Vendetta Online launches for Free on iPhone!

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As you can read in the Official Press Release, we have launched Vendetta Online on the iPhone! You can find the game on the App Store here.All devices capable of running iOS 10 or later should be able to install the game, all the way down to the smaller iPhone 5S (the game is better on a larger screen, but it works on the SE and 5S).The game is also no longer a Premium install, and has been changed to a Free install to mirror the other mobile platforms.If you have any issues, please bring them to our attention on the Bugs forum, or you can post general questions to the iOS forum. Thanks!
Vendetta Online September 21st 2017

Vendetta Online 1.8.431

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VO 1.8.431 includes:- Your Home Station is now set to the station you're launching from if you're currently homed to a Training Station and you're no longer in the Training Sector.- If you have a Training Blaster and you're not in a Training Sector, performing a Buy Back after your ship explodes replaces it with a free Government-Issued Plasma Cannon.- Tilt calibration menu now displays the current tilt angle to help explain what it's doing.- Updated Training IV Station Interface tutorial mission to refer to swiping on touchscreen devices that are using Condensed UI mode (mainly phones).- In-App Purchasable item descriptions can now be canceled immediately instead of having to proceed to the given App Store's IAP menu and cancel from there.- The exit nav point in Training Sectors no longer choose a point behind the large station asteroid.- Fixed the direction of trackpad and mouse wheel scrolling on Mac OS X.- Added a Show Password toggle in the account conversion menu to reduce mistakes when entering a password and confirming it.- Fixed issue with XInput gamepads not getting their analog inputs set up properly on first detection on Windows.- Fixed spickle error message in the errors.log file.Lots of fixes and newbie improvements, with more to come, along with some upcoming announcements for iPhone.
Vendetta Online September 12th 2017

Perpetuum is dead, long live Perpetuum

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So you haven’t heard from us in a long time, and the reason for that probably became more and more obvious with time: I'm sorry to inform you that Perpetuum is not actively developed anymore.

This blog is meant to inform you what this means for the game, for you, the players, and how the future of Perpetuum looks like. Because there is a future, at least we hope so.

How we got here

We knew from the start that Perpetuum will be a niche game and we were cool with it. But even considering that, it never really got off. We had two major spikes, the one during the EVE exodus, and after the Steam launch, but even those pale in comparison to what the we would have needed to justify the “massively” in MMORPG.

Over the years we’ve been in talks with numerous serious publishers and investors, but unfortunately none of those promises came to fruition. So the only thing we could do was to push it on our own and hope that steady work will eventually pay off and bring in a critical mass of players that would keep the game alive for a long time, and provide us a living.

The most prominent feedback that we have received over the years is that Perpetuum has great mechanics and atmosphere but lacks content, and that it is a great foundation for a game. Sadly we never got to the point where we could develop it to its full potential.

It was basically catch-22. After the initial spikes our playerbase always receded to unhealthy levels, which meant that we had to lay off some of our less essential content-related people and also that we didn’t have the funds to do any impactful marketing. Which in turn meant that we could bring in even less new players and develop less new content and do even less marketing. These cycles transformed into a downward spiral where the remaining developers had to be on minimum wage for years and the only thing we could do for the game was fixing bugs and recycling old content. If we would have found a publisher we would have been shut down probably years ago.

I joined Avatar Creations in 2006. After 10 years of “bringing up your own child” and making it part of your everyday life, it’s hard to call it. I can only speak about my own personal experience, but after such a long time of trying hard and failing, there comes a moment when you ask yourself “is it really worth it?” and “what am I doing with my life?”. So the remaining few of us made a mutual agreement that this is it, it’s time to let go.

We didn’t just want to simply let it die though, for two reasons. The first is a selfish one: if years from now someone asks what we have worked on for 10 years, we would like to be able to show them and say “it’s here, you can still play with it if you want”. In case of an MMO this is not self-evident.

The second reason is of course our players. However small it is, we still have a faithful community, and we love you all for that.

Your own Perpetuum server

So while the official server is still going to stay online for an undetermined time, in the last few months we’ve been working on a standalone server solution, in order to ensure the game’s future.

Although Perpetuum’s server application is far from being simple, our primary goal while developing the standalone server was simplicity and ease of use, while keeping the possibility of optional in-depth customization open.

The minimum requirements for running the server are lower than you might think: it can be run on the same Windows-based PC that you play Perpetuum on, even both at the same time. Resource usage of course goes up with the concurrent players on the server, so beyond a certain number a dedicated server machine is needed.

