Hey all it’s weekly update time. This last week we pushed hard to get the new patch out however at the 11th hour we ran into a handful of blockers that delayed it. Specifically we realized that our build system was a bit of a mess. The new patching system just handles distribution, installation, and of course patching. What it doesn’t handle is the generation of deployment packages.
Up to this point we’ve been using the same build system that we were using for the Kickstarter. Back then we didn’t need to produce new builds very often and since we were short on time the build system was constructed as “good enough under duress”. Since then it has devolved into an arcane system of scripts and manually copying around files that really only Flavien fully understood and it took him hours to produce a new build - which is a big part of why, up till now, we haven’t released patches very often.
We spent the weekend constructing a proper, fully automated build system which is nearly complete. Due to this coming weekend being a holiday in the U.S. there’s a good chance that we’ll push the patch back to next week even if it’s ready by the end of this week so that we have all hands on deck in case something goes wrong. We’re going to be upgrading a lot of infrastructure for the next patch.
On the art side work continues on finishing up the land base mockups and the cockpits for the smaller ships. The geometry work on the cockpits is coming along nicely and we’re looking forward to getting to the texturing phase soon. This is particularly exciting because we’re getting tired of everything being bland, boring gray geometry. You can checkout the panoramic views of the new cockpits by clicking the images above or following the links below:
Very nice, love those panoramic views, more of those please!
Are you guys planning and/or how feasable is it to have in-game real-time updating? Some games can be started and played while only, say, 30% of the game has been downloaded (the base infrastructure) and all the art assets such as models and textures can be downloaded in-game. Would that be possible in any way? Does it make sense? Say you patch the game with a new build and i’m in game, is it possible for the game to download and apply the new patch on the fly? This is for classic servers only of course, custom modded servers wouldn’t be affected. Perhaps because this isn’t an MMO (yet), this is unnecessary complexity.
We hope to have it at some point, that’s a big part of why we went through the trouble of writing our own patching infrastructure. At the moment we’ve just laid the groundwork and long-term there’s still a lot of work to do to improve it. For example v1 of the patching system will cache the installation package no matter what. This means that a 4gb game will take up ~8gb of your HDD. It does this so the installation can be repaired if it gets corrupted without internet access. Eventually we’ll add the ability to disable this so you can save the disk space. Just one example of many things to improve.
I’m working on that as soon as we get the patch out
Feel like I’ve been itching for a new patch for months It’ll be great to see the new system up and running - will make downloading a whole lot easier. Especially if the plan is to increase update frequency!
I’m not sure if I understand something @inovaekeith, you are saying that in the upcoming patcher release the download size of the game will remain the same, since the patcher will contain the full installation?
Also out of curiosity, is there any ‘significant’ game that uses ‘in-game real-time’ updating, I’m assuming this means that the game will update while you are playing if there is a patch available. Also I’m struggling to piece together how this will work for a MP game like IBS, surely all the clients must be on the same version and so can’t be updated on the fly or at least there is not much point of doing this as it just complicates things?
You shouldn’t worry too much about updating the game offline, since IBS is a MP-Only game.
Could have sworn I read somewhere that it will have a single player offline mode. It would just be for flying around exploring and ship testing though. Maybe You need the full update to playing online but only so much to run the offline?
In the upcoming patcher the download size of the game should more or less remain the same. I’m saying that, at a minimum, you will need (game size) * 2 disk space in order to install it. This is because the installation package gets cached on your HDD by the patcher so that you can “repair” the installation if it were to get corrupted. At some point this will be made optional (probably by default) so that only enough information is retained to do an uninstallation.
Not that I’m aware of. The closest thing to it is what Blizzard does with its patcher however I don’t believe it still patches the game while you’re playing it (I could be wrong). This works because the majority of game data is not required for the function of the game - it exists only to make the game prettier. For example textures have multiple mip levels and as long as you have a handful of the lowest levels you can stream in the rest at your leisure.
Second Life would do dynamic updates of world content. It was far from graceful, employing in-your-face popping all over the place as it loaded walls and such all around you. However, it would load the behavior of the objects as it loaded the objects. You just got used to waiting for content to load. It was part of the same suspension of disbelief that let you think you were in a real environment when the graphics were so primitive.
Check out what happens after the character goes through the portal.
Or when the same character goes through another portal later in the same video
I don’t believe that Second Life supports dynamic updating of their own software. However, the game is so dominated by player content (that is updated dynamically) that it’s not important to do so.
Good dynamic updates are like good LODs - you don’t notice them.