Category: Dev Blog

Test-Event Announcement!

We need YOU to play on our server!

Avatar Creations has now formally announced the shutdown of their official server and associated services.  The server code has been released, and we have long since forked and begun the long journey of fixes and features that we have waited months for.  We are humbled and honored to have been mentioned.  This only gives us more resolve to make this the best Perpetuum we can.  A Perpetuum all can play and be proud of.
Alas I wanted so much to post an actual dev-blog, however things are moving so fast I must skip straight to important announcements!

Two Major Events are scheduled.  One such event where you could be playing on a server of ours as early as THIS WEEKEND!

The “Pre-Alpha”

There will be a public, open registration server, for all players to join by Feb 1st, 2018* which will remain under active development for months to come.  Ending with a wipe and launch into our alpha phase (after which there will be no wipes).  See previous blog.

Sneak-peek Open-Test Event Weekend!

There will be a temporary open-test session on our self-hosted server THIS WEEKEND from Friday Jan. 19th, 23:59 UTC to Sunday Jan. 21st, 23:59 UTC.  With a special 2 hour server-wide test-event at 20:00-22:00 UTC Saturday.  This server will be open-registration for this weekend only, and primarily to load-test and profile server performance under current configurations and server build.  A) This gives us better understanding of performance under load, peak and average demands, bandwidth, and speeds.  B) Gives us a rough player-count to expect on our dedicated test platform.  During this first test-weekend, you may play however you like, but please do be online and attend the event on Saturday.  The more players participating will mean better server performance for the game later.  Your participation will not go unnoticed.

The test-server link is here

To register click the “Register” button on the client’s login page, enter an email and password, and then you can immediately login with the same credentials.

Accounts can be registered freely during the test weekend.  Shortly after the event, the server will go back into internal testing only and the server will be wiped of account data.

We have also update the Volunteer Survey and blog to reflect current realities (the blog was written even before server-source was promised, just rumored).  And our Patreon is online and accepting donations now!  If we can reach our next goal we can secure a much better performing server and service for the dedicated platform.

 

Hey, those name look familiar…

OpenPerpetuum Server: Open Pre-Alpha!

Fellow Nians,

We are going Live!

Following the surprise announcement of the official server closing we have taken this as a call to action.  We had a much longer term plan for design, implementation and testing a fully featured, stable release, for our server.  Given this accelerated deadline, and loss of a guaranteed source for your perpetuum fix, we are preparing to offer: an open registration, dedicated hosting, server that will be live patched with all of our developments as they break.

That’s right.  We are preparing to release a Pre-Alpha server where we will accommodate a completely unrestricted playerbase and participation among members of the community to meet the estimated shutdown of the official at the end of January.

If you want to join just to play and learn the game: we welcome you!

If you want to help us test and find bugs: you can help!

YOU will be on the front-lines of the new era of Perpetuum!

What’s the catch?

It is still a testing and development platform.  We will actively seek feedback from all participants, bugs, balance, etc.  We will also perform a complete wipe and reset of all player data at the end of this testing phase, and potentially during, to support testing and fixes.  Again, there are many aspects of the game that are unrefined, the server is ripe with old and new bugs introduced in recent weeks with the standalone patches.  The experience will be rough.  I cannot emphasize enough how truly pre-alpha this server will be.  In essence, we are committing to opening a clone of our development server, and properly hosting it for mass player participation.

This will also mean our Patreon will be open for funding beginning immediately to cover the costs of the dedicated server host.

Challenges for going live

Our primary challenge is that we do NOT have server source code, as promised by the AC devs (as of 12/31/2017).  We can only speculate that the standalone changes, and subsequent bug fixes, are causing some hesitation to release the source as the patching may be an ongoing process.  It is our attitude that open-sourcing now will allow us to directly assist in that effort, because one way or another, the bug must be fixed.  This means that all changes we know to be server-side, or bugs that are isolated to the server, can not be addressed until AFTER the code is released.  This will compress the time our developers have to work on this problems, and may mean further delay in the case of a number of game-breaking issues.  In the short term, bugs that cause crashes, if isolatable, will have associated content disabled to mitigate damage and interruptions of the game experience.  We have already found some that not only tank the client but wreak havoc on the server process and cause wicked side-effects to all players.

