Saturday, December 27, 2014 2:14pm
Our apologies to everyone, but unfortunately Antilia will not be ready in time for the event we had planned on December 31st. Yesterday a major bug was discovered in our auto-update and data archiving system, resulting in random crashes and missing objects in-game. While a technical work-around involving deleting and renaming files may be possible, crashes and complicated technical instructions on how to fix them is not how I want to kick off any social event.
Antilia is experiencing what are known in the industry as "growing pains". I hadn't intended to work on the auto-update system any time soon, but as Antilia grows sometimes things will simply break. Antilia has needed an official installer since the first test, and I think this is a good opportunity to not just fix the archive system but improve the entire installation and updating process.
We will re-schedule the event in January but can't set a specific date just yet. We'll plan the new event to run for a full weekend rather than just a single day.
The Technical Details
For those that are not interested in the technical details feel free to jump to the next section, but I expect some in the community would like more information as regards to exactly what went wrong. On Friday we decided to start testing Antilia within the development team, and the quickest way to start testing was to push out an update and run the server in developer-only mode. After publishing an update with the new client both Lokosicek and I immediately began experiencing serious problems in the game, including crashes and logs reporting that various random files could not be loaded. After many hours of sleuthing, I discovered that new data being added to the game data files was becoming corrupted. As it turns out, our data storage system is limited to a max of 2 gigabytes of data, beyond which it fails catastrophically. (While looking into the problem I also discovered that the storage system is extremely inefficient - nearly 40% of the data files is wasted space. I didn't create the system myself, so I'm not entirely certain why it is implemented like this.)
Rather than try to fix this system, I would prefer to find a simpler, more efficient way of storing game data that would suit Antilia's needs better.
A Case for an Official Testing Team
While I think there will always be the potential for an obscure bug that comes out of nowhere and surprises the development team, this case has really made the point that we need a better way of testing Antilia. While inviting the community to jump onto the server for an event here and there worked in 2012-2013, we need to move to the next phase. If our goal is to build a game and server that can run 24/7, we need a test server that runs 24/7. These aren't new ideas, I've written before
on the topic of improving our testing model, and immediately following this event I plan to follow through in creating an official testing team.
Again - we apologize for this delay, especially toward those who downloaded the client early or who have not yet had the opportunity to play Antilia. We'll announce the new event dates as soon as we test Antilia more thoroughly and are satisfied it is ready for the community.
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