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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 01/22/08)  | Pub:Portalus Games
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Hybrid | Monthly Fee:Free
System Req: PC | ESRB:TOut of date info? Let us know!

Dev Log

Posted by Jon Wood on Dec 28, 2005  | Comments

Dev Log -

The good people over at Pirates of the Burning Sea have given us another great Dev Log to sink our teeth into. This time, the log is brought to us by Misha, who discusses what's been going on recently with the game.


I tried to start the beta 12/14 but it didn't go well. First, our server cluster went nuts. We've been running those exact same servers (sorta) on the exact same hardware (sorta) with no problems whatsoever for the Asian Evaluation so this was an unpleasant surprise. I managed to get the servers under control, I thought, but when I logged into the game, I couldn't chat. At all. In any way. Which is very strange because local chat works differently than group or society chat but none of it was working for me. I kept rebooting the servers trying to solve the problem which was, I'm sure, a little frustrating to the beta testers. They were very gracious and patient with me though, and when I finally gave up and told them to come back tomorrow, they were very reassuring – claimed they really didn't expect much the first night anyway.

The second night went much better. The servers came right up and I was able to log in and communicate with the others who were logged in. I mostly stood around on the docks of the main Pirate town, Ruddy Cove, and answered questions. A couple folks had 16x10 monitors and the game looks terrible on those unless you modify some non-obvious settings. Some people were having performance problems – they needed to open ports in their firewall or the like. Most folks simply weren't sure where to concentrate their testing efforts – I told them to just explore, take missions, get into battles, learn to play the game. That was a glorious night – many compliments flowing our way on how good the game looked.

I'm only leaving the servers up for about two hours at a time for a number of reasons. One reason is that I feel the need to hang out where they can find me and ask questions and I only have so many hours in a day when I can do that. Another is that I'm trying to run the servers after business hours and I've only had a few free evenings, especially while also trying to get ready for my in-laws to visit over the holidays. And another is that I don't want the current testers to get too bored. We have a limited amount of content in the game currently, and they're going to get more opportunity than they want, probably, to go through it. We released an update to them on 12/20 and let them play it 12/21 and 12/22. We've modified the missions so much in the new build that I recommended they create new characters and start again. (Continuing existing missions with existing characters was not going to work because of all the changes.) Thus a few folks have gotten to do the first few missions multiple times already.

On 12/21, I had the terrible chat problems again. This time, I had Joe in the game and he was able to troubleshoot enough to tell me the problem was on our end, not on the servers. So I left them up and let the beta testers play but I was useless to them and pretty useless to Joe's troubleshooting efforts. It was very frustrating. He realized we're losing UDP packets but TCP is getting through. This meant I could move around fine but that I couldn't chat, use console commands, or interact with NPCs. We're pretty sure the problem is in the hardware that gets us out of our building. We were unable to nail it down specifically much less determine how to fix it before time to play again on 12/22. It might have worked to play from work – the chat problem is intermittent - but I didn't want to take the chance so I went home early that day and played from my home computer. Plus it was a good excuse to play with my new toy.

For Christmas, Rusty bought me a Dell Pentium D Dual Core with Windows Media Center and a GeForce 7800. Runs the game just fine, lemme tell you! :D I grouped with one of the beta testers and “helped” her complete a mission. Turns out I have quite the opposite problem from home: I've got UDP all day and can chat, but TCP is unreliable and I had very little movement control when in ship space. I'm sure from the tester's perspective I looked totally drunk trying to get from port over to the mission door. Once in the encounter, the best I could do was turn in circles and fire at the enemy as they came into my firing arc. I think I did very little damage but the tester says I kept them distracted while she pounded on them and that she would've had a much tougher time without me. I think she's very sweet. Anyway, Rusty and I need to tweak our router apparently.

Rusty also got me a Samsung 50" DLP (it was the biggest TV that would fit in the space I have for my TV) and he's finally gotten that hooked up to my Media Center so next time I get to play from my couch! I can't wait! :)

For more on PotBS, click here.

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