We can’t wait to get started on the things we laid out last week. But before we can do that, we need to close some other remaining issues and generally rid our to-do list of tedious maintenance tasks and necessary polish for generally-done-but not-quite-finished features. Don’t let procrastination win!
After our extended planning meeting I wanted to get as much “small stuff” as possible off my table so I can get started on larger topics soon.
Besides quite a few con-calls concerning concept art and web design - both needed for the various stages of the panned launch - I fixed some minor issues that were still filed under the current milestone and took care of some necessary code hygiene, updating a few frameworks and tools to their latest versions. I also improved our pipeline for production builds of the client: The resulting artifact is now a lot smaller and comes with proper cache busting, so your browser try to reload the files as rarely as possible but when they have changed, it will never use an outdated version from it’s own cache.
On the week-end I started to work on a little application that we’ll use for login and account management while the game itself is still not publicly accessible and too unstable to hold account data. The application is necessary because we want to open an own discussion board soon and we want to have single-sign-on implemented from day one. So if you sign up to the forums in a few weeks, you will be able to use this very account to log into the game once it is available.
Originally my plan for this week was to finish the current chat features, then adapt the world generator to the changes in content we decided upon last week and finally start with the ship editor. Well, it turned out that everything is just a tad more complicated than I anticipated.
The idea for the latest chat feature is to have public channels, that are listed in a catalog and everyone is able to see these and join them. The motivation behind this is to enable the players to easily communicate with others, especially outside the private group channels they might have. Initially we wanted to give every system in the game an own public channel, but decided not to do so and rather let the players create the channels if they think they are necessary.
The main difference between public channels and the private group and one on one channels is that public channels are not persistent. If you join a channel you won’t be able to see its chat history, even when you have been joined before. There are no restrictions who and how many can join a channel. The channel will always be visible in the public channels catalog. The channels are also non-persistent in that they disappear when the last player leaves. There is only one exception right now: We created a “global” public channel that will always exist and every player will be joined as soon as she creates an account. New players will have a chance to ask for help that way. Of course the channel can be left at any time.