For those who couldn’t make it today – or who’d just like a refresher – here’s what was discussed at today’s Community Meeting in Harbour Light! It’s been lightly edited to remove the comings and goings and such, and to put an extra space around player questions (in bold) and their answers:
[14:03] NeoBokrug Elytis: I guess we oughtta start! You first Kaz, with all your amazing arts.
[14:04] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): Alrighty. I’ve been working on the sim a bit more, getting it prettied up for our future content, as well as just a facelift all around
[14:05] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): I’ve moved the landing point over to the new location, finished the path up to the shop, made a cavern interior, and started setting up the landing point to be more useful
[14:05] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): I plan on finishing up a small auditorium and some visual tutorials on the yellow pads
[14:06] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): oh, and all the vendors got updated to their final locations as well
[14:06] Aposiopesis Fullstop: I love how it’s coming along, Kaz! It’s got such a great organic feel.
[14:06] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): thank you!
[14:06] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): you guys have been really busy too!
[14:07] Aposiopesis Fullstop: You better believe it!
[14:07] NeoBokrug Elytis: 😉
[14:07] Aposiopesis Fullstop: I’ve done a lot of wordstuff this past month, on three different fronts.
[14:08] Aposiopesis Fullstop: For the inworld stuff… oof the biggest things I’ve done this past month is the setup to introduce Zoivox, my roleplay character, who’ll be taking over the “tour guide” role that Flipsy had once filled!
[14:08] Aposiopesis Fullstop: *one of, even. Hah
[14:10] Aposiopesis Fullstop: But yes! Zoivox lives on Elarra, she works at the Magic Academy, she knows a lot about the magical plants and animals of that world – and she’s super curious about all aspects of life on Earth! Interacting with her will let interested players learn more background information – some of which may become more cosmetic items, like the Mystica Grass, Mystica Trees, and other such things that Kaz has made available. And some of which MAY someday be folded into gameplay, 😉
[14:11] Aposiopesis Fullstop: At the risk of showing my hand a little too much… It’s also a way for players to interact, in some way, with Elarra itself – and to perhaps create a stronger emotional stake in the fate of that world.
[14:12] Aposiopesis Fullstop: But, eager and interested as Zoivox is, she’s also a little worried. Since Phay left the team quite some time ago, I decided to fold her absence into the new guide-character’s story. In short: Zoivox thinks that something terrible may have happened to Flipsy – and that whoever’s responsible may be trying to sabotage the Mystics Program itself! And it could even be someone at the Academy itself…
[14:13] Aposiopesis Fullstop: So she has to be sneaky. And, for now, the only way she can communicate “face-to-face”… is through a hacked hologram display up here at the store! 😀
[14:13] NeoBokrug Elytis: I helped!
[14:13] Aposiopesis Fullstop: This was an awesome team effort by all of us – Kaz making design suggestions, Neo helping with the code…
[14:13] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Yeah!
[14:13] Aposiopesis Fullstop: I’ll be making appearances there as Zoivox at scheduled times, and I’ll send notices out in advance. Hopefully, those times will work well for a lot of time zones, so everyone who’s interested gets the chance to chat!
[14:14] Aposiopesis Fullstop: So that’s what I’ve been doing in-world. As for the website, I’ve spent this past month tackling the section on The Magic Academy.
[14:15] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): that’s a lot of stuff!
[14:15] Aposiopesis Fullstop: And that’s seeing some pretty significant revision! Once it’s all approved, you’ll get to see a more fleshed-out story about the founding of the Academy, many new details about the Four Founders, more specifics about exactly what types of magical arts the Houses study, and information on how they work together – or, often, don’t.
[14:16] Aposiopesis Fullstop: For players who want to get into the lore and make their own characters, it should give some more substantial and more nuanced background ideas to go on! 😀
[14:16] Aposiopesis Fullstop: As for the third front, the more practical and technical-documentation type of thing…
[14:17] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Working with Neo, I’ve spent a lot of time updating the HUD-driven notices! It’s very… stilted, and kinda unsatisfying, to click on a house to fill it with food, only to read something like “Sending Fill Command to House of Awesome.” It takes you out of the story.
[14:17] Aposiopesis Fullstop: And it’s far from romantic to Pair your Mystics and read “Sending partner command to Steve to partner with Stefanie.” >_<
[14:17] NeoBokrug Elytis: It worked for me though.
[14:18] NeoBokrug Elytis sends partner command to Apo
[14:18] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Hahaha!
