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RE: Postpone Netplay Development

 
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RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 4/3/2017 3:04:42 PM   
brian brian

 

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We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.

We can check out any time we wish, but we can never leave.

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Post #: 91
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 4/4/2017 1:32:34 AM   
CrusssDaddy

 

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This is exactly the kind of discussion this game deserves. Thank you for letting me laugh at you. (Not satire.)

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Post #: 92
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 4/4/2017 4:55:05 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: CrusssDaddy

This is exactly the kind of discussion this game deserves. Thank you for letting me laugh at you. (Not satire.)
warspite1

You are most welcome - we are here till Thursday, try the veal (I paraphrase from Shrek).



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Post #: 93
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 4/22/2017 10:24:50 PM   
joshuamnave

 

Posts: 967
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


- It is time for another "state of the game" post and I apologize for keeping you waiting. Steve and I are in regular communication, but we were hopeful that we'd be able to get to a stable netplay release before now and were continuing the cycle of testing and iterating with the expectation that we were closer to a stable release than it turned out.




Yes it is. But that was over a month ago and you haven't been heard from or seen since. Erik, if you were a customer instead of an employee, what would your reaction to that be?

< Message edited by Zartacla -- 4/22/2017 10:25:13 PM >


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(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 94
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 4/23/2017 3:32:11 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 22059
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Ah, sorry, that is my fault. I owe Erik more information/data so he can write the report. But being in Philadelphia presently, I won't able to do that until next week.

[Erik's family had health problems and he is dealing with that right now.]

On the plus side, the reason I forgot about the report was that I took a week+ to work exclusively on Production Planning. I fixed a few minor bugs but the bulk of my time was spent rewriting the code for routing resources overseas. The program now finds the path using the minimum number of convoys. The last major bug in Production Planning - which I know how to fix - is to remember changes to routes that the player makes and reuse them before trying to find a 'new' route. That shouldn't take more than half a day, once I get home. A new public beta with all those fixes is most likely a couple of weeks away.

The rewrite of the overseas routes was a royal pain to change (high risk of introducing new bugs too) because it had been 1 recursive routine. I split it into three parts: resource to port, overseas, and port to destination. The first and third parts are still recursive while the middle part has a new search algorithm. Thinking that through gave me headaches and I had to stop every 4-6 hours just to recover my aplomb.

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(in reply to joshuamnave)
Post #: 95
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/10/2017 12:48:40 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Sorry for the delay on that, Zartacla. It was mostly due to family health issues (my mom had two major surgeries, one with less than a week's notice, the other unplanned) on my side that led me to be out of the office for most of the last three weeks. I'm back in the office this week while still helping to care for her but also catching up with work. Steve is also back and I plan to review the planned State of the Game with him both int terms of updating everyone on the official update plans and for the forum post I promised.

Regards,

- Erik


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CEO, Matrix Games LLC




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

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(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 96
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/10/2017 2:37:49 PM   
Joseignacio


Posts: 2315
Joined: 5/8/2009
From: Madrid, Spain
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon

I believe the mark given (only 5% are solitaire) is way below the mark. It seems to me that there are far more players using the solitaire version than doing the net play. One of the big reasons why is the solitaire version is the one being used for multiplayer and also by people that believe it is further along than the net play version. They simply use the solitaire version with other devices/work arounds instead of the net version.

I also believe that Joseignacio may misunderstand the issues from the solitaire point of view.

Working towards net play has broken the solitaire version of the game to the point it isn't really playable (until some of these recent fixes went in). To go back to the previous stand alone solitaire version would be going back well over a year and have that version be missing a lot of things that were taken care of in subsequent versions of the game.

The bottom line is until some work is done on game stability to eliminate some of these game breaking bugs, neither version is going to be any good. It makes sense to get the simpler version (solitaire) going first, then get back to work on the net play version.




