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NetPlay issues - 4/7/2014 4:57:08 PM   
WarHunter


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quote:

Steve will also meet with our Technical Director next week for a review of the remaining Net Play issues as this remains high on our list of priorities and we will be giving you some feedback on that point after they have met.
< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 3/14/2014 3:10:38 PM >


Is this where we will be given an update about what was discussed between Steve and the Technical Director about the remaining NetPlay issues?

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Post #: 1
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 1:14:24 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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From: Vermont, USA
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Hi WarHunter,

I hadn't said that, but sure I can offer a summary. We went through the NetPlay architecture and design, discussed the most serious and common issues and reviewed the plan to fix NetPlay. Our goal was to review the design from the ground up and review our bug fixing process since release to make sure there were no fundamental issues that we were overlooking which would get NetPlay working as intended more quickly. The conclusion of the review was that we we are not, but that the sheer complexity of the game has been our biggest enemy in terms of the number of ways things can go wrong and how hard it is to test for all those cases.

Based on that review, we agreed that the current plan to fix the game-wide issues that also affect solitaire first is the best way to proceed as those would still affect NetPlay games as well. As soon as the most serious issues in supply, production planning and naval combat are resolved, the plan is to return focus to NetPlay and keep focus only on NetPlay (per our new functional area approach) until all the remaining NetPlay issues are resolved.

We also have in the works a more thorough internal validation test of client to server communications, but an intial test showed that WIF was communicating with the server as expected and that the issues are not due to server stability or server communications.

Regards,

- Erik


< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 4/8/2014 2:15:28 PM >


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For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

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Post #: 2
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 2:38:55 PM   
WarHunter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Hi WarHunter,

I hadn't said that, but sure I can offer a summary. We went through the NetPlay architecture and design, discussed the most serious and common issues and reviewed the plan to fix NetPlay. Our goal was to review the design from the ground up and review our bug fixing process since release to make sure there were no fundamental issues that we were overlooking which would get NetPlay working as intended more quickly. The conclusion of the review was that we we are not, but that the sheer complexity of the game has been our biggest enemy in terms of the number of ways things can go wrong and how hard it is to test for all those cases.

Based on that review, we agreed that the current plan to fix the game-wide issues that also affect solitaire first is the best way to proceed as those would still affect NetPlay games as well. As soon as the most serious issues in supply, production planning and naval combat are resolved, the plan is to return focus to NetPlay and keep focus only on NetPlay (per our new functional area approach) until all the remaining NetPlay issues are resolved.

We also have in the works a more thorough internal validation test of client to server communications, but an intial test showed that WIF was communicating with the server as expected and that the issues are not due to server stability or server communications.

Regards,

- Erik


Erik, Thanks for the rundown. At least we have a starting point with what issues are initially holding back NetPlay.

Now my rant which you may share with others in Matrix.

The forums are a ghost-town. Because i am actually playing the game with firmir, (he in Germany, me in USA, using TeamViewer a workaround for NetPlay, and ventrlio for voice communication), it motivates me to post found problems. No playing means no problems being posted. No problems being posted does not mean there are none to be found. Get NetPlay working and you get players in the loop. Complaining about bugs is what you want paying customers to do. If you wait til the game is perfect, well, "Perfection is an elusive goal". At some point it is good enough. Then you can say NetPlay is a priority and mean it.

Saying NetPlay is a priority right now, when the overwhelming evidence says it is not. That is a promise from you to us to keep.

What exactly are the,
quote:

most serious and common issues
related to NetPlay? You say the enemy of getting NetPlay is the sheer complexity of the game and how hard it is to test for all cases.
Well, if you can get a stable communication between 2 players. You have won half the battle. Because paying customers will try to play. Not all, some. You will never be able to test for every single case, because the number of option combinations are just overwhelming for a small group of beta testers. Not just the options in game, but options the players make on the map.

I agree you don't have a stable game and it still needs work. It also needs balance. Some work has to be allocated to NetPlay and it has to be conveyed to us the paying Player customer.

Until MWiF is brought up to the minimum advertised game it should be. There will be bitching and complaining. We paid for that right. For me at least a bitch a month will do. Give or take. You asked for patience. How much more do you want from us? We are into month 6 of Priority to NetPlay.

btw, I'm sure you have said many things in the forum. I'm also sure you can't remember all of them. You should be careful with how you phrase some things. Putting words into another man's mouth is not what we do. I would not attribute something to you that was not said by you. That is my word.

quote:

Matrix Games World in Flames

State of the Game and Future Plans as of March, 2014

First, thank you for your interest in World in Flames and taking the time to read through this. The goal of this post is to give you an update on where we are.