[14:18] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): lol.
[14:18] Aposiopesis Fullstop: The issue, though, is script optimization. There are a lot of cool new things going into the next update, as you know – and only so much memory available for a script! So when I made these wording changes, the total character count had to be either the same as before, or ideally *less*.
[14:19] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Less words is… hard, for me. 😉
[14:19] Aposiopesis Fullstop: So it took a while to figure out the best way to word things while keeping to those constraints — ten more characters here, balanced by two fewer here and five fewer there and three fewer over there… but I came up with some changes that are a little more fluid, a little more natural, and even a little shorter overall, to help us save memory!
[14:20] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Any questions on any of the word-related, lore-related, story-related stuff? 😀
[14:20] Aposiopesis Fullstop: All right, then! Neo, tell us of your travails.
[14:20] Nola Hellershanks: does Phay plan to come back or is it open to her too?
[14:21] Nola Hellershanks: I keep seeing her in the story line
[14:21] Aposiopesis Fullstop: So far as we know, she and her character aren’t actually coming back. So part of the hook for my character is figuring out, story-wise, why.
[14:21] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): Phay has moved on entirely from Mystics
[14:22] NeoBokrug Elytis: Apo is gunna make it work! 🙂
[14:22] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Neo uses the TourGuideFlipsy account as a work account, but he is not playing that character at all.
[14:22] Nola Hellershanks: nods I know she is real busy in rl I never expected her to even try, was just wondering because new people do not know who she was/is
[14:22] Nola Hellershanks: nods
[14:23] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): the scripts were moved to that account, that’s why we’re using it at all
[14:23] Nola Hellershanks: ahhh nods
[14:24] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Yeah, that’s been part of the thing – I’ve been picking up where Phay left off, but *because* she left things off, there’s a pretty big gap to bridge. But she really got the ball rolling with the story and the world, and it’s a fascinating world with a lot of potential – so I wanted to try to keep it going, rather than to nuke everything and start all over.
[14:24] Nola Hellershanks: nods understandable
[14:24] Aposiopesis Fullstop: (Nuking everything and having to start all over is what my WASTELANDS character is all about, after all ! 😉 )
[14:24] NeoBokrug Elytis: lol
[14:25] Nola Hellershanks: lol
[14:26] NeoBokrug Elytis: Any more questions about story stuff and wording before I roll on into the code-stuffs?
[14:26] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Neo bot, roll out! 😀
[14:26] NeoBokrug Elytis: Okey Dokey!
[14:27] NeoBokrug Elytis: Last month I at about this time I was working on the HUD. We had some internal testing while I was working on a few more things, and since then we’ve found and squashed a few bugs. To my knowledge there are no current bugs with the HUD for the traits. Everything looks good to go on that front.
[14:28] Aposiopesis Fullstop: wooo!
[14:29] NeoBokrug Elytis: While we were testing the HUD (which is the most complex part of the game inworld, not the server), I began to work on the homes. The homes only required minor updates, as they are not super script heavy. They mostly benefited from some optimizations and juggling of code between existing scripts. They haven’t undergone extensive testing yet, as I need to finish everything else before I can test them for certain.
[14:31] NeoBokrug Elytis: Once the homes seemed okay in my book I began working on the Pods and the pets. Much like the homes the Pods didn’t require too much work. Again they got some code juggling between scripts to make them a tad more efficient and “memory-safe”, as I like to put it. That way when I add new features in the future I’ll have room to hook those functions in without adding more scripts. 🙂
[14:31] NeoBokrug Elytis: The pets on the otherhand, required extensive updates to be far more memory efficient.
[14:32] NeoBokrug Elytis: On my whiteboard (next to my desk), I have a short list of about 10 things I wanted to do relatively soon. The fewer I had to do, the faster the patch would come out. As it turns out some of the “wish-list” items became mandatory as part of the update, out of need for being memory and speed efficient.
[14:34] NeoBokrug Elytis: The HUD was definitely the biggest, and easily took a months worth of time to wrangle all on it’s own. The pets are taking a little bit longer than I had planned. So far out of the 10 things on my whiteboard, 6 have become mandatory, where as I only thought three would.
[14:34] NeoBokrug Elytis: But progress is still marching on at a steady pace!
[14:34] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Some things, you just can’t know until you’re in the thick of it!
[14:34] NeoBokrug Elytis: True that!