There are two matters here:

1- There are bugs that belong only to netplay. Netplay has it's own glitches from day one, I remember having problems of connection from 2 years ago when we first tried it, and they are still there. No advance has been made in solving the (synchronization?) problems that make the game have mad except errors, due exclusively to connection problems or the lobby, which are both Multiplayer issues. Or at least not enough, since critical errors persist for some of us from minute one of the game - setup.

2 - If every time the game version for MP creates a new bug the priorities are solving the "SP (& MP)" errors and never the MP own problems, the game will never advance to a MP stage. Or maybe yes, but let's say it clearly: "we'll not be addressing the MP problems if they don't affect SP".

When we are speaking of advancing from SP to MP one would say that some of the major items would be connections. IMO this is what would need to be worked on first if we want to even be able to beta test properly.

Is it worth to beta test like this? When you have a specific MP problem and it's not addressed so you cannot pass from setup (or some other early phase) , as far as it doesn't affect SP, because then SP players will moan that they want their version to upgrade and so Steve has to stop all pure MP bug solving and give the SP players an upgrade...

I understand that if Solitaire is not stable we may not be ready for MP, but we did, and now it seems we are stuck with MP because SP players who had their own SP version, now want the MP version to upgrade theirs. It's insane.

< Message edited by Joseignacio -- 5/10/2017 2:40:38 PM >

(in reply to Klydon)
Post #: 97
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/10/2017 2:44:15 PM   
Centuur


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From: Hoorn (NED).
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Sorry for the delay on that, Zartacla. It was mostly due to family health issues (my mom had two major surgeries, one with less than a week's notice, the other unplanned) on my side that led me to be out of the office for most of the last three weeks. I'm back in the office this week while still helping to care for her but also catching up with work. Steve is also back and I plan to review the planned State of the Game with him both int terms of updating everyone on the official update plans and for the forum post I promised.

Regards,

- Erik



That's not good news with your mother. I hope she will recover soon.

And I believe we should not rush that offical update, since there are some nasty bugs around in both solitair and netplay....


< Message edited by Centuur -- 5/10/2017 2:45:18 PM >


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(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 98
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/10/2017 2:50:46 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 8724
Joined: 6/3/2011
From: Hoorn (NED).
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joseignacio

quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon

I believe the mark given (only 5% are solitaire) is way below the mark. It seems to me that there are far more players using the solitaire version than doing the net play. One of the big reasons why is the solitaire version is the one being used for multiplayer and also by people that believe it is further along than the net play version. They simply use the solitaire version with other devices/work arounds instead of the net version.

I also believe that Joseignacio may misunderstand the issues from the solitaire point of view.

Working towards net play has broken the solitaire version of the game to the point it isn't really playable (until some of these recent fixes went in). To go back to the previous stand alone solitaire version would be going back well over a year and have that version be missing a lot of things that were taken care of in subsequent versions of the game.

The bottom line is until some work is done on game stability to eliminate some of these game breaking bugs, neither version is going to be any good. It makes sense to get the simpler version (solitaire) going first, then get back to work on the net play version.




There are two matters here:

1- There are bugs that belong only to netplay. Netplay has it's own glitches from day one, I remember having problems of connection from 2 years ago when we first tried it, and they are still there. No advance has been made in solving the (synchronization?) problems that make the game have mad except errors, due exclusively to connection problems or the lobby, which are both Multiplayer issues. Or at least not enough, since critical errors persist for some of us from minute one of the game - setup.

2 - If every time the game version for MP creates a new bug the priorities are solving the "SP (& MP)" errors and never the MP own problems, the game will never advance to a MP stage. Or maybe yes, but let's say it clearly: "we'll not be addressing the MP problems if they don't affect SP".

When we are speaking of advancing from SP to MP one would say that some of the major items would be connections. IMO this is what would need to be worked on first if we want to even be able to beta test properly.

Is it worth to beta test like this? When you have a specific MP problem and it's not addressed so you cannot pass from setup (or some other early phase) , as far as it doesn't affect SP, because then SP players will moan that they want their version to upgrade and so Steve has to stop all pure MP bug solving and give the SP players an upgrade...

I understand that if Solitaire is not stable we may not be ready for MP, but we did, and now it seems we are stuck with MP because SP players who had their own SP version, now want the MP version to upgrade theirs. It's insane.


Well, what's insane is the fact that there is only one developer having to take on all the bugs. There is no easy solution, and to be honest, I believe we will see that netplay has suffered from the fixing of solitair bugs. It's possible that we'll end up in an indefinite loop if we are not careful. At some point, someone should say that it's time to fix bugs in an area, whether or not they are only solitair or netplay. Fixes should be tested against all modes of play to see if the fix is complete for all modes of play.
The one debug tool that is really missing here, is one in which one could change a solitair game into a netplay or hot seat game so that we could test fixes in all modes of play. That would speed things up a lot, I believe...

_____________________________

Peter

(in reply to Joseignacio)
Post #: 99
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/10/2017 3:01:27 PM   
Joseignacio


Posts: 2315
Joined: 5/8/2009
From: Madrid, Spain
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur


quote:

ORIGINAL: Joseignacio

quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon

I believe the mark given (only 5% are solitaire) is way below the mark. It seems to me that there are far more players using the solitaire version than doing the net play. One of the big reasons why is the solitaire version is the one being used for multiplayer and also by people that believe it is further along than the net play version. They simply use the solitaire version with other devices/work arounds instead of the net version.

I also believe that Joseignacio may misunderstand the issues from the solitaire point of view.

Working towards net play has broken the solitaire version of the game to the point it isn't really playable (until some of these recent fixes went in). To go back to the previous stand alone solitaire version would be going back well over a year and have that version be missing a lot of things that were taken care of in subsequent versions of the game.

The bottom line is until some work is done on game stability to eliminate some of these game breaking bugs, neither version is going to be any good. It makes sense to get the simpler version (solitaire) going first, then get back to work on the net play version.




There are two matters here:

1- There are bugs that belong only to netplay. Netplay has it's own glitches from day one, I remember having problems of connection from 2 years ago when we first tried it, and they are still there. No advance has been made in solving the (synchronization?) problems that make the game have mad except errors, due exclusively to connection problems or the lobby, which are both Multiplayer issues. Or at least not enough, since critical errors persist for some of us from minute one of the game - setup.

2 - If every time the game version for MP creates a new bug the priorities are solving the "SP (& MP)" errors and never the MP own problems, the game will never advance to a MP stage. Or maybe yes, but let's say it clearly: "we'll not be addressing the MP problems if they don't affect SP".

When we are speaking of advancing from SP to MP one would say that some of the major items would be connections. IMO this is what would need to be worked on first if we want to even be able to beta test properly.

Is it worth to beta test like this? When you have a specific MP problem and it's not addressed so you cannot pass from setup (or some other early phase) , as far as it doesn't affect SP, because then SP players will moan that they want their version to upgrade and so Steve has to stop all pure MP bug solving and give the SP players an upgrade...

I understand that if Solitaire is not stable we may not be ready for MP, but we did, and now it seems we are stuck with MP because SP players who had their own SP version, now want the MP version to upgrade theirs. It's insane.


Well, what's insane is the fact that there is only one developer having to take on all the bugs. There is no easy solution, and to be honest, I believe we will see that netplay has suffered from the fixing of solitair bugs. It's possible that we'll end up in an indefinite loop if we are not careful. At some point, someone should say that it's time to fix bugs in an area, whether or not they are only solitair or netplay. Fixes should be tested against all modes of play to see if the fix is complete for all modes of play.
The one debug tool that is really missing here, is one in which one could change a solitair game into a netplay or hot seat game so that we could test fixes in all modes of play. That would speed things up a lot, I believe...


This is mostly what I mean.

(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 100
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/10/2017 7:05:00 PM   
davidachamberlain

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur
Well, what's insane is the fact that there is only one developer having to take on all the bugs. There is no easy solution, and to be honest, I believe we will see that netplay has suffered from the fixing of solitair bugs. It's possible that we'll end up in an indefinite loop if we are not careful. At some point, someone should say that it's time to fix bugs in an area, whether or not they are only solitair or netplay. Fixes should be tested against all modes of play to see if the fix is complete for all modes of play.
The one debug tool that is really missing here, is one in which one could change a solitair game into a netplay or hot seat game so that we could test fixes in all modes of play. That would speed things up a lot, I believe...


There are some advantages to only having one person assigned. Only one person is modifying the code, avoiding someone else changing something you are working on; there is only one version being managed by one person which sometimes results in replacing completed work with incomplete work.

There might be value in separate testers (which we kind of have with the beta testers) or someone to take on the prioritization to take some work off Steve.

As much as I also would like to see things go faster, at this stage, this is probably the most effective way to get things done. Communication takes time and the more people you have involved, the more time and effort it will take.

It is certainly possible (as happens today) to have 2 machines both connected to Netplay to test those.

I think part of the problem is that we have got beyond white box testing to black box testing where we are relying more on the games to test rather than enumerating all of the different combinations of activities to verify that everything works. I know that Steve tries to do that in his own testing, but it is going to be pretty limited.

One of the processes in modern development and testing is using an automated tool harness that automatically retests every change against the requirements and specifications. Steve's development tools are a little antiquated for those tools, so he needs to work with what he has.

Dave


(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 101
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/11/2017 12:14:09 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 8724
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From: Hoorn (NED).
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quote:

ORIGINAL: davidachamberlain


quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur
Well, what's insane is the fact that there is only one developer having to take on all the bugs. There is no easy solution, and to be honest, I believe we will see that netplay has suffered from the fixing of solitair bugs. It's possible that we'll end up in an indefinite loop if we are not careful. At some point, someone should say that it's time to fix bugs in an area, whether or not they are only solitair or netplay. Fixes should be tested against all modes of play to see if the fix is complete for all modes of play.
The one debug tool that is really missing here, is one in which one could change a solitair game into a netplay or hot seat game so that we could test fixes in all modes of play. That would speed things up a lot, I believe...


There are some advantages to only having one person assigned. Only one person is modifying the code, avoiding someone else changing something you are working on; there is only one version being managed by one person which sometimes results in replacing completed work with incomplete work.

There might be value in separate testers (which we kind of have with the beta testers) or someone to take on the prioritization to take some work off Steve.

As much as I also would like to see things go faster, at this stage, this is probably the most effective way to get things done. Communication takes time and the more people you have involved, the more time and effort it will take.

It is certainly possible (as happens today) to have 2 machines both connected to Netplay to test those.

I think part of the problem is that we have got beyond white box testing to black box testing where we are relying more on the games to test rather than enumerating all of the different combinations of activities to verify that everything works. I know that Steve tries to do that in his own testing, but it is going to be pretty limited.

One of the processes in modern development and testing is using an automated tool harness that automatically retests every change against the requirements and specifications. Steve's development tools are a little antiquated for those tools, so he needs to work with what he has.

Dave




All true. But the main problem is that you can't change a solitair game into a netplay one or vice versa. This means that if there is a bug in a certain situation in solitair, you can't test the bug fix in the exact situation in netplay or vice versa.


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(in reply to davidachamberlain)
Post #: 102
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/11/2017 2:16:12 PM   
davidachamberlain

 

Posts: 323
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur




All true. But the main problem is that you can't change a solitair game into a netplay one or vice versa. This means that if there is a bug in a certain situation in solitair, you can't test the bug fix in the exact situation in netplay or vice versa.



Not entirely true.

You can edit the file with Wordpad (or other text editors).

Netplay (first 2 lines of file)

2.4.3,10,2
player1,player2,

Solitaire (first 2 lines of file)

2.4.3,10,0
player1,

The last number is what determines Netplay (2) or Solitaire (0).

Obviously, the name(s) needs to be updated

I have needed to that work around to get past problems with Production.

You take the file, update the number and name(s), save, restore, and re-save with WIF before continuing.

This is not a great solution and might have some side effects, but we have just used this to get by a glitch from Return to Base to Final Production Planning and then continue as Netplay.

I don't see why it could not be used for regression testing with the other mode.

Dave

(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 103
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/11/2017 4:59:53 PM   
paulderynck


Posts: 8160
Joined: 3/24/2007
From: Canada
Status: online
That may only work for production because it's one of the few phases in NetPlay where the players can independently do things. Usually there is a constant stream of game records flowing back and forth and without those, the two game files will go out of sync.

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Post #: 104
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/11/2017 6:06:15 PM   
davidachamberlain

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: paulderynck

That may only work for production because it's one of the few phases in NetPlay where the players can independently do things. Usually there is a constant stream of game records flowing back and forth and without those, the two game files will go out of sync.

I am not really sure about the limitations and would not be surprised if it broke something as it really depends on what differences there might be in the data - especially how it is formatted for each type of game. So far, I believe that the data format is the same.

I am not all that worried about the synchronization as the files should mostly be the same. The serial nature of the game should mostly result in actions taken by one player to be passed to the other player to keep the game in sync. When they get out of sync, that is usuall a problem, as is the case the production, and even has been the case with dealing with Undo. I have needed to have my opponent save a copy of their version and restore that as my own to get them back in sync.

I think, however, that it might work for regression testing from one to the other.

Dave

< Message edited by davidachamberlain -- 5/11/2017 6:07:16 PM >

(in reply to paulderynck)
Post #: 105
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 5/17/2017 6:00:55 PM   
joshuamnave

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zartacla

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


- It is time for another "state of the game" post and I apologize for keeping you waiting. Steve and I are in regular communication, but we were hopeful that we'd be able to get to a stable netplay release before now and were continuing the cycle of testing and iterating with the expectation that we were closer to a stable release than it turned out.




Yes it is. But that was over a month ago and you haven't been heard from or seen since. Erik, if you were a customer instead of an employee, what would your reaction to that be?


And another month.

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(in reply to joshuamnave)
Post #: 106
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 7/10/2017 2:19:26 PM   
joshuamnave

 

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And two more months.

Gee you guys really don't have a very high opinion of your customers at all.

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Post #: 107
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/12/2017 6:33:54 PM   
Sir Roland


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When will this game get a version update that is not a beta test update?

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Post #: 108
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/12/2017 10:51:32 PM   
davidachamberlain

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sir Roland

When will this game get a version update that is not a beta test update?

It was supposed to be a couple months ago, but more work was required to deal with defects identified during testing.

My best guess is that it is still a couple more months out - probably before the end of the year, but not much before.

Dave

(in reply to Sir Roland)
Post #: 109
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/19/2017 1:59:23 AM   
Sir Roland


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1 week later. Still looking for a matrix reply.

What's the ETA for an "Official Update"?

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Post #: 110
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/19/2017 1:55:36 PM   
Numdydar

 

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There are monthly reports that Steve posts around the 1st of each month that are 'official'. I find those far more useful to know what is going on versus anything Eric and/or Matrix says. Since this information is coming directly from the person doing the work

Steve is the lead (and only) programmer on the project in case you were not aware. He is helped by a number of Beta testers to get things done. There is no one at Matrix helping code the game (or anywhere else). Which is why the monthly reports should matter as official status of the game.