The second challenge is tool development and the Developer Client.  We are already actively developing tools to assist our game design teams in committing and testing changes they have been sketching out over the last months.  These tools will radically reduce turnaround from design, to implementation for all team members.  This however is a great deal of work, compounded with a rushed release date will make things hectic.  Second, the Developer Client has features that GREATLY enhance the ability for even a lay-user to manipulate the layer data of zones.  Without it, we will be stuck developing our tool that will likely be primarily a rasterized interface.  For sculpting altitudes, and placing decor, this is a tremendously frustrating task without a directly rendered 3d environment and computed slopes in the preview of each change.  What we know about the developer client is hearsay, but the features we know about are tools that would take our team months to develop internally (as it is essentially a 3D client in its own right).

These are not insignificant challenges and a lot is dependent on externalities that we don’t control.  But our core principle to serve the Perpetuum community as a whole, and help it grow. This demands a playable server that can provide the perpetuum experience for players that will be missed if no server is available after the official goes down.  While we would like for things to be more stable and have time to implement our fixes, changes, and new content, before going into an open-test phase, it seems we do not have that luxury.

Despite the circumstances we will do this to the best of our ability because the community needs a server for all to play.  Stay tuned for further announcements and links to the server when live, and upcoming dev blogs on all the work we have been doing!

Until next time,

-The OpenPerpetuum Team

 

The server has arrived!

Winter’s Greetings Nians,

Avatar Creations has released a preliminary Standalone-Server installer.  They have not released source code, yet.  They have not released the dev-client, yet.  There are known bugs that are actively being fixed, and there may yet be many more to find.  We are actively finding and communicating these bugs.  If you have a server running and are finding bugs you too should report them to AC.  Be clear and precise.  The easier it is to understand and verify the more likely it is it will be fixed.

As some of you may noticed the server application is not a pretty GUI tool to change everything one would want from some slick front-end like other high-end game engines.  These guys built all of it themselves from scratch.  This makes it all the more challenging as a technical problem as we have to learn with little documentation how it all works.  There is no manual.  No steam guide.  No buttons to click to auto-magically do the things we want.  If we want a button, we have to build it.  And dammit, that’s what we are going to do!

With the release of the server we have hit the ground running, even very recent additions to the team are already operating at peak capacity.  The ambition and dedication on the part of these members are a sure sign of a bright future for the project.  We have been preparing for this for months, and can confidently report significant progress in a very short period, even with the limited release and frequent patches.

Our technical teams are now fully operational and will be operating in a few capacities:

  • They will be actively coordinating with the design teams to understand game-design goals and priorities.  These goals will focus research and feasibility studies to implement such features.
  • They will be establishing internal tooling, process and infrastructure to facilitate change, testing, documentation and version control.
  • In parallel, members will isolate issues that are not game-oriented but purely issues of engineering: maintainability, robustness, and performance.

The design teams are operating as originally specified with the additional advantage of getting direct feedback on their ideas, and even seeing prototypes of their designs implemented.

The servers you see that are part of the OpenPerpetuum Project are experimental platforms.  If one has open registration -you play at your own risk-.  To ensure our future Live Server will not have rollbacks or wipes to correct terrible mistakes, we are learning how to keep things stable, push, and track changes.  There are a lot of mechanics, pipelines and tooling being developed to support these activities.  This is nothing new for software projects of this scale and are necessary investments to support the work.

At this point we can say we are getting exactly something as complex, but lovably perpetuum-y as we expected.  We are ecstatic to have the server and database to play with already!  We hope the source is pushed publicly and the release of the dev-client is short to follow after more bug-squashing.

You might wonder after all these words, what is it that we have even done?

I don’t know… you tell me.

Until next time,
-OP Team

 

 

The work begins!

Fellow Perpetuuees,

Many moons have passed since our last communiqué.  For that we apologize.  A few developments and some delays to that effect have contributed to this.

