still have more optimizing and polishing to do of course but we are making progress. I also discovered (thanks to a mobile user who helped me debug this) that some cellular data networks (Sprint for example) can block the client from connecting to any server. When I establish a secure socket (like https) it gets around this problem. So I may transition the whole game over to SSL soon. Let me know if you run into any new bugs, thanks!

    #10727
    Admin

    London
    Goblin
    Posts: 74

    Hi all, sorry for the delay. It’s been incredibly busy! Thankfully I’ve started training another developer who has been helping out with a few changes over the last week.

    One big change I finally finished was switching all clients and servers over to secure encrypted connections by default. This helps for people who are on spotty phone networks (which throttle or block unsecured connections) and also allows me to launch on some other platforms. Other than that there’s been some bugs fixed and a few changes being tested for improving player retention. Here are some of the updates:

    -Fix the bug where you couldn’t type in the full screen chat field
    -Changed max infamy penalty from 15 to 30 minutes and cap from 2 hours to 4 hours
    -Enabled Wellington recall tiles
    -Added the ‘Interface’ window which lets you adjust the UI, and it saves the settings now
    -Newborn sheep can’t be sheared until an hour old (this is temporary while being reworked)
    -Fixed a bug related to dropping ability books while researching

    I also updated the beginning quests a bit and added an on-screen dialog to help guide newer players through the first few quests. If you experienced a bug related to this window while the updates were taking place just make sure to refresh your client.

    There is still a lot of work to do, and some bugs I’m working on fixing. Keep the reports coming if you have any new information so we can get everything taken care of. I’ll try to put together dev notes every now and then. Thanks for all the testing and support!

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