2016 Status Update: Progress and Site Revamp

Submitted by Roots on Sat, 07/02/2016 - 21:35
2016 Status Update: Progress and Site Revamp It's been six full months since our last progress update. My last message left off with the expectation that the project would pick up again in January and see a release before the mid-year. That didn't happen, and the reason why was simply due to my lack of time to work on this project. And when I'm not active, sadly the typical case is that no one else is either. But things have calmed down to the point where I have the spare time and energy to work on Allacrost again, and have been doing so for a few weeks already. Here's an overview of what's new and what's coming soon.

Online Service Upgrades

As you may have noticed, our site and forums have a new look. Our site had been running on a very old version of Drupal, and we finally did a major upgrade to it. The forums also needed a large update, but in the process our custom forum skin was not compatible with the new version. So we used an existing skin that was close to the color scheme of the old one. The wiki is also back online, after an extended period where it was unavailable. Finally, our old bug tracker has been officially retired and any remaining issues on there have been moved over to our issue tracker on our project page.

Technical Progress

Development resumed on the largest and most complex map this project has ever generated. In the process, we identified a couple technical limitations that were inhibiting us from generating the type of environment that was desired. After some research, we decided to build out a brand new engine component to handle notifications, which are essentially messages that one part of the code to publish to declare that something happened, and other parts of the code can detect this and act accordingly. Thankfully this work didn't take more than a week, and map development has now resumed.

Site Updates

Along with our upgrades, different parts of the main site are slowly evolving with new and reorganized content. Our website hasn't been updated in ages, and there are several pieces of information that are no longer accurate. The site will still be relatively simple, but hopefully content will become much easier to discover and read through. I'm hoping we can put some advanced widgets on our front page, such as an activity tracker (number/size of changes made to the project repository) so it can easily be seen how active or inactive the project has been recently. In the meantime, please pardon any oddities you may see pop up on the site menus or other areas as pages are actively under development for the next few months.

Map Development

As was stated before, this is really the last big effort we need to complete before we're ready for our next release candidate. The main barrier remaining to map development is a lack of some of the necessary artwork, but I've been making place holder art in the meanwhile to fill these gaps. Once this chapter of the game is playable from start to finish, we'll release a "rough draft" and continue to work on refining and balancing it.