Archive for the ‘Home’ Category
It’s been a while since we released the Episode 3 podcast and our users have resorted to threats of ransom for updates!
As you can imagine, a lot of progress has been made towards finishing Episode 3. I am looking at my Episode 3 flowchart right now and far more is crossed off than isn’t, and every day I cross off some more. Right now the majority of the development is in my hands, as all the conversations/items/forums have been built for some time.
A couple of weeks ago during our meeting, I told Jalapeno and BingeBot 2015 that if I worked my ass off, I could have a beta out quickly. But we all decided it was in everyone’s best interests to take our time with it and not rush it out. We want Episode 3 to be as awesome as possible, and if that means launching a little later so be it.
I’m still not sure how long Episode 3 will take to play through (we’ll need beta testing for that), but content wise it’s pretty enormous. I think in most metrics, Episode 3 is bigger. I found out this morning that there are more sTalk conversations in Episode 3 than in Episodes 1 and 2 combined!
So please be patient with us. The worst of the wait is over, and it’s just a matter of time before we’re ready to open our beta testing and announce a release date.
-ET and the crew
As many of you know, we ran a multi-stage puzzle on Halloween. It was authored by handofg0d, and edited/programmed by the Crotch Zombie team. It went over very well for the most part.
When we first envisioned how it would play out, we imagined that one eager player would work his or her way through it before the others. What actually happened was people tackled the puzzle in groups, through Skype, chat rooms and IDC.
So in the end, while there was an individual who finished the puzzle first the correct way, it was only on the shoulders of other players who had helped them work through the earlier puzzles. In the end, we decided that instead of rewarding the first one through the gate, we’d reward everyone who finished the puzzle in the first 24 hours. This way, all the players who took part in the teams (and those who worked through it on their own in the morning) get the reward too.
We’re giving out the E-Peen right now. You should receive it within the next hour or so of this post, assuming you solved the puzzle properly within the time frame.
For those who want to still try the puzzle, we have no plans to take it down any time soon. You won’t get an E-Peen™ for solving it, but you might still enjoy working your way through it. The link to start the puzzle is here.
Happy Halloween 2009!
I was feeling a little nostalgic today, and looked through old blog archives I had. I found this curious entry from 2006:
Collaboration – September 7th, 2006
A couple of friends and I are working on a small project in our space time, and it’s been a lot of fun so far. One of the first things I did was set up a Writely document and added the other three guys as collaborators.
Writely, in case you haven’t heard of it, is an online word processor that was purchased by Google. It’s not as fully featured as something like Microsoft Word, but it’s got more than enough of the basics to be useful for writing documents on the Internet.
The best part is that anyone can edit the file at any time, make their changes, and they’re logged so they can be reviewed, integrated, etc. Multiple people can actually edit the document at the same time (which we’ve done) and as one person changes things the other person sees those changes after a short delay. It’s very cool.
The other tool we’re using to collaborate is CVS, the popular open source version control system for writing programming code. I use it at work and am a huge fan of the way it works. Like Writely, multiple people can write code in the same base at the same time and it can merge most of the changes.
These kinds of tools are so useful for working on things in groups. I can’t believe that I used to send word docs back and forth in emails, have people change them and forward them on.
Any guesses as to what that small project turned out to be?
One interesting thing to me is the date. It’s proof that we’ve been working on Forumwarz for over 3 years now. I’m not sure how long before that work actually began, but early August 2006 is a good guess.
Another interesting thing is that back then I was praising Writely, which is now just known as Google Docs. We still use it heavily, especially for Episode 3’s development.
I’m NOT using CVS any more. Soon after I wrote that article I switched to Subversion. About a year and a half later I switched to Git, and am much happier with it. Live and learn!
So the great news is the gameplay upgrade launched quite smoothly. We also made some major server software upgrades and the site is running much faster for it. For the geeks reading this: we upgraded to Ruby 1.9.1, which is quite a big change from Ruby 1.8.6. It’s over 3x as fast in most of our benchmarks!
Following the gameplay tune-up, I have turned my focus to Episode 3. While I haven’t been working on Episode 3 full time until recently, Jalapeno Bootyhole and his talented apprentices have been churning out content for months. There is a lot done, and I will end up spending most of my time integrating it.
We have a much better idea of what shape Episode 3 is taking and can now answer a lot more of the questions we’ve been putting off since Episode 2 launched. It seems like a great time to do another Podcast, so we’d like to invite anyone interested to post their questions in this thread on Flamebate
Finally, a public service announcement: We have been updating the blog far less frequently since we started using Twitter. A lot of our announcements are better suited to short sentences than long posts. If you are looking for Forumwarz news you should watch us there, too. You can find a link on the right hand side of this blog.
When Episode 3 of Forumwarz launches, there will be hundreds of new items available for players to obtain, trade and use to their advantage. Since we’ve covered the basics of Episodes 1 and 2 with itembuildr already, we’re going to hijack itembuildr for a while to create Episode 3 content.
The content you guys create will exist when Episode 3 launches in addition to the hundreds of items we’ve created internally, so there will be plenty of new shopping opportunities.
This is how it’ll work:
- The stats of items will be hidden. We will assign them later.
- All winners will get a special Episode 3 item contributor E-Peen(tm)
- The winners will also get an IOU for the item once Episode 3 launches. These IOUs can be traded via Kyoubai in the meantime, so it’s a great way to earn extra Flezz.
You can start building Episode 3 items right now! Have fun!
I’m delighted to announce that after months of development, we’re going to launch the new gameplay enhancements on September 10th.
Addtionally, the new gameplay features will also herald a new Domination season!. We due for a new season, and since things are changing so much we figured it would be better to not mess with the existing medals and winners too much.
Important Launch Notes
The migrations for the new gameplay changes are HUGE. The database has to change in about 20 different ways, some of which could take hours to process. So rather than do our typical “The site should be down for a few hours” thing, we’ve scheduled a full 24 hours of downtime. This will happen directly following the ending of the current domination round, at 9:30PM EST on September 9th. So we can expect the site will be up by 9:30PM on September 10th.
The road to Episode 3
We haven’t talked about it much, but Episode 3 has been under heavy development for months. I’m really happy with the progress the writers have made. Following the gameplay update, the integration of Episode 3 will be my primary development focus, so you’ll be hearing more about the cool things ahead.
Until then, I’m hoping these new gameplay enhancements will keep everyone busy, and keep the game feeling fresh.
Thanks again to all the testers, apprentices and regular users who provided feedback to help get this release out the door!