Strandalone server installer

You’ll also need to have an SQL server installed for the database, but we got that covered. The Perpetuum server installer is a single exe about 1GB in size and includes the freely available Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Express that’s automatically installed and configured along with the Perpetuum server itself.

The installer also comes with an Admin Tool application, which is used to start/stop and configure the server, as well as provide a management interface for the player accounts on that server.

Admin tool

Server availability can be customized in the following of ways:

  • Public server: the server will be publicly available and listed in the server browser, which will be visible both in the game client and on our website.
  • Private server: the server will not be visible in the server browser; players will have to enter the server’s address manually in the game client.
  • Open registration: anyone who connects to the server can create a new account and play.
  • Limited registration: players need to request an account from server admins and only they can create player accounts.

As I mentioned above, initially our primary goal is to provide a working standalone server that anyone who has ever installed any application can set up, manage, and run with minimum hassle. Once we see that this works we can move on to the next phase where we provide documentation and know-how on how you can customize your server and the database, like doing your own balancing. Word of warning though: even our own management tools feel a lot of times quite hacky, the ways you’ll have to tinker with stuff will certainly require patience and at least some minimal knowledge on how databases work.

We still have to work out some kinks, but the standalone server installer will soon be made publicly available to download, for free of course.

Game client changes

The introduction of the standalone server will of course require support in the game client as well, while still retaining simple access to the official server.

It’s not a big change though: a new server selection screen will precede the current login screen. This includes a new server browser window where all the publicly available player-run servers are listed along with the official server, and you can select any number of them to be included in the server dropdown menu on the main screen. From there it’s as easy as clicking the connect button and after that it’s business as usual, just enter your credentials and play.

Ingame server browser

Becoming Steam-only

A bigger change that some of you probably won’t like is that soon Steam will be the only place where Perpetuum will be distributed, including the standalone server. The reason for this is to ensure the availability of the game on a stable platform, as opposed to our own website that we cannot guarantee to be around forever. Another reason is that it’s uneconomical for us to keep our own payment platform, as purchases made via Steam outweigh our own store by far.

It’s important to note that existing non-Steam (e-mail based) accounts will continue to work with the Steam-based Perpetuum client, but you won’t be able to create a non-Steam account after the change.

Perpetuum Credits and DLCs discontinued

On a standalone server Perpetuum Credits and DLC will make no sense, since we cannot sell and transfer them to a privately held server, and the administrators of the servers would be able to easily hack in as many credits or EP as they like.

So as of now, Perpetuum Credits, ICE, and Upgrade Kits (DLCs) are not available to purchase anymore, but existing assets are not removed of course and can still be used.

FAQ

In the rest of this blog I’ll try to collect any remaining info and questions you might have, and I will also update this section if any unanswered issue comes up in the comments or the forum.

What happens to the official server?

While the development of Perpetuum is discontinued, the game is not shutting down, and the official server will still stay online for an undetermined time.

How can I play Perpetuum in the future?

You will have the choice to either continue playing on the official server, or play on any of the player-run servers.

When will I be able to run my own Perpetuum server?

As soon as possible. Most of the development is done, but we're still working on some details and bugs.

Can I play with my existing account/character on a private server?

This is something that we’re still looking into. What we know for sure is that we cannot give out any personal information included in Perpetuum accounts unless the account holder requests it, so simply copying the database is absolutely a no go. Another problem is that there are a lot of dependencies related to characters, so if we transfer a single account, there are going to be numerous problems if the character’s corporation, or the base/storage where its items are doesn’t exist on the new server... and those are just a few examples.

Can I sell Perpetuum Credits on my own server?

No, Perpetuum Credits are discontinued as server administrators could easily hack in as many credits as they like.

What happens to game features depending on Perpetuum Credits?

They will be either removed or changed to use other ingame currencies (like NIC) at a later time.

What prevents private server administrators to cheat on their own servers and give advantages to certain characters?

Technically nothing. Server administrators have full access to their server’s database and can do with it as they please, we can’t do anything to prevent this. This is something where the power of the community comes in, and we hope servers run by trusted players will develop a good reputation where you can be sure that everyone plays fair.

Will you still provide support for the game?

We are committed to fix any critical game-breaking bugs in the future that would prevent running the game at all. Anything beyond this, including new content, balancing, and individual player support (running the support ticket system) is not possible for us anymore.

Will I be able to do tweak balancing or add new ingame items on my own server?

To a certain extent, yes. It won’t be simple, and your possibilities will be quite limited, but we intend to come up with some documentation on what you can do and how you can do it.

