1.31 Prod. Update:The End Is Nigh!
Written by Amy-Lynn "Motormouth" Smith
Community & Public Relations, Playnet Inc.
There's a light at the end of the tunnel and we're pretty sure it's not a speeding train. This week's production meeting just wrapped up and I've been given the go-ahead to pass out the latest info.
The best news is that of the 150+ tickets remaining in the 1.31 queue, producer Dana "GOPHUR" Baldwin's closed Beta build scheduled for tomorrow will likely kill as many as 100 of those. What's remaining are about 40 Critical or High priority tickets- things like an MSP disappearing when the ML changes, terrain draw edges not hidden by fog, blacked out UI on despawn and the like. Most of the remaining are Medium priority. Some tutorials need finishing, the church model textures need to be tweaked, a tree intersecting a road tile needs to be removed, that kind of stuff. Definitely still important but not game breakers.
There are two or three critical items that are holding up Open Beta. First, our in game map objects need to be updated. This will require a re-write of the icon generator since changes made to the way terrain objects are loaded makes the previous app no longer work.
We also need to re implement our automatic crash reporting- a way for us to grab error reports from your client. Also we need to unify all crash logs (and all other logs) into WWIIOL.log file.
The final roadblock to sending 1.31 into Open Beta is something that only recently cropped up; Some newer series ATI video cards are giving less than stellar performance. And by "less than stellar" we mean "crappy". Most specifically, the Radeon 4890 and 5xxx series cards have reported abysmal performance. At the moment it's the most critical issue on our list that we don't have a handle on. Our Software Producer,Chris "MARTINI" Fennell, has been working with the techs over at ATI on this. He's thinking that there might be a bug with the more recent drivers that is causing some performance degradation as well as improperly rendering the Speedtrees. ATI just finished up their newest drivers, and our rep is getting their coders to help us fix this as quickly as possible. If all else fails, Martini is confident he can find a workaround that will allow us to move forward until the problem is pinpointed and resolved.
We are all so eager to get 1.31 into Open Beta and then move on to other updates and improvements. The team is pushing themselves every day to burn through tickets and get it ready for delivery. We appreciate your patience more than we can ever express. We know it's been a long journey, we're footsore and tired, but happy that we're almost there.