[14:37] NeoBokrug Elytis: You may have noticed about a week ago things went a bit south with the game. Part of our DataBase setup is to make sure that we have traceback on game interactions, so make sure things are running right. In fact, it was consuming about 90% of our DB. I had talked with grim about doing some spring cleaning, and tidying up the DB. I asked him “would it be okay to do this”. He gave me the thumbs up on it, and we were both in agreement that this was going to go just fine!
[14:38] Nola Hellershanks: lol did you remind him of the night of the clones first?
[14:38] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): yeah I did
[14:38] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): haha
[14:38] Nola Hellershanks: haha
[14:38] NeoBokrug Elytis: It got about 80% through doing it all and then things didn’t go just fine. Cleaning up the DB caused things to grind to a halt. I canceled the cleanup procedure, but how our DB is setup, if a query is cancelled, it’ll repair itself.
[14:38] Aposiopesis Fullstop: D:
[14:39] NeoBokrug Elytis: So the second day of things being “blah” was due to the system fixing itself. Which is good, I guess. Instead we simply rebuilt the DB from the data we wanted to keep, and dropped the old data all together and swapped out the tables. Within minutes everything was better.
[14:40] NeoBokrug Elytis: But if it wasn’t for Grims continued help, we’d probably still be in a world of hurt.
[14:40] Nola Hellershanks: nods
[14:40] Aposiopesis Fullstop: YAY, GRIM!
[14:40] NeoBokrug Elytis: So I’m thankful for Grim being there when we needed him. He’s a good guy.
[14:41] NeoBokrug Elytis: Ironically, I was going through vendor code a few days before, and I saw a feature that I thought it was lacking.
[14:42] NeoBokrug Elytis: A day before we wonked the server, I had finished that code, which came to be REALLY USEFUL since if a transaction failed (like they were) it would refund the person.
[14:42] NeoBokrug Elytis: So while the chaos was going on, I swapped the vendor code to be more redundant and double check to make sure the transaction worked.
[14:44] NeoBokrug Elytis: The day after all that server madness was a Saturday (I think), and that’s when I got sick. I planned to take Apo someplace for her birthday but I totally had to have my friend take her instead. Because I was REALLY sick. I slept about 75% of the day away for the past week. So I did not have much progress on anything beyond what I’ve mentioned thus far. This last Friday is when I finally felt better, and I have been taking it super easy since then.
[14:45] NeoBokrug Elytis: Any questions about code stuff, my mess up with the server, or code stuff? 😉
[14:45] Nola Hellershanks: as a builder and scripter I know how hard it is to test your own builds, When Grim had turtles/roves I worked under contract with him, do you have some people like this in place to help with testing these things?
[14:45] NeoBokrug Elytis: Yah! We’ve got a couple testers.
[14:45] Nola Hellershanks: awesome
[14:46] Nola Hellershanks: that helps you some
[14:46] NeoBokrug Elytis: Also, because of The Wastelands, and all the other projects I’ve done in SL — I know pretty much all the terrible exploits and code with them in mind. 🙁
[14:47] NeoBokrug Elytis: Sometimes things slip past me, or something new shows up. Usually I can throw out a patch in a day.
[14:47] Nola Hellershanks: nods exactly waht I was kinda getting at lol
[14:47] NeoBokrug Elytis: Plus I did all the initial code for Ozimals. I got to see a lot of stuff there. 🙂
[14:48] NeoBokrug Elytis: I’m way familiar with how “special” the SL environment is. 😉
[14:48] Nola Hellershanks: yes
[14:48] Aposiopesis Fullstop: That’s a good word for it, yeah. Hah!
[14:48] NeoBokrug Elytis: Haha
[14:48] Nola Hellershanks: haha
[14:49] NeoBokrug Elytis: Any other questions or comments for any of us?
[14:49] Nola Hellershanks: I may have to use that word 😛
[14:49] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): haha
[14:49] Holland Haggwood: There will be a transcript of the meeting on the website, correct?
[14:49] NeoBokrug Elytis: Certainly!
[14:50] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Yup! It’ll go up shortly after we wrap this up – I have the Create New Post window primed and waiting! 😀
[14:50] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): awww yisss
[14:51] NeoBokrug Elytis: Again, no promised on a timeline on my part, but I think we’re making leaps and bounds of progress.
[14:51] NeoBokrug Elytis: *promises
[14:52] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Yeah, you can only do what you can do – and you only find out WHAT that is by trying to do it.