Perpetuum Online September 3rd 2017

Perpetuum is dead, long live Perpetuum

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So you haven’t heard from us in a long time, and the reason for that probably became more and more obvious with time: I'm sorry to inform you that Perpetuum is not actively developed anymore.

This blog is meant to inform you what this means for the game, for you, the players, and how the future of Perpetuum looks like. Because there is a future, at least we hope so.

How we got here

We knew from the start that Perpetuum will be a niche game and we were cool with it. But even considering that, it never really got off. We had two major spikes, the one during the EVE exodus, and after the Steam launch, but even those pale in comparison to what the we would have needed to justify the “massively” in MMORPG.

Over the years we’ve been in talks with numerous serious publishers and investors, but unfortunately none of those promises came to fruition. So the only thing we could do was to push it on our own and hope that steady work will eventually pay off and bring in a critical mass of players that would keep the game alive for a long time, and provide us a living.

The most prominent feedback that we have received over the years is that Perpetuum has great mechanics and atmosphere but lacks content, and that it is a great foundation for a game. Sadly we never got to the point where we could develop it to its full potential.

It was basically catch-22. After the initial spikes our playerbase always receded to unhealthy levels, which meant that we had to lay off some of our less essential content-related people and also that we didn’t have the funds to do any impactful marketing. Which in turn meant that we could bring in even less new players and develop less new content and do even less marketing. These cycles transformed into a downward spiral where the remaining developers had to be on minimum wage for years and the only thing we could do for the game was fixing bugs and recycling old content. If we would have found a publisher we would have been shut down probably years ago.

I joined Avatar Creations in 2006. After 10 years of “bringing up your own child” and making it part of your everyday life, it’s hard to call it. I can only speak about my own personal experience, but after such a long time of trying hard and failing, there comes a moment when you ask yourself “is it really worth it?” and “what am I doing with my life?”. So the remaining few of us made a mutual agreement that this is it, it’s time to let go.

We didn’t just want to simply let it die though, for two reasons. The first is a selfish one: if years from now someone asks what we have worked on for 10 years, we would like to be able to show them and say “it’s here, you can still play with it if you want”. In case of an MMO this is not self-evident.

The second reason is of course our players. However small it is, we still have a faithful community, and we love you all for that.

Your own Perpetuum server

So while the official server is still going to stay online for an undetermined time, in the last few months we’ve been working on a standalone server solution, in order to ensure the game’s future.

Although Perpetuum’s server application is far from being simple, our primary goal while developing the standalone server was simplicity and ease of use, while keeping the possibility of optional in-depth customization open.

The minimum requirements for running the server are lower than you might think: it can be run on the same Windows-based PC that you play Perpetuum on, even both at the same time. Resource usage of course goes up with the concurrent players on the server, so beyond a certain number a dedicated server machine is needed.

Strandalone server installer

You’ll also need to have an SQL server installed for the database, but we got that covered. The Perpetuum server installer is a single exe about 1GB in size and includes the freely available Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Express that’s automatically installed and configured along with the Perpetuum server itself.

The installer also comes with an Admin Tool application, which is used to start/stop and configure the server, as well as provide a management interface for the player accounts on that server.

Admin tool

Server availability can be customized in the following of ways:

  • Public server: the server will be publicly available and listed in the server browser, which will be visible both in the game client and on our website.
  • Private server: the server will not be visible in the server browser; players will have to enter the server’s address manually in the game client.
  • Open registration: anyone who connects to the server can create a new account and play.
  • Limited registration: players need to request an account from server admins and only they can create player accounts.

As I mentioned above, initially our primary goal is to provide a working standalone server that anyone who has ever installed any application can set up, manage, and run with minimum hassle. Once we see that this works we can move on to the next phase where we provide documentation and know-how on how you can customize your server and the database, like doing your own balancing. Word of warning though: even our own management tools feel a lot of times quite hacky, the ways you’ll have to tinker with stuff will certainly require patience and at least some minimal knowledge on how databases work.

We still have to work out some kinks, but the standalone server installer will soon be made publicly available to download, for free of course.

Game client changes

The introduction of the standalone server will of course require support in the game client as well, while still retaining simple access to the official server.

It’s not a big change though: a new server selection screen will precede the current login screen. This includes a new server browser window where all the publicly available player-run servers are listed along with the official server, and you can select any number of them to be included in the server dropdown menu on the main screen. From there it’s as easy as clicking the connect button and after that it’s business as usual, just enter your credentials and play.

