Author Topic: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis  (Read 3266 times)

Offline Teremus

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༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis
« on: August 01, 2014, 09:11:48 PM »
By popular request, it gets it's own thread.

What the Puffy is going on?!

There are obviously a lot of questions, concerns, and worries. These emotions and thoughts are born out of sheer interest in the health and future of Infinity Wars. We all know that this title has some exceptional potential to become something great, but how will we get there? How can all of us work past the problems our game faces today and trust that Lightmare will get the job done?

If I can help, I will. I will try to talk to you about what's going on, but you have to level with me here. I've been saying for a very long time that Lightmare listens to each and every one of you. We listen, we hear, we work, and above all we empathize. We're gamers too, and we all have our woes with this industry. The minute we lose sight and faith is the minute it can't work. So help me to help you, and I will certainly do my best.

First things first

The main two things I want to hit before I get started are two perceptions that concern me deeply. This using of the Steam Charts to talk about a playerbase decline, and that we're only working on cards or that our focus is on cards rather than anything else.

First and foremost, the steam charts. I appreciate everyone's vigilance and interest in how the overall health of Infinity Wars is doing, but misinformation or in this case less than half of the information won't do anyone any good. All of our publications and media point to the Standalone client on our website, and do not currently direct people to find the game through steam.

Again, I appreciate your interest in the health of the game, it really is great to see. Just please understand the Steam Charts are an extremely inaccurate portrayal of the userbase.

Next is this perception that our focus is on cards and nothing else. This is the farthest thing from the truth possible. Our artists are always doing their glorious thing, but our tech team is on bugs. All bugs, all the time, all optimization, all the time. When there's a card ready to implement, that's one person that does it out of the entire team. Otherwise, bugs. Bugs. Bugs.

You may ask "Why does it take so long to fix things then if that's what they do?" That's not all they used to do. There's a lot of backend optimization that has to be done which will be explained further down. Frontend is your client, the thing you play on. It would be lovely if we could just eradicate everything all at once, that's just a dream though. We have been for quite some time (long before this happened), and will continue to work on all these bugs. They're everywhere, maybe we need a mass death, who knows. We'll get them fixed. I can't sit here and say that the game will be COMPLETELY BUG FREE OH GOD EVERYTHING WILL BE PERFECT come launch, I can tell you that we're working our tails off on getting these things fixed. Just please continue to report bugs or concerns, we need them.

This is not to say that we're flawless and perfect and amazing, honestly we're still learning too. It's the community talking to us that gives us the feedback we need, if we did this all alone it probably wouldn't be at the point that it is now. This community has done wonders for us and we thank you, I know it's difficult to keep the trust when it sometimes takes a long time to see results, I just hope that I can help you understand (perhaps not with this post, but things happening in the near future) what's going on.

We really do listen, we really have heard. We're looking into a way to show people what bugs we're aware of. We really appreciate everything people do in getting us bug reports and e-mailing us output logs. It means so much to us and will help us an incredible amount with fixing these issues. I seriously can't stress enough how much we appreciate the effort people put into making reports and getting us the logs for things like endless turn and "Enemy Player" not loading glitch.

It means the world to us.

Bug Fixes

Bugs are a constant effort. I've seen so much in this thread where players have this perception that we're working on cards, more cards, and stuff to sell to you. We have a schedule that we've maintained ever since Core 2013 was launched, that schedule along with it's consistency and priority has never changed. It hasn't hastened, it hasn't decreased, but it certainly hasn't become some shift in focus.

Our focus, at all times, is to improve the quality of Infinity Wars. Yes, there are some bugs that have existed for a long (long) time. Some bugs are the side-effect of another bug, some bugs are the product of old code that needs to be eradicated, some bugs are existent only because we're working on an overhaul rather than fixing something that's going to be scrapped.

Is that to say that in each case there was some culprit that took a lot longer than we would have liked to resolve? No not in every case. In most cases it's a matter of timing. We have so much going on in the backend of development that the frontend was left sitting there waiting for it's love and attention. For quite a while now, that's been the focus is that frontend development. The portion that you guys (and gals if you're out there) actually see and interact with. So often the problem is in the backend, and good lord there was some old code and some serious optimization work needing to be done. There still is, but we recognized a while back that the frontend was what was causing the overwhelming majority of problems.