[14:53] NeoBokrug Elytis: TBH, it’s taken longer than I thought it would — only because there’s more work than I anticipated. But I think it’s good work that’ll set us up for some really fun stuff in the future too.
[14:53] Nola Hellershanks: question/suggestion….. I know L’s is needed to keep servers going and land payments, for those who may like to help but wants to stop breeding until something new is out, can you put up a donation station? or something like that?
[14:54] Nola Hellershanks: kicks Sunday lag
[14:54] NeoBokrug Elytis: Nope, just digesting the question. 🙂
[14:55] NeoBokrug Elytis: Do you mean like… for players, or for us?
[14:55] Nola Hellershanks: for you
[14:56] NeoBokrug Elytis: I can’t speak for Kaz or Apo, but I am content to not receive donations. I think people should use their $L on what makes them happy. I personally get offers for donations all the time in The Wastelands, but I just forward it on to the people who volunteer to do things.
[14:56] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): it’s a thoughtful suggestion
[14:57] NeoBokrug Elytis: Yah!
[14:57] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): thank you for that.
[14:57] Nola Hellershanks: ㋡
[14:57] Holland Haggwood: Just continuing to buy food would amount to the same thing, no?
[14:57] Holland Haggwood: Unless, I’m misunderstanding . . .
[14:58] NeoBokrug Elytis: Pretty much! Maybe we could do like the Wastelands and put out a tip jar, and it goes to the CSR folks.
[14:58] Aposiopesis Fullstop: It’s not like it costs us much on our end to send Magika to you – unlike a brick-and-mortar company, we don’t have that kind of overhead.
[14:58] Aposiopesis Fullstop: That’s a really great idea, Neo, yeah!
[14:59] Nola Hellershanks: yes
[14:59] Nola Hellershanks: I like that idea yes
[14:59] Aposiopesis Fullstop: They do such great work, and it’s so helpful to everyone.
[14:59] NeoBokrug Elytis: Once the patch gets done, I am pretty sure the game will explode in popularity again. I kind of wish I could have come on earlier to help ease this transition.
[14:59] Nola Hellershanks: nods
[14:59] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Same here.
[14:59] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): yeah, I wish I had seen it coming sooner heh
[15:00] NeoBokrug Elytis: We’ll make it happen though! Sooner than later. 🙂
[15:00] Nola Hellershanks: ㋡
[15:01] Aposiopesis Fullstop: But I appreciate you guys who keep carrying the torch! In time, you’ll be the awesome wizened oldbies, with wide-eyed noobs looking up at you in awe, and you’ll get to tell them war stories about The Old Days. 😉
[15:01] NeoBokrug Elytis: This is still mostly full time work for me. So I’m in deep.
[15:01] Nola Hellershanks: Kaz needs to make a waiting costume 😛
[15:01] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): I’ve always said I’d be here for the long haul… if this tough transition hasn’t said that, I don’t think anything will. we’ll make this work, we’ll kick this game into high gear
[15:02] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): lol, that and a small contract job
[15:02] Holland Haggwood: *pictures once again hanging up her “Founder” badge* lol
[15:02] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): suuuuper oldbie 😀
[15:02] Nola Hellershanks: lol yup
[15:03] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): hi-5!
[15:03] Nola Hellershanks: got to run to the talk show, great seeing you all keep up the awesome work you do!
[15:03] NeoBokrug Elytis: Maybe you’ll be like my resident Grady in The Wastelands.
[15:03] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Haha, yeah!
[15:03] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): great to see you here! thank you for coming, all of you
[15:03] NeoBokrug Elytis: 9+ years a resident. Same plot, very active still.
[15:03] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Good seeing you, Nola; thanks for coming! 😀
[15:03] NeoBokrug Elytis: Take care! We’ll see you on the 3rd weekend of next month, I hope!
[15:04] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Wait. There’s a holiday next month. When is it…
[15:04] NeoBokrug Elytis: I work from home I don’t pay attention to holidays! D:
[15:04] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Ah! Memorial Day weekend is the LAST weekend of the month.
[15:04] Holland Haggwood: I need to go too, only suggestion I have is a bit more publicity for that next meeting, lol
[15:04] NeoBokrug Elytis: Oh. We’ll have to change up the Wastelands community meeting
[15:04] NeoBokrug Elytis: Okay! We’ll make sure to carpet bomb you all.
[15:05] Kaz (kazuhiro.aridian): ahaha
[15:05] Aposiopesis Fullstop: Hah!