I’m delighted to announce that Episode 3 of Forumwarz will be released on January 20th.
This is by far our biggest Episode yet, and the amount of work it’s taken to get to this point is staggering. It would have never been possible without the hard work of dozens of people, so I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone who has helped getting us this far!
buildrs will be suspended
I’ve been thinking about it recently, and one of the hardest parts of pushing out a new episode is the merging of buildr content with the new episode’s content. In order to make this easier, we’re going to suspend the buildrs until we launch on the 20th. By doing this, I can merge the data in advance, and it should make the launching effort a lot easier. The benefit is that everyone will get to play the game earlier, we’ll have less downtime and I should be less tired on launch day to fix any issues that may pop up!
I’m sure the inconvenience will be worth it!
See you on the 20th
I’m delighted to announce that yesterday we launched the beta of Episode 3. Don’t be dissapointed if you didn’t get an invite! We only had a limited amount of slots available and we filled them up quickly. We will be running a second beta round once the initial bugs are sorted out, and then we’ll be launching the game in January!
Last year, pre-orders of Episode 2 were successful, so we’ve brought them back. For the measly price of 100 Brownie Points (about $10), you can snag a copy of Episode 3, as well as a Free E-Peen(tm)!. Note: that all characters attached to your account will get the peen, so it’s a good way to bump up your penile length in one fell swoop.
Want more Episode 3 news?
You might want to check out the Episode 3 Minor Spoilers thread on Flamebate. I’ve been updating it about once a day and will continue to do so as long as I can think of minor spoilery fun
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.