This isn't me brushing off your concerns for why bugs have existed for so long, so please don't take it as that. The concerns of this community and this post are EXTREMELY valid, don't think otherwise. There are some shortcomings, there's also a lot of misunderstandings. Would we relish the chance to do everything we desire all at once? Absolutely, who wouldn't? Unfortunately we can only focus on so much at a given time. If our focus is on the backend, and we split that up to some people working on the back and some working on the front, well that's even worse. In Beta, a lot of the optimization is on the backend from so much constantly changing, which honestly A LOT has changed since we started this gig.

So the specific bugs listed in this thread aren't going to be touched on, and here's why. There's a million more. If I were to delve into each and every single bug that we are aware of (I'll touch on that later) and the status it's in in terms of being fixed, this post would take me a month or so to type. Instead, I'll talk about our desires on that front so that you are well aware that we are well aware of what you're well aware of. Bugs, they exist, and a can of Raid won't kill these ones. Let me assure you however, that our focus for a good long while now has been specifically on bugs and optimization.

Optimization plays a huge role in bug squashing because most of the time a bug is created from a conflict between something that just wasn't thought of. In the case of Endless Turn and high priority glitches like that, there's so many different causes for the same effect. This is why I keep asking people to ensure they report it with an output log, because we absolutely need to see them. There may be a completely different cause for one endless turn from another, and we need to eradicate each and every cause.

Bugs are our priority. We can't do it without your help. Report it to us. Tell us. If something is known, please still report it. We will continue to work as hard as we possible can towards the ultimate goal of eliminating as many bugs as possible. Hopefully we can get the method of showing you what bugs we're aware of

Community Suggestions and Desires

In order of what was said in the OP: Trade, DeckBuilder, Above 50 rewards, Weekly Draft Placement Rewards, Better patch notes, Sound Effects, Improved consistency of regular draft rewards, Mobile App, Sideboards, Spectating, and a public API.

First off, let me state what I mean by Community Suggestions and Desires. Some of these things are suggestions by the community, some of these things are desires we have to offer our community. In each case, there was never a timeframe stipulated. We simply wanted to lay it all out on the table that these were things we'd love to have in Infinity Wars at some point in it's lifetime.

The roadmap that we posted is not there to offput anyone's thoughts or divert attention, nor is it a factual timeline for what will actually be occurring with Infinity Wars. These are, and still are, Desires. I would love to just tell you that we can just do all of that, get everything in the game, and flesh out the entirety of the ultimate concept we have for Infinity Wars. Sadly that's not the case.

These are 100% what we want to do, but so much of it can't be done until the game itself is done. With so much in flux and so much constantly changing, if we were to take time off of fixing something or optimizing an area of the game in light of new content, we're only setting ourselves further back. The more we add, the less we fix, the more problems we create for ourselves as we move through development.

These aren't just things the community wants, these are things we want to provide. We've been wanting to provide them for quite a while, and we're not quite where we need to be yet. God would we love to just put all this in the game, it's just not possible right this minute and hasn't been.

I know the response I'm going to get to that is:

Quote
Seriously? If it's happening anyways, just say it. What's to lose.

Adaptability. So much testing still needs to happen and we need to be really sure this is what's happening. Once something is finalized, concrete, and 100% happening I can begin discussing it. That generally is a timeframe perhaps a week or two prior to it's launch, so you can expect discussion to happen relatively soon on what's happening right at this moment.

Don't let my statements disillusion you, yes there are areas where we can improve. We're not above admitting fault, but we are also not above stating truth for it's sole merits. There has been a lot happening, but a lot of it hasn't happened at the pace that everyone would desire, that much is clear. We hope that the following results showcase this, and the efforts ongoing continue to reflect this truth.

I don't disagree with much that has been said here, I just wish to make it abundantly clear that there's also a lot going on that we just can't throw around, which ironically a lot of it is on this very subject. This was coming, and I can't fault anyone for voicing their concerns, it's just that the timing of it is a tad interesting. So much of what's being discussed in this thread in regards to development was already happening, so many bugs were already being fixed, so many of these alterations were already under way. The problem was on our end, we simply weren't saying that was the case. That's on us, and let me be the first to apologize for the lack of information.

