Last One Out, Turn Off The Lights

Comments Off on Last One Out, Turn Off The Lights

I guess I should say something. If for nothing else, for the fact that there's nothing left to lose here.

It's been a few weeks now that the "main" Perpetuum server is no longer running, which I suppose is the symbolic conclusion of the development of Perpetuum, something that was our first venture in game development and took 10+ years of our lives. In some ways, it was an emotional moment to pull the plug, and in other ways it really wasn't. Let me try to explain why.

We started working on the game (then just called "GenXY") in around 2004 - we genuinely had no idea what we were doing, we had no idea of the scope of it, we had no idea what it'd become or what we'd WANT it to become; we just had a faint idea that it was possible, and we started on it because we didn't know better. Turns out, that was kinda really we needed to get it done - because if we would've known what's coming, we probably never would've started.

I don't mean that as necessarily a negative, it's just that we mostly just made shit up along the way as we went: there's no "How To Make An MMO" handbook, and there sure as hell wasn't one in 2004. Most of us were still in our early 20s, and we never realized the amount of technology we would need to conjure up along the way, but we were ambitious (and stupid) and the fact that we can't (or not supposed to) do it just never occurred to us. So we went to it head first. We really were indie before "indie" was a thing.

Of course, the mission objective changed a few times along the way - initially we didn't want character models, just these little soul-like particle bursts, because we wanted to cut down on having to write an animation engine. Then when we realized that'd be boring, we went for robots because we didn't want to code skinned animation. The longer we went on, the more it snowballed, and next thing we knew we had this elaborate multi-platform architecture to have a game, a client, a website, a webstore, a backend, all these things in all different programming languages, platforms, database engines, that we just cooked up out of nowhere because we just thought "we have to figure this out", and we did, even though many many people not only warned us against, but actively predicted we couldn't do it.

That's not to say it wasn't bumpy. Even after alpha, even after closed beta, even after beta, it was bumpy. There were some joyful fuckups (like accidentally shutting down servers with a piece of pastry and setting our kitchen equipment on fire), some a bit more stressful (like screwing up the game launch because we weren't drunk, as opposed to the early access launch when we were) and some of them pretty miserable (like the cease-and-desist letter - guess who!). But through all of this, we had one goal and one goal only - to finish and release a game and do the best we can. And in that, say what you want, we succeeded. Not opinion, fact.

We didn't always see eye-to-eye with you - and that's putting it nicely; as developers, it was necessarily to be cagey and secretive sometimes, to be stern at other times - even though we desperately wanted to keep in contact with out playerbase, we learned quickly that any reaction we released to the public had immediate ripples in-game, sometimes considerably bigger ones that we imagined, so we often secluded until we had something that was ready to show. This of course sometimes meant that what we produced wasn't in line with the general expectations, or that it split the playerbase even more - it often felt like a no-win-scenario, but we soldiered on, because we were desperate to make this work. There's a delicate balance between listening enough and not listening too much, and we often missed that balance - but we always tried.

The way I imagine studio closures happen in gamedev, they're probably come more as a sudden shock - for us, that wasn't the case. There were several moments where we knew that this isn't gonna go for long - we all hoped it would, but I think reality set in when we weren't able to reach the numbers we needed; we reached a number that was enough to sustain development, but we had no funds to market the game, or to produce massive amounts of content, and our creativity and work-ethic was only able to get us out the door, not all the way to the next town. So yeah, we've seen the end coming for a long time - and who are we kidding, you did too. But we didn't want to go away without leaving a mark, pretending this never happened, so we did what we could to make sure the legacy at least in part lives on.

I personally am still 100% proud of the effort we've put in over the years and the spirit we've invested in this game. Would I do things differently, knowing what I know now? Sure. But hindsight is always 20/20, and with the naive mindset we had, and the resources we had available, I think we made the best game we could.

A few people have asked what projects we moved on to, so here's a brief summary: (I'll continue to expand this if I can find others)

  • Zoom spent a bit of time in motion graphics, and now works at Primal Games on a yet-unannounced title
  • Alf is developing cloud technology at Nokia, which he says is a lot less stressful
  • BoyC is working on car UX software at NNG
  • Quodys, in his own words, "is on his journey to wreck a yet bigger enterprise, this time a global telco company"
  • Gargaj (me) moved on to Slightly Mad Studios and has worked on Project CARS 2, and is now working on a yet-unannounced title.

Aside from that, as many of you know Zoom, BoyC and myself have been and will continue releasing work under the name Conspiracy; we've recently released our first venture in VR on the Oculus store - it's not really game-related, but it's something we'll keep on doing if you wanna follow us there.

Anyway.

Thanks for sticking with us over the years - you helped us achieve something that very few people could.

See you around, somewhere, sometime.

Perpetuum Online February 18th 2018

Last One Out, Turn Off The Lights

Comments Off on Last One Out, Turn Off The Lights

I guess I should say something. If for nothing else, for the fact that there's nothing left to lose here.