First there has been real progress made by AC towards delivering the server, and prepping their infrastructure for steam login and distribution.  They are doing their best in the time they have to work through it all and try to deliver the best experience they can to official server players in the meantime.

Second we have integrated a staggering number of volunteers into a variety of roles and teams.  The survey was a resounding success.  We have players old and new, experienced PVP, PVE and industrial specialists.  Expert, and in many cases professional, database and software engineers, modellers, designers, and all around great people!  Above all they share an unwavering dedication to the project to make a better perpetuum for the whole community to enjoy!

Since there seems to be some space between now and the release, we think it fit to inform you of our recent developments and introduce some new ideas that have come from our collaborative efforts.  Do note that some of these are predicated on the tools and capabilities provided by AC and implementation details or timelines will depend on this.

World Design
Our new world design will accommodate a centralize-able market hub, and a greater degree of gradation of risk and reward as a player moves across various islands (and not just between islands).  Stay tuned for images of our new designs!

The Syndicate Faction
The Syndicates will now be the starting faction for all new players (with an indy or combat flavor choice of course).  The alpha islands will be syndicate-owned/captured by the human agents, and the factional npcs will be actively assaulting and increasingly violent as you approach their fortifications on the Alpha-2 and soon other yet unseen Strongholds!

Strongholds
In keeping with our ethos to focus on providing new unique content, we are proud to announce an ambitious new feature.  These are a “dungeon” mechanic of sorts but non-instanced, still open world.  What secrets may lie within? More details to follow!

A return to Rock-Paper-Scissors
We seek to bring back the flavor of each faction and class as a unique distribution of some capabilities and not just damage types and resistance profiles.  With syndicates as a starting faction, they also fill the role of a jack-of-all balance where they excel at none but have more adaptability between the 3 nian factions.  In short this will not be Seth’s online anymore and players will find bots that suit their particular play-style rather than picking whatever faction is the “meta”.

Fixing the Broken
We would be remiss if we failed to mention fixes to stark imbalances that exist in the game with respect to modules and stacking extremes.  Several variety of solutions for this, but we all see basic number changes as the primary course of action here.  There are high severity items like the tuners, and less severe.  Look out for discussions on the forums!

Keeping the Awesome
There is a lot of, even some balance, patches that added a lot of interesting features, notably the EP-activity reward system.  This will remain but tweaked to accommodate a fresh playership, rather than a years-old player base on the official server.  So for those wondering, both time and activity will be intact but with different numbers.

There are a lot of details of how these things shake out, and will discuss them in discord and on the community forums to seek your feedback.

Please join us in thanking the AC devs for all their hard work on their free time to make this an impending reality.  This is only possible with their work and deserve our gratitude.

Stay tuned for blog posts detailing the work of all of our teams!

Call for Volunteers!

[Updated 2018/01/16]
Hello OpenPerpetuummers.

We have Great News Everyone!  We are putting out an official call for volunteers from the community to step forward in whatever capacity one is either interested or well suited for.  To preface the survey, we think it best to introduce our team structure and talk about the areas of focus one can be a part of.  Some will overlap, or have shared needs, but we would like you to consider at least a primary area to focus on.  Naturally as different teams spin up and spin down on projects, others may need assistance.

The Tech Teams:

The Programmer Team is responsible for developing and maintaining all technical assets, now including server source, tooling, and technical support for Design Team activities.  This includes peripheral programming tasks, including the website, and other future projects like exposing a API for 3rd party development, and far-future tasks to begin addressing client-side projects.  Some basic competencies are expected here, but do not require language specific experience.  DB specific experience and expertise is also in high demand.  Server source is in C# but tooling need not be.  If you are looking for open-source contribution opportunities, this is your chance!

There are other teams and groups under this heading that are responsible for things like server infrastructure, maintenance, and hosting.  These are not entry points for volunteers at this moment.

Communications:

Our Community Engagement Team has been hard at work setting up our web presence and maintaining our social media pages, discord, forums, etc.  We are finding that it is quite a task on its own, so if you find yourself to be a “people person” with a knack for writing, posting, and spreading the word, this might be a team that could use your