At the Risk of Being Banned I Say What Needs to Be Said

General discussion about Defcon

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=dB=Ed
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Postby =dB=Ed » Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:57 am

I think it is also very important to give IV credit for allowing people like Bert to make a difference! I have seen a lot of games and applications where not only would the developers and the license forbid such action by a non company member but in most cases would threaten all kinds of legal actions if they were to continue! Not to mention the hard work they have done in creating the OSX and Linux clients etc... I am just returning from being away for almost a year and may have missed alot but I am amazed at how much further the game and community have came in that short period of time. So much so that I am trying to learn the game all over again and be a part of things here. I just happened across my old shortcut to the site and had just enough time to spare to look around and was amazed! Sometimes it takes taking a step back to see it but trust me serious progress is being made for my point of view and things can only get better! As a programmer myself I am sure someone if not everyone at IV have there heart and soul in this and will stop at nothing to fix anything thats wrong with it but its not easy and takes time hang in there guys!
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:56 am

What Ed said. Plus, IV is helping me now with the dedicated server, we're in email contact, and there are often instant bits of info passed on indirectly over NeoThermic in IRC, all happening outside of public view. For an outside observer, it may seem easy for IV to create a dedicated server themselves ("just rip out the server loop, I see it exists in the profiler"), but it really isn't, because server loop and client loop share data, and the client loop does rendering, and that would need to be untangled. Likewise, a lot of things I'm doing in DedCon would not be possible that easily in Defcon itself; I have no choice but to put filters and stuff into the server code, while the real Defcon server code needs to stay as simple as possible and all the extra stuff would need to be done on the client side; and doing things on the client side will break network compatibility. I manipulate the data stream, the real server never does (with the exception of the land fleet exploit fix). Don't make this a Bert vs. IV topic, it's not fair because I chose the battlefiled and I'm fighting dirty.

On the Think Tank: IIRC, the better mod support and the whiteboard were suggested there and implemented. Most of the other stuff are gameplay changes, and the time for substantial gameplay changes was over when the beta (the one before 1.0) ended. It also is a fact that coming up with an idea is infinitely easier than desigining it out, implementing it, testing it, and balancing it, and there are many more people contributing ideas than there are people doing the implementation; it's only natural that only a tiny fraction of the ideas make it.

I agree somewhat with the OP on the topic of the 1.43 patch. A little note on why it is taking so long would be nice. And I don't think anyone will get banned for stating his opinion in a calm way without too much cursing.
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Postby KingAl » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:01 am

bert_the_turtle wrote:On the Think Tank: IIRC, the better mod support and the whiteboard were suggested there and implemented. Most of the other stuff are gameplay changes, and the time for substantial gameplay changes was over when the beta (the one before 1.0) ended. It also is a fact that coming up with an idea is infinitely easier than desigining it out, implementing it, testing it, and balancing it, and there are many more people contributing ideas than there are people doing the implementation; it's only natural that only a tiny fraction of the ideas make it.

I agree entirely, particularly with regards to gameplay changes. Indeed, I think there ought to be a sticky in the Think Tank indicating that it is futile to suggest changes to gameplay.
I think the whiteboard was frenchfrog's idea, and he implemented it himself, but mod support was certainly called for by many people (initially here mod support was the leading option, though it is no longer the case).

bert_the_turtle wrote:I agree somewhat with the OP on the topic of the 1.43 patch. A little note on why it is taking so long would be nice. And I don't think anyone will get banned for stating his opinion in a calm way without too much cursing.

If nothing else, this topic demonstrates how important communication is when there is such strong feeling surrounding an issue.
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Postby Chris » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:29 am

Yes we have to admit, we've been a bit poor in getting 1.43 released officially. There are a number of reasons, but mostly it just comes down to dividing up our time in the way we think is best. Producing the 1.43 patch (which fixes the ship exploit) was deemed extremely high priority, and we had the beta version of the fix released within a few short days of the exploit being discovered. Version 1.4 caused us a lot of problems and we made a few mistakes, and we didn't want to release _another_ patch which broke something else yet again, hence we decided to leave it in open beta for a while. I think we then basically forgot to come back to it.

One thing that is not widely realised is that releasing 1.43 officially will not make the ship exploit go away - if somebody wants to hack the game they can just carry on running 1.42, and we have no way to force them to upgrade (short of banning the entire version, which is of course unacceptable). 1.43 doesn't include any new stuff other than this fix, so there is no big incentive to upgrade. To put this in context, we've been amazed that version 1.3 is still in use by around 20% of all users, despite it being totally incompatible with the remaining 80%. And I'd be willing to bet that most forum users are already running the 1.43 beta in order to prevent the hack in their games. Once we release 1.43 it will take quite a while for that to become the dominant version.