As you are aware World in Flames released in November, 2013 after many years of development. In terms of computer wargames, it is the single most complex computer wargame we have ever released and it has the largest code base, which is saying something. We’ve been working on World in Flames for most of the history of Matrix Games, together with Steve Hokanson, the developer of World in Flames for the computer and one of the most dedicated individuals I’ve ever met. Steve also overcame great hardships during
development to bring the game to release, he and the beta testers deserve full credit for all they have done and it is a privilege to be able to work with them.

The decision to release the game in the first place had to be made months before the release as we had decided that we really wanted to get behind this truly enormous project and give the WIF audience a unique experience. So the decision to add the physical hardbound volumes and maps was taken. These represented the largest and most expensive physical package, by far, that we had ever done for a game. You have told us that these books and map are of the highest quality and this did not come cheaply. We felt that offering World in Flames in this kind of deluxe package was the right move for the World in Flames community and based on the reception, we know that you largely agreed. However, later we added a download only option, especially for the board games audience, as in the main they already owned much of the material, but we do still feel the physical Collector’s Edition is the best way to experience World in Flames.

From the outset we announced that the game did not yet have an AI but we were optimistic about the quality of the solitaire game and felt that it was pretty solid. Due to the nature of the WIF audience and the time it has taken to get to this point we decided to proceed. Simply put you had already waited far too long.

As you know testing a game of this complexity is a thankless job, but our testers did a great job over many years, yet despite that it can often be that even the most rigorous of testing does not pick everything up. The sheer enormity of this game and the number of games played has not unexpectedly revealed a number of fixes that do need attention and Steve is burning the Midnight oil to attend to these. A further and to some degree unexpected phenomena of this game is that individuals approach this game with their own particular playstyle and their own scenario and optional rule preferences. This unique influence has revealed a number of special cases which we have been dealing with.

It is particularly concerning for us that whilst many customers are playing and enjoying World in Flames, some are running into problems and I am confident that you know us well enough to understand that we will not walk away from these difficulties. We are working tirelessly with Steve to resolve these.

What I have been impressed with is the support and help from our customers and testers. This together with the efforts primarily by Steve and our test teams means that we have been steadily gaining ground and many issues which have been addressed are now working well. We are without doubt sorry that there have been a number of issues. Part of the problem has been trying to remain true to the board game experience and with hindsight the complexity of this game has been far greater than anyone anticipated. However we are confident that with our continuing team effort and some ongoing dedication and diligence, the game will continue to improve.

We will continue updating World in Flames until the game meets our customers’ expectations without work-arounds or replays, whether solitaire or via NetPlay.

Over the course of this last week, we’ve embarked on a full review of World in Flames from bottom to top and so that we can keep you up to date Steve will be posting regular updates regarding our development priorities as we move forwards so keep the feedback coming in.

We will also be testing each build through a public and private beta process before any new build goes “official”. Public participation in the beta process is optional, but of course welcome.

We will continue to make critical bugs a top priority regardless of where they exist and this will mean a change of approach where we focus on getting each functional area to completion before moving to the next one.

To help achieve this we will include the test team in that focus by setting more specific testing priorities and this should help thouroughly validate each build before it goes official.

Steve’s immediate priorities are a few Critical bugs that will be relatively quick to resolve, before looking at some issues relating to Supply, Production Planning and Naval movement/combat

Steve will also meet with our Technical Director next week for a review of the remaining Net Play issues as this remains high on our list of priorities and we will be giving you some feedback on that point after they have met. We hope that this update has been helpful and demonstrates our resolve in working through these current issues in order that we can improve the game play experience for everyone.


< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 3/14/2014 3:10:38 PM >


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Post #: 3
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 2:47:48 PM   
Centuur


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Let me put it this way. I think we were going to put solitair in good order first, but apparently, that isn't going to happen... So I think MWIF isn't going to deliver anything at all if this approach is taken. How can you get a stable netplay game if solitair is buggy? You can't, IMHO.

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RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 2:54:39 PM   
WarHunter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

Let me put it this way. I think we were going to put solitair in good order first, but apparently, that isn't going to happen... So I think MWIF isn't going to deliver anything at all if this approach is taken. How can you get a stable netplay game if solitair is buggy? You can't, IMHO.

I guess you missed the part where i said there should be some balance. Where i don't see any.

Matrix promised NetPlay was a priority from day one of release. I'm holding them to their word. If my posts make people uncomfortable. Working as intended.