Ingame server browser

Becoming Steam-only

A bigger change that some of you probably won’t like is that soon Steam will be the only place where Perpetuum will be distributed, including the standalone server. The reason for this is to ensure the availability of the game on a stable platform, as opposed to our own website that we cannot guarantee to be around forever. Another reason is that it’s uneconomical for us to keep our own payment platform, as purchases made via Steam outweigh our own store by far.

It’s important to note that existing non-Steam (e-mail based) accounts will continue to work with the Steam-based Perpetuum client, but you won’t be able to create a non-Steam account after the change.

Perpetuum Credits and DLCs discontinued

On a standalone server Perpetuum Credits and DLC will make no sense, since we cannot sell and transfer them to a privately held server, and the administrators of the servers would be able to easily hack in as many credits or EP as they like.

So as of now, Perpetuum Credits, ICE, and Upgrade Kits (DLCs) are not available to purchase anymore, but existing assets are not removed of course and can still be used.

FAQ

In the rest of this blog I’ll try to collect any remaining info and questions you might have, and I will also update this section if any unanswered issue comes up in the comments or the forum.

What happens to the official server?

While the development of Perpetuum is discontinued, the game is not shutting down, and the official server will still stay online for an undetermined time.

How can I play Perpetuum in the future?

You will have the choice to either continue playing on the official server, or play on any of the player-run servers.

When will I be able to run my own Perpetuum server?

As soon as possible. Most of the development is done, but we're still working on some details and bugs.

Can I play with my existing account/character on a private server?

This is something that we’re still looking into. What we know for sure is that we cannot give out any personal information included in Perpetuum accounts unless the account holder requests it, so simply copying the database is absolutely a no go. Another problem is that there are a lot of dependencies related to characters, so if we transfer a single account, there are going to be numerous problems if the character’s corporation, or the base/storage where its items are doesn’t exist on the new server... and those are just a few examples.

Can I sell Perpetuum Credits on my own server?

No, Perpetuum Credits are discontinued as server administrators could easily hack in as many credits as they like.

What happens to game features depending on Perpetuum Credits?

They will be either removed or changed to use other ingame currencies (like NIC) at a later time.

What prevents private server administrators to cheat on their own servers and give advantages to certain characters?

Technically nothing. Server administrators have full access to their server’s database and can do with it as they please, we can’t do anything to prevent this. This is something where the power of the community comes in, and we hope servers run by trusted players will develop a good reputation where you can be sure that everyone plays fair.

Will you still provide support for the game?

We are committed to fix any critical game-breaking bugs in the future that would prevent running the game at all. Anything beyond this, including new content, balancing, and individual player support (running the support ticket system) is not possible for us anymore.

Will I be able to do tweak balancing or add new ingame items on my own server?

To a certain extent, yes. It won’t be simple, and your possibilities will be quite limited, but we intend to come up with some documentation on what you can do and how you can do it.

Perpetuum Online September 3rd 2017

Vendetta Online 1.8.430

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VO 1.8.430 includes:- Latos F-12 demonstration sector is now a larger and more complex scene, using all the capships hulks and floating pieces.- Mac version now requires OS X 10.9 or newer, and only supports 64bit Intel processors.- PowerPC support has been formally and permanently dropped from Vendetta Online.- Mac version defaults to OpenGL 4 drivers for all new installs. We recommend existing users also switch to GL4, and help report any remaining issues.- Mac GL4 version's auto-detection of discrete vs integrated GPUs and default graphics options have been updated to match the DirectX 11 version.- Mac Retina display support is now possible. Defaults to "off", but may be added with "Enable Retina Support" in Video Options. It may impact performance.- Mac version should now better handle Cmd-Tab, "Spaces" (virtual desktops), and other MacOS features.- iPad version now uses specialized archive files with much faster load times.- iPad users may now configure their gamepad sensitivity curves, under Options -> Input.Clearly, a major update for Mac users, with also some cool new "capship hulks" to check out for everyone else.The Mac version has been in need of a major "architecture upgrade" for quite some time, and this is important to also getting the game on Steam and the Mac Store. If you find any problems, please let us know. There are still some open questions with multi-monitor scenarios and mixed Retina and non-Retina monitors, what we've released should work pretty well, but we're still open to changing default behaviours and adding other feature support.There will still be one more major Mac update, which will basically re-work the way the game actually installs on Macs, to conform to changes Apple has made since our last re-architecture. The new iPad update is to help bring the latest iPhone TestFlight advancements into production for final testing. We are expecting the iPhone version to launch in the near future, more on that later. In the meantime, please report any issues you see on the iPad!Thanks much everyone, and have a fantastic weekend!
Vendetta Online September 2nd 2017