Having said all of that, we've decided 1.43 has had enough testing and we'll be releasing it very soon. We're doing this because there is a clear wish from the community for us to do so, and that's a good enough reason in itself.

As for the dedicated server, we are extremely impressed with berts work on this project and we've been in direct contact with him. We've offered to help in any way we can as we can see the immediate value of a dedicated server. As far as we are concerned, berts project is the "semi-official" dedicated server for Defcon, and we've no plans to write our own because bert has done such a great job.

Hopefully we've answered your questions!

ps. One final note - nobody will ever be banned on these forums for expressing a well thought out opinion.
Last edited by Chris on Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby palehorse864 » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:30 am

I think the team is looking out for teh community, but with such a small group, subversion, and multiwinia on the horizon, it is probably becoming hard to keep up with everything. Gameplay things such as unit choices and such are definitely finalized, they're balanced and everything else.

The only thing I would REALLY like to see in the future would be the suggested game recording and saving, improvements to the UI such as the ability to change team colors on your end to look different, and convenience features (Keys to toggle the bottom row toggles, radar, population, orders, etc. Fleet placement, mode changes, etc.) things that wouldn't modify gameplay just make things more intuitive and help one of the users who complained of having issues with the click intensive interface and his repetitive stress injury (As someone who has been very close to developing carpal tunnel syndrome, I sympathize greatly). Darwinia had a beautiful UI, Press 1 move units, hit tab and your mouse cursor jumps to the menu, etc. It's not just teh basics that make games really great, it's the polish.

I am personally hoping IV actually pulls a valve on us, announce nothing for a while and then surprise us with things we didn't expect. The current silence may be a good thing.

Plus, keep in mind that they have been busy with the tournament, meetings with other companies (Phillips a while back), moving to a new building I believe (correct me if I'm wrong), organizing a new discount for darwinia and uplink on steam, etc. Hopefully once things cool down a bit, we will see more support for the game.
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Postby Xocrates » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:44 pm

Well, this seems to be mostly over, but I wanted to say two things:

1)The vista patch beta started in december, way before the ship bug came about (even before 1.4 if I'm not mistaken). Making it doubtful that it was a reason the ship exploit was not fixed.

2) The australia bug is not nearly as harmless as it seems. Point of fact is that most people don't usually activate the conditions to trigger it accidentally, and when they do it generally happens to australia, but it can be used to place subs under moscow. I trully hope that IV will fix this when the next patch goes public as I expect that they're looking into it.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:06 pm

Thanks, Chris!

Xocrates wrote:2) The australia bug is not nearly as harmless as it seems. Point of fact is that most people don't usually activate the conditions to trigger it accidentally, and when they do it generally happens to australia, but it can be used to place subs under moscow.
Sure? I though a vital ingredient of the Australia bug is the date line where the map wraps around, and that's rather far away from Moscow. The bug that 1.43-beta1 fixes allows you to sail to Moscow, true.
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Postby Feud » Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:44 pm

First, I would like to thank Chris and Vic for the prompt and polite responses. I hope that I was not too abrasive in my opinion, and I hope that positive change can happen that will meet both the needs of the community, as well as those of Introversions.

Second, I didn't intend for Bert to be draged into any sort of mess. I only used you as an example to highlight some of the community efforts that seem to be out performing the most efforts from the developers. Sorry if you didn't want to be involved, but again, I didn't intend for you to become a focus of debate.

The purpose of the post was to try to give IV a "wake up call". Tom mentioned in a post that I have previously linked to that one of the goals of "Becoming a Proper Company" is to provide better customer service, and I hope that as the company grows and matures (not to say anyone there is immature, but having owned my own small buisness and having worked for many others, I've found that "mature" really is a proper term to use as the company grows more stable over time) that both sides can mutually benifit from that service.
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Postby world idiot » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:54 pm

i think the only problems with defcon are the networking issues
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Xocrates
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Postby Xocrates » Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:18 pm

bert_the_turtle wrote:
Xocrates wrote:2) The australia bug is not nearly as harmless as it seems. Point of fact is that most people don't usually activate the conditions to trigger it accidentally, and when they do it generally happens to australia, but it can be used to place subs under moscow.
Sure? I though a vital ingredient of the Australia bug is the date line where the map wraps around, and that's rather far away from Moscow. The bug that 1.43-beta1 fixes allows you to sail to Moscow, true.


Quite! It must be one of the harder ones to pull off though, Russia doesn't appear to be as easily fooled as the others. Europe seems to be off limits though.

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Postby bert_the_turtle » Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:52 pm

And that shot is from 1.43 beta1 either in a local game or with a 1.43 beta1 host?
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Postby Xocrates » Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:01 pm

Yep!

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