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“We never felt like we were losing until we were actually dead.”
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Post #: 5
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 3:59:15 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

Let me put it this way. I think we were going to put solitair in good order first, but apparently, that isn't going to happen... So I think MWIF isn't going to deliver anything at all if this approach is taken. How can you get a stable netplay game if solitair is buggy? You can't, IMHO.
warspite1

Agree 100%. What is the point of getting Netplay to work when so many areas of solitaire play still do not function? Even if/when Netplay works, it will be as buggy as the solitaire version. What a shame....

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Post #: 6
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 4:38:57 PM   
WarHunter


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Lets see what the nurses have to say.







Attachment (1)

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Post #: 7
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 4:58:24 PM   
warspite1


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Whoa, easy tiger..... I was responding to Erik's announcement. No one says you can't discuss Netplay in this thread - not even the nurses, so don't be putting words in their mouths

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Post #: 8
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 5:10:10 PM   
WarHunter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Whoa, easy tiger..... I was responding to Erik's announcement. No one says you can't discuss Netplay in this thread - not even the nurses, so don't be putting words in their mouths


I apologize for my misinterpretation of your words. I was beginning to feel like Dabrion (2).

And to further my goals of getting NetPlay on the radar. I urge anyone who thinks Steve and matrix cannot do both, just go check the Monthly reports starting in 2011-2012. Alot was done by him alone. He also had help at various times.

I'm not asking for anything that has not been done in the past successfully.

_____________________________


“We never felt like we were losing until we were actually dead.”
Marcus Luttrell

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Post #: 9
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 5:12:39 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 33985
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
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Hi WarHunter,

First, I simply meant that I never said I was creating this forum to post news about that NetPlay discussion. I didn't say that I wasn't planning to post about that, just that I didn't see that as the exact purpose of this forum. In any case, let's get on with the other points.

NetPlay was our #1 priority from release until March. We felt we were getting closer each week to getting it working, but it became clear that our priorities needed adjusting as after five months of it being the #1 priority there were still issues and the confidence of the community was at an all-time low. The testers and the public both gave us reality checks on this (and that's a good thing) and in response we went through a lot of review of where we are and how we get to where we need to be. The result of that was to shift priorities to work on one functional area at a time instead of spreading ourselves across all the areas. We also took away from the community and tester discussion that certain game-wide issues took precedence even over NetPlay (and for good reason, as they also affect NetPlay games). Finally, the quick iterations and rapid official updates were causing as many problems as they were solving in terms of customer confidence due to some issues that made it into the official updates. The pace behind the scenes remains unchanged, but we are now testing these changes and improvements more before making them official, so that official updates should be more solid and stable going forward.

All of this is with the full goal of getting NetPlay fixed and working ASAP, but in a way that restores and then maintains community confidence.

Regards,

- Erik


_____________________________


Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development




For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

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Post #: 10
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 5:19:59 PM   
AxelNL


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Barbarossa can already be netplayed a small bit. When the three first functional groups are cleared of bugs I would not mind having netplay working for the Barbarossa scenario. To have it work good enough for Global War more solitaire bugs need to be fixed in phases where Barbarossa never goes (e.g. Vichy, Liberation).

With this approach I think we will balance things out. Folks can start Netplaying the scenario which is most suited for an evening or two, and solitair bug fixing can than continue to clear the way for Global War Netplay.

I think Barbarossa can be played solitair without encountering serious bugs at the moment, other than the Triangle supply bugs which are being tackled as we speak. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 5:45:05 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxelNL

Barbarossa can already be netplayed a small bit. When the three first functional groups are cleared of bugs I would not mind having netplay working for the Barbarossa scenario. To have it work good enough for Global War more solitaire bugs need to be fixed in phases where Barbarossa never goes (e.g. Vichy, Liberation).

With this approach I think we will balance things out. Folks can start Netplaying the scenario which is most suited for an evening or two, and solitair bug fixing can than continue to clear the way for Global War Netplay.

I think Barbarossa can be played solitair without encountering serious bugs at the moment, other than the Triangle supply bugs which are being tackled as we speak. Please correct me if I am wrong.
warspite1

That's a sensible idea.


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Post #: 12
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 6:48:52 PM   
WarHunter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Hi WarHunter,

All of this is with the full goal of getting NetPlay fixed and working ASAP, but in a way that restores and then maintains community confidence.

Regards,

- Erik


Thank you for clearing up any misunderstandings i may have had.