It's been a few weeks now that the "main" Perpetuum server is no longer running, which I suppose is the symbolic conclusion of the development of Perpetuum, something that was our first venture in game development and took 10+ years of our lives. In some ways, it was an emotional moment to pull the plug, and in other ways it really wasn't. Let me try to explain why.

We started working on the game (then just called "GenXY") in around 2004 - we genuinely had no idea what we were doing, we had no idea of the scope of it, we had no idea what it'd become or what we'd WANT it to become; we just had a faint idea that it was possible, and we started on it because we didn't know better. Turns out, that was kinda really we needed to get it done - because if we would've known what's coming, we probably never would've started.

I don't mean that as necessarily a negative, it's just that we mostly just made shit up along the way as we went: there's no "How To Make An MMO" handbook, and there sure as hell wasn't one in 2004. Most of us were still in our early 20s, and we never realized the amount of technology we would need to conjure up along the way, but we were ambitious (and stupid) and the fact that we can't (or not supposed to) do it just never occurred to us. So we went to it head first.

Of course, the mission objective changed a few times along the way - initially we didn't want character models, just these little soul-like particle bursts, because we wanted to cut down on having to write an animation engine. Then when we realized that'd be boring, we went for robots because we didn't want to code skinned animation. The longer we went on, the more it snowballed, and next thing we knew we had this elaborate multi-platform architecture to have a game, a client, a website, a webstore, a backend, all these things in all different programming languages, platforms, database engines, that we just cooked up out of nowhere because we just thought "we have to figure this out", and we did.

It was bumpy. Even after alpha, even after closed beta, even after beta, it was bumpy. There were some joyful fuckups (like accidentally shutting down servers with a piece of pastry and setting or kitchen equipment on fire), some a bit more stressful (like screwing up the game launch because we weren't drunk) and some of them pretty miserable (like the cease-and-desist letter - guess who!). But through all of this, we had one goal and one goal only - to finish and release a game and do the best we can. And in that, say what you want, we succeeded. Not opinion, fact.

The way I imagine studio closures happen in gamedev, they're probably come more as a sudden shock - for us, that wasn't the case

A few people have asked what projects we moved on to, so here's a brief summary:

  • Zoom spent a bit of time in VFX, and now works at Primal Games on a yet-unannounced title
  • BoyC is working on car navigation software at NNG
  • Quodys works at the Budapest branch of British Telecom
  • Alf works at Nokia
  • Gargaj (me) moved on to Slightly Mad Studios and has worked on Project CARS 2, and is now working on a yet-unannounced title.

Aside from that, as many of you know Zoom, BoyC and myself have been and will continue releasing work under the name Conspiracy; we've recently released our first venture in VR on the Oculus store - it's not really game-related, but it's something we'll keep on doing if you wanna follow us there.

Perpetuum Online February 18th 2018

Server Side Update

Comments Off on Server Side Update
Tonight's server update includes the following change:- Exploits involving disconnection or duplicate-reconnection during mid-jump, usually for the purposes of avoiding a pursuing attacker, have been more extensively mitigated. Some of these mitigation techniques are old, some are new, but we've gone to some lengths to make them more consistent and robust for both Fighters and Capital ships: * If a player disconnects mid-jump, a "proxy" ship controlled by the remote sector will be spawned in their place (with their ship and cargo), and will remain there for a minute until timing out normally. This proxy ship may not spawn until up to a minute after the player's jump, so if another pilot is in hot pursuit, and then finds their target has "disappeared" during jump, the pursuer should have patience for up to a minute. * Attempts at duplicate-reconnection to knock off existing connections while mid-jump will immediately spawn the replacement proxy ship in the destination sector, until the second player connection is able to establish control. * In all cases, a disconnection mid-jump will always result in the disconnected player being placed in the destination sector. * In all cases, if the disconnected user should re-connect while the proxy ship is "standing in" for them, they will re-establish control of their ship.This kind of development will be on-going, as we look to shore up and improve some areas of gameplay prior to the launch on Steam. As always, feedback is welcome, particularly if Bugs are found (please post to the Bugs forum, or submit via Support Tickets if you think there is a risk of bug exploitation). Thanks all!
Vendetta Online February 10th 2018

Vendetta Online 1.8.447

Comments Off on Vendetta Online 1.8.447
VO 1.8.447 includes:- Added Buddy Invite and Accept buttons to Comm's Buddy/Group tab. The Accept menu gets auto-filled in with the most recent inviter's name.- Added a /toggleturbo bindable command to toggle turbo. The toggle gets cleared when releasing the normal Turbo or Activate keys.- Sector Notifications now filter out Robot and Turret ship types.- Added GearVR controller help menu when launching.- If input binds accidentally get deleted, the defaults are now loaded.A few more small improvements and enhancements. The "toggleturbo" bind should fit most cases when people want to "lock" turbo into an active state. Some of the other enhancements will hopefully help VR players.
Vendetta Online February 3rd 2018