Weekly Update - Setting up a Test Server

Last week I wrapped up the remaining tasks and set up our initial test server!

Antilia Testing

Last week I wrapped up the last remaining items on my to-do list, including the multiplayer server stuff, a few known crash bugs, and UI glitches. After wrapping up the final items that had to be fixed, over the weekend I set up a game server for testing with. There were some snags and surprises along the way - including a dependency on DirectX that sneaked into the server code and had to be removed. By late Sunday I had ironed out all the issues and had the server up and running.

Impromptu Early Testing

With a few hours left in the day I went ahead and invited the moderators to download the launcher and try to connect to the server. The results of this impromptu first test were mixed. Those who played the MMO before I started providing an installer might remember encountering or hearing reports of missing DLL files, and those turned up again last night. One tester was able to get in-game successfully while another was experiencing crashes shortly after getting in-game (possibly a video memory issue). Around 20 bugs were encountered and added to the bug list - some minor, many expected or known, and a few that will need to be prioritized.

While the first test wasn't an immediate return to the familiar days of hanging out around Taipii Base Camp, it was a big step toward getting Antilia back into alpha testing. Over the next few weeks I'll be prioritizing items that'll allow more testers to get in-game and smooth out the overall experience. When the current group is able to run around in-game with fewer issues I'll expand the test team to include more.

Server Admin Panel

There is another tool that I've been developing for Antilia that I don't think I've shared yet - the Server Administration Panel. This tool allows game admins who are running the game server to connect to it without running the full game client to change configure options, run scripts, and monitor real-time performance data.

The Admin Panel allows inspection of real-time server data including logs, shared variables, and GameObject inspection. This visibility is a big improvement over reviewing log files after the fact.

Someday these performance metrics may help me identify bottlenecks, but CPU usage in yesterday's test was hovering around 1-3% on our dual core server. (The 'load' graphs are currently overestimating, I thought it would be clever to calculate it as an inverse of the wait time, but that didn't provide accurate results.) The handful of NPCs on the Isle of Kasau just aren't moving around enough to matter yet.

Tomorrow was the date planned for our first real-world test, but really we've already done that to a degree. Still, I expect to run the server again and maybe gather a little more info before starting work on the first round of bug fixes.

That's all for this week, thanks for reading!