Saturday, December 13, 2008

Little update

Haven't been very active online recently though it doesn't mean I'm not at work behind the scene.

So no new big changes are planned for Golemizer short term though I'm still juggling with a possible weapon system. I want to make sure it doesn't shift the focus away from golems but I know such system would probably be a popular addition. If I come up with something satisfying me, it might be added after the holidays.

Other than that, I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out the huge problem of the game server hanging the CPU at 100%. I got a small patch ready to push online that tweak some weaker spots in the code but I'm not 100% convinced it will fix the problem. I still have to do a global check on all zones to check if no dependencies are missing or something. A bug like that was causing problems some months ago, maybe it's still related. What's bugging me is that everything can go fine for some days and then I have to manually reboot the game for 2-3 days, but never more than once a day. This tells me it involves player actions with something buggy but what?...

I played a bit with Flash... the trial was enough for me to know that I'd be able to create a new Flash interface for Golemizer (which would help to be hosted on games portals...) but that the learning curve would require my full dedication for at least a month just to figure out how to translate all the systems in Actionscript. It can be done but I'm not yet ready to spend that much time on this.

I also did a return on the state of Golemizer. Basically, what are the biggest difficulties development wise, which are: getting new art, creating new content, a lot of new data created by players (zones, items, golems).

I'm always working on more than a project at once, which helps me to keep interest and helps a lot to clear your mind on some problems (which makes them easier when you come back with fresh ideas). The other project was Ereptoria. But the points I previously enumerated are telling me that at this point it cannot be done. Ereptoria would bring about the same problems related to development so I need something less heavy on my end to be able to push enough energy in both projects.

I went back to my old notes and found something interesting. In fact, probably an idea I should have done before Golemizer. What I'm trying to say here is that a game like Monopoly, once done, doesn't require any maintenance. An MMO is constantly evolving and changing. This project is still an MMO but requiring much less involvement on my part post-launch.

I already have a working prototype, built using the same code base as Golemizer. I'm not reinventing the wheel here, I already have my MMO engine. However, I'm not just applying a new skin over an existing game. Having all basic systems already built (movement, inventory, chat, crafting) it really speed up the development and I can concentrate more on subtle mechanics and data.

I'll leave it at that for now. You can however expect to hear more about it after the holidays.