Community Suggestions are great, we'd love to just say Yeah that's awesome let's do it now! Yay cool stuff! but we can't sadly. We listen to them and would love to do as best we can to offer the best features/mechanics/stuff possible, we can't offer a timeline for all that we'd love to do because god knows when it will actually happen. We want it to happen, that doesn't mean that it'll happen when we want it to. It'll happen the minute it makes sense for it to happen in development, not the minute we sit there and say Oh puffy that sounds awesome let's do it!....even though we really wanna say that about a lot of things.

In terms of the Mobile App, I did make an announcement regarding that in it's dedicated forum board. You can find the specific announcement here:

http://forum.lightmare.com.au/index.php?topic=61586.0

General Response

Seriously, thank you for this post.

There have been plenty of changes and a lot of work internally before this post happened, but we haven't had the chance to talk about what's going on. What better time than now.

So what will be happening in the near future (No I can't provide an ETA, it's just going to happen) is myself and some members of Lightmare will be making some efforts to talk about what has happened, what's going on, and what will happen. Information is good, it's just a matter of how the information is presented and what's being discussed. More info on that to come.

The thoughts, concerns, fears, and feelings of this community especially in regards to this post are being heard. Although as I've said, a lot has already started to happen, this post is really good for everyone. Lightmare, the players, everyone. This is extremely healthy to get this out in the open, and again I just want to thank you.

We'll be making efforts in the near future to take this post and review what we can do to improve transparency and the available pieces of information as well as when they happen. Please don't think that just because I didn't address specific portions of information in this post, means that we're not addressing them. A lot of the points of this post have been getting a lot of work and discussion prior to this post, of course I can't blame anyone for questioning what's going on because we haven't talked about that discussion publicly.

Not everyone has these fears, not everyone shares the same concerns, and certainly not everyone wants to hear everything Lightmare has to say. For those that do, we'll do our best to provide this. For those that want to hear us, we'll work towards that. For those that want information, we'll do our best to provide what's really important. For those that don't, well the option will exist.

So to finish this, we're talking internally. We're going to take all of this into consideration, have a nice discussion, and see what exactly we can do to change our communication protocols. No, we're not a protocol droid, we did ST not SW.

The OP was well thought out, and well founded in his thoughts. Many of you here in this great community voiced your agreement, your concerns, and your fears. Let it be known that we wish to let those feelings be validated. You are an amazing community of passionate gamers who only want Infinity Wars to succeed. Let's work together, and Lightmare will work to rebuild this trust. Again, help us help you to help us in helping you. With help.

Thanks everyone. More to come.

See you on the battlefield!
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Offline 3Sleeper

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Re: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2014, 09:25:18 PM »
great:)

Offline Heart

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Re: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2014, 09:30:13 PM »
damn i missed first post
Follow your...

Offline Teremus

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Re: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2014, 09:30:37 PM »
No seriously, I really like cheese.

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Offline AAAAANNNTS

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Re: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2014, 09:44:03 PM »
Something as simple as making a google doc for devs to update sort of like a blog would be cool (e.g. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R4CZPUm6PgBgJ9dJkSKbgVrfDZGRtXc-T6XsZxrCve4/edit?pli=1 )  It'd take some time to write everything you're currently working on initially, but if you just update it as you go, it'll be fairly simple, constantly up-to-date, and transparent.  Just have different sections for bugs, new features, and below-the-surface coding issues with indicators or brief notes to show progress (something like pending, working, done), and at the top have some sort of introduction, explanation, and a simple list of long-term goals.

Just give everyone on the project access to edit it, and place the public view-only link somewhere where people who play the game (not only forum-goers) can access it easily.  Make it a one-stop shop for all the things people scream at you guys about every single day - make your lives easier, and our investments into this game more rewarding.
>Lightning Bolt will never be in IW ;_;

Offline Weak_Wolf

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Re: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2014, 12:42:32 AM »
I have mixed feelings about this, I mean you didnt say anything I didnt already know as far as the effort Lightmare puts in, although I appreciate the transparency. But furthermore it is upsetting that some players need the Lightmare to hold their hands and walk them through things like this in order to appease them.

