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Monthly Archive for February, 2012

Party at The Hive

Yes I’ll be attending.

Project: Hazel at DestinCon

Project: Hazel is sending a large delegation to the annual DestinCon being held in Destin, Florida next month. This year, we are going to do something special. We’ve spoken to Cyberhornets and we are having a party at The Hive which is basically the central headquarters of Cyberhornets and currently a large contingent of Project: Hazel.

The Drink with the Devs will be held on 8 March, at The Hive. The party starts at 7 pm and will run until 10. Developers from Project: Hazel and perhaps a few other organisations will be present at this event.

If you are interested in attending the party, please send me an e-mail (FibreSquirrel@squidwolf.com). I will be managing the door list for the event. There will not be a cover charge or drink minimum.

UPDATE
You must have at least +3.0 HazelStandings to attend this event, sorry but Cyberhornets isn’t moving on this.

Internet Warfare

STARS is so well integrated into the very fabric of the Project: Hazel / Squidwolf Server Network that RAGE is now using us to launch ‘campaigns’.

No more can be said on the matter, just that these things are happening as you are using our services, and no lag is occuring.

How Do We Extend or Patch Squidwolf Syndicate?

Following up on the previous forum post, which I copied to a dev blog here below, I’m going to give a little bit of insight in to patch types and how they are deployed. I hope this will get a clearer view of what we can fix and how fast we can deploy them while other thing can take more time to deploy, such as content or new features.

Expansions
This is the biggest form of addition to the network, that consist of new major features, major content additions, and have major rewrites of systems which are needed to either fix fundamental system problems which can’t fit within our development cycle of smaller patch deployments or they are optimizations to decrease server or client load. Our aim is to do these once a year. Red Vortex is an example of an Expansion.

Content Patch
This is our second biggest form of extending Squidwolf Syndicte. They might include some new features, or major balancing, but will be more focused adding new content. The Blue Light patch would be similar in size to a Content Patch, except there the focus was more on smaller system rewrites and balancing than new content. Our aim is to do these also once a year and require the least amount of programming resources to minimize bugs.

Patches
These are patches for maintenance of Squidwolf Syndicate, and are usually on a roughly monthly schedule, deployed on our patch day, Thursday. These contains mostly fixes done by the programmers and also contain smaller content additions done by the Content division (See previous blog). The timeslot to get something into the next monthly patch would need to be done over the next 2-3 weeks, after which testing commences, which usually take from 1-3 weeks.

Server Hotfixes
These are our smallest form of fixes. These are fixes that can be done server side and are deployed in scheduled downtime. They do not require a patch, while all the other patches do require a patch. Anything involving a client update takes far more time to prepare and is usually only done in Patches on Thursdays, since the risk is far greater than with Hotfixes. The reason for this is that Hotfixes can be reverted on a minutes notice while a load of members with a faulty account can be devastating. We usually deploy a couple of Hotfixes to the server each week, but after Patches we can go up to deploying a Hotfix daily (A single Hotfix usually consists of a number of fixes).

I hope this helps a bit understanding how we work. All of this is included in your subscription (as you might have noticed) and we will continue to provide free Expansions to Squidwolf Syndicate. We consider this being part of what you pay for with your subscription. Why? We’re Internet Addicts and we hate it as much as the next guy having to buy a box in a store to get new stuff from someone you have been paying for 2 years.

We have the whole development team working on Squidwolf Syndicate the whole year, and can – amazingly enough – have programmers fixing bugs, while our content people work with the tools they already have to add content.

We’re still fighting the Red Vortex bugs and have recently started major optimizations to core systems to improve server performance.

You won’t see the full fruits of that labour until some months down the road, these systems are extensive and take tons of manhours to do, in addition to the extensive testing required.

Optimizations to other system will benefit all aspects of gameplay, since low load servers always perform SPIFFEH. Well, that’s it for now, I think I might go troll the forums today and perhaps grab some topics that I can cover in a dev blog.

What Is Project: Hazel Doing Now?

Just wait and see little duck, just wait and see.

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