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“We never felt like we were losing until we were actually dead.”
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Post #: 13
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 6:51:56 PM   
WarHunter


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Joined: 3/21/2004
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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxelNL

Barbarossa can already be netplayed a small bit. When the three first functional groups are cleared of bugs I would not mind having netplay working for the Barbarossa scenario. To have it work good enough for Global War more solitaire bugs need to be fixed in phases where Barbarossa never goes (e.g. Vichy, Liberation).

With this approach I think we will balance things out. Folks can start Netplaying the scenario which is most suited for an evening or two, and solitair bug fixing can than continue to clear the way for Global War Netplay.

I think Barbarossa can be played solitair without encountering serious bugs at the moment, other than the Triangle supply bugs which are being tackled as we speak. Please correct me if I am wrong.


That is what I'm talking about.

Positive news on the state of NetPlay. Granted it is only for the Barbarossa scenario. But it is a start.

It would please me greatly to help anyone on the Beta team that is tasked with looking and finding bugs in the NetPlay. It would not be a hard thing for me to find 1 day a week to connect and play. I'm fairly flexible with a little lead time to prepare.

Just name the time of day or night, the voice communication we will use and most importantly who i will help. We can begin this bug hunt at your convenience.

Bugs first Blood later.


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“We never felt like we were losing until we were actually dead.”
Marcus Luttrell

(in reply to AxelNL)
Post #: 14
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 7:17:57 PM   
AxelNL


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You will need the version we are using as well. We can't give that to you and respecting the NDA at the same time. But I would like to take your offer, if you don't mind the Dutch time zone challenges. I'll do a good word for you to reach that.

But first finishing the supply release, and tackle the next two nasty beasts: production and naval combat.

(in reply to WarHunter)
Post #: 15
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 7:36:25 PM   
Centuur


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From: Hoorn (NED).
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And Beasts they are. Supply bug fixing looks like a multiheaded monster sometimes.

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Post #: 16
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 7:49:04 PM   
WarHunter


Posts: 1209
Joined: 3/21/2004
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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxelNL

You will need the version we are using as well. We can't give that to you and respecting the NDA at the same time. But I would like to take your offer, if you don't mind the Dutch time zone challenges. I'll do a good word for you to reach that.

But first finishing the supply release, and tackle the next two nasty beasts: production and naval combat.


Finish up what you need to. I need to adjust my sleep to accommodate Dutch time zone challenges.

I think it would be easier for you to just install a game with the latest public patch so we can play. If you are playing the same game i am, the NDA should have no bearing on what we find together. In fact it would probably be better if we were playing the same version non-beta players have access to. It would give you insight to what needs to be looked at and what was missed.

I don't mind staying up late or getting up early if that is all to make this happen.

What method of voice commo do you think we will be using?

_____________________________


“We never felt like we were losing until we were actually dead.”
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Post #: 17
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 8:03:32 PM   
Centuur


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Hey! That would mean that Lex couldn't be checking on the clearing of supply bugs anymore! That's a no-no...

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Post #: 18
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/8/2014 8:06:25 PM   
WarHunter


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Joined: 3/21/2004
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

Hey! That would mean that Lex couldn't be checking on the clearing of supply bugs anymore! That's a no-no...

Can't Lex have a couple hours away from the supply mine?

_____________________________


“We never felt like we were losing until we were actually dead.”
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Post #: 19
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/9/2014 7:14:38 AM   
AxelNL


Posts: 2173
Joined: 9/24/2011
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quote:

ORIGINAL: WarHunter


quote:

ORIGINAL: AxelNL

You will need the version we are using as well. We can't give that to you and respecting the NDA at the same time. But I would like to take your offer, if you don't mind the Dutch time zone challenges. I'll do a good word for you to reach that.

But first finishing the supply release, and tackle the next two nasty beasts: production and naval combat.


Finish up what you need to. I need to adjust my sleep to accommodate Dutch time zone challenges.

I think it would be easier for you to just install a game with the latest public patch so we can play. If you are playing the same game i am, the NDA should have no bearing on what we find together. In fact it would probably be better if we were playing the same version non-beta players have access to. It would give you insight to what needs to be looked at and what was missed.

I don't mind staying up late or getting up early if that is all to make this happen.

What method of voice commo do you think we will be using?


Skype.

But first supply

Edit: this gives me the chance to use my paid copy, where I have your great mods installed. Looking forward to use those!

< Message edited by AxelNL -- 4/9/2014 12:40:52 PM >

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Post #: 20
RE: NetPlay issues - 4/10/2014 2:25:58 AM   
WarHunter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxelNL

Skype.

But first supply

Edit: this gives me the chance to use my paid copy, where I have your great mods installed. Looking forward to use those!

Looks good. I'll make sure skype is working.

_____________________________


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Post #: 21
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