View Full Version : Dev Notes, May 2, 2017

05-02-2017, 11:20 AM
What's taking so long?!

I'm STILL debugging the next snapshot. The good news is that performance is no longer the hold up: the framerate is as good or better than what's live right now. But there are still some hard-to-diagnose crashing problems. The most vexing problem is a scenario where some older (but still very popular) video cards just ... die. After running fine for a while, the drivers just silently crash. Something the game is doing causes the drivers to crash, but we can't get much more info than that - even in a test environment!

So it's a matter of hypothesizing: "Perhaps feature X in combination with feature Y is causing the crash." Then I test it, which takes at least an hour per test (coding, compiling, building, and deploying to the affected PC). Then I find it doesn't help, and have to repeat. Over and over and over and over AND OVER AND OVER.

This is developer torture. I guess it's the blessing and curse of PC game development. The game can reach a huge audience by supporting tons of video cards. But supporting all those devices is a very high technical burden for an indie to bear. We'll make it work -- it just takes time.

This isn't the first time we've had video driver problems like this, and probably won't be the last -- but this IS the first time we've found the problems before the snapshot went live. That's because Sandra's been busy cobbling together test PCs from the junk piles we have left over from years of development, and these real PCs are much better at finding crashes than the simulated tests I usually use.

So the real difference in this case is that we found the problems early. That’s great for you since you don’t have to suffer through this in the next update. And with real hardware to test on, I will eventually find a work around ... it just takes a long time. So unfortunately I have no idea when the next snapshot will be ready. Two days, ten days ... who knows?

Moving On ...

But in the mean time, progress on the snapshots AFTER this one continues. Aaron has dropped us a new version of South Serbule (using a similar art style to the new Serbule scenery), and is working on Eltibule too. The code and debugging we’ve done for the new Serbule art should simplify these later changes as well.

Jon, the programmer working on the new GUI, has finished a new build of the GUI that I'm eager to start testing and integrating -- I'm not yet sure how close the new GUI is to being ready, but I'll find out soon.

And we have new content in the pipeline, too. One big project is the South Serbule cave system. This is a very large network of newbie dungeons in South Serbule. These caves will help make sure there's plenty of places for newbies to play when we hit Steam and have an influx of new players.

So... lots of stuff is happening. I just can't put the new snapshot live to show it yet. But we will keep you updated as we know more about the timeline!

05-02-2017, 11:55 AM
Exciting news!

Is there anyway we could help with the graphics/driver testing?

05-02-2017, 02:03 PM
FWIW, I have had zero video problems with Windows 10 Home edition and Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 ver 376.54

05-02-2017, 05:02 PM
As always mate, thank you very much for your and your team's dedication to this project.

05-02-2017, 05:18 PM
Keep at it man we are looking forward to it.:D

05-02-2017, 08:01 PM
In this new cave system, is there per chance a bunch of dark, low visibility areas?

05-03-2017, 08:10 AM
I may be new to the game, but I'm very excited about a new UI. Hopefully this includes both greater scaling so the game is legible at 4k without a microscope, and an actual pet interface.

05-03-2017, 11:09 AM
I imagine there's no time for it but it would be good to have some details on the content of the new GUI, what aspects does it cover etc. Also still crashing lots but it's great to hear you guys are working on it, thanks for the updates:)