Gasp there was a decline in STEAM related player base after Infinity Wars was no longer the STREAM Featured game of the week, GASP what a shocker. Wait you mean there are Bugs in a Beta game? Christ what a joke. IMO some people probably lost a few games, became jaded and began looking for a reason to hate.

Eitherway you guys at lightmare are doing a GREAT job, keep up the good work... and dont forget to nerf Xi, Ascended and Overseers ^__^
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 12:44:21 AM by weak_wolf »

Offline Tyroki

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Re: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2014, 04:15:27 AM »
I have mixed feelings about this, I mean you didnt say anything I didnt already know as far as the effort Lightmare puts in, although I appreciate the transparency. But furthermore it is upsetting that some players need the Lightmare to hold their hands and walk them through things like this in order to appease them.

Gasp there was a decline in STEAM related player base after Infinity Wars was no longer the STREAM Featured game of the week, GASP what a shocker. Wait you mean there are Bugs in a Beta game? Christ what a joke. IMO some people probably lost a few games, became jaded and began looking for a reason to hate.

Eitherway you guys at lightmare are doing a GREAT job, keep up the good work... and dont forget to nerf Xi, Ascended and Overseers ^__^

Aaaand I think you missed the point of the Dear Lightmare thread entirely ._.;

Communication is a BIG DEAL for online games, and when a dev shuts the blinds and goes silent for ages, it's usually quite worrying.
That's why they've decided to open the blinds/window and keep whatever information they can flowing rather than telling us all nothing.

After all, the game had sat there with minor updates for quite a while (Bar Ascension which was a long known deal, but then it's an expansion soooo), and we had no clue what they were up to.
It's important to talk to your community, and again, they're realising that.

Now we wait and see what happens I guess.
_________                           _________
      |___|                                 |___|   
  ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Thesis or riot! ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Offline Tchol

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Re: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2014, 02:15:56 PM »
Thanks for that thesis. Very informative. Even if I believe in Lightmare team from start, reading this is refreshing.
Seems like you have been emphasizing bug fixing, frontend improvement and communication lately which is what Infinity Wars truly needed these days.
Good job on the reaction / understanding there, it is really appreciated.
I am a developer myself, and know for a fact that, no matter what, clients (depends on the kind of client ofc) always enthuse themselves to frontend change but just don't give a puffy about the backend insane improvement you could have done. Even if in the end, they are equally important.

Well, nothing more to say about that. I'll just keep sticking to Infinity Wars because it's AAAweeeesome and becoming awesomer every day ! :D

Offline Weak_Wolf

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Re: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Teremus' Thesis
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2014, 02:30:09 PM »
I have mixed feelings about this, I mean you didnt say anything I didnt already know as far as the effort Lightmare puts in, although I appreciate the transparency. But furthermore it is upsetting that some players need the Lightmare to hold their hands and walk them through things like this in order to appease them.

Gasp there was a decline in STEAM related player base after Infinity Wars was no longer the STREAM Featured game of the week, GASP what a shocker. Wait you mean there are Bugs in a Beta game? Christ what a joke. IMO some people probably lost a few games, became jaded and began looking for a reason to hate.

Eitherway you guys at lightmare are doing a GREAT job, keep up the good work... and dont forget to nerf Xi, Ascended and Overseers ^__^

Aaaand I think you missed the point of the Dear Lightmare thread entirely ._.;

Communication is a BIG DEAL for online games, and when a dev shuts the blinds and goes silent for ages, it's usually quite worrying.
That's why they've decided to open the blinds/window and keep whatever information they can flowing rather than telling us all nothing.

After all, the game had sat there with minor updates for quite a while (Bar Ascension which was a long known deal, but then it's an expansion soooo), and we had no clue what they were up to.
It's important to talk to your community, and again, they're realising that.

Now we wait and see what happens I guess.

I agree, but I guess to me the question becomes what kind of communication is necessary. And should a company take responsibility for dispelling non-credible rumors.

I mean the player base  issue and the rumor that people  dont feel like Lighytmare does enough to fix bugs has been an circulating for a while. But both arent really issues to anyone who isnt looking for something to be upset about, perhaps I am giving others too much credit. Maybe something like this is needed. Ive never run a company or created a game, so I have no clue.