(in reply to Sir Roland)
Post #: 111
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/19/2017 3:24:38 PM   
davidachamberlain

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Numdydar

There are monthly reports that Steve posts around the 1st of each month that are 'official'. I find those far more useful to know what is going on versus anything Eric and/or Matrix says. Since this information is coming directly from the person doing the work

Steve is the lead (and only) programmer on the project in case you were not aware. He is helped by a number of Beta testers to get things done. There is no one at Matrix helping code the game (or anywhere else). Which is why the monthly reports should matter as official status of the game.

I think what he was asking about was a non-Beta version (an official updated version). Steve was planning that before the summer, but there has not yet been enough stability to release that version.

It will come, but I would rather have it arrive later than just be another open Beta being called an official version.

I find the Beta's are good enough to use and better than the last "official" version.

Dave

(in reply to Numdydar)
Post #: 112
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/19/2017 6:12:52 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 36491
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From: Vermont, USA
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Steve has been doing many iterations. We're much closer than we were earlier in the Summer, perhaps very close but there are a few more issues to investigate before we can feel comfortable making it official. We'll see how beta testing goes over the next week or two. The update on the state of the game will follow once that official update is released. That has been our only focus over the summer.

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC




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

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to davidachamberlain)
Post #: 113
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/19/2017 8:27:41 PM   
Sir Roland


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From: Earth
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Erik, Thank you! We have something to look forward to.
An official public update looks to be on the horizon.

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Post #: 114
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/19/2017 11:13:32 PM   
Numdydar

 

Posts: 3191
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quote:

ORIGINAL: davidachamberlain


quote:

ORIGINAL: Numdydar

There are monthly reports that Steve posts around the 1st of each month that are 'official'. I find those far more useful to know what is going on versus anything Eric and/or Matrix says. Since this information is coming directly from the person doing the work

Steve is the lead (and only) programmer on the project in case you were not aware. He is helped by a number of Beta testers to get things done. There is no one at Matrix helping code the game (or anywhere else). Which is why the monthly reports should matter as official status of the game.

I think what he was asking about was a non-Beta version (an official updated version). Steve was planning that before the summer, but there has not yet been enough stability to release that version.

It will come, but I would rather have it arrive later than just be another open Beta being called an official version.

I find the Beta's are good enough to use and better than the last "official" version.

Dave


Ah.

Like you I find using the betas the best way to play. So I don't really care when 'official' releases are scheduled/made. I totally missed that they were looking for an official release.

With all the Early Access games running around these days (some of them amazingly good) you would think official releases of anything would not matter as much.

(in reply to davidachamberlain)
Post #: 115
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/20/2017 1:12:27 AM   
davidachamberlain

 

Posts: 323
Joined: 1/21/2014
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Numdydar

Ah.

Like you I find using the betas the best way to play. So I don't really care when 'official' releases are scheduled/made. I totally missed that they were looking for an official release.

With all the Early Access games running around these days (some of them amazingly good) you would think official releases of anything would not matter as much.

Normally, I make a point of avoiding beta releases unless I have signed up to do the testing. That is normally more of a regression test than a full featured use and the goal is simply to find bugs and verify they are resolved. However, if I did that in this case, I would still be using a version from more than 2 years ago.

For now, things will just need to continue that way until it finally gets to the point where it is entirely stable and moving on to the enhancements again. As much as I would like to see more of the optional rules and other scenarios along with Netplay supported by 4 or more, I am just glad to see that defects are getting fixed.

Dave

(in reply to Numdydar)
Post #: 116
RE: Postpone Netplay Development - 9/20/2017 2:30:37 AM   
paulderynck


Posts: 8160
Joined: 3/24/2007
From: Canada
Status: online
The original idea was that if a beta was solid enough - it would be the next public release. i.e. if you DL'd the public release you'd get that beta. And then the next set of fixes/improvements/etc would be the next beta.

Rinse and repeat. Believe me you are not ever going to get a public update release fresh out of the box. And you should be happy about that because all you would be getting is a chance to test the next beta without it being called a beta.

Get it?

_____________________________

Paul

(in reply to davidachamberlain)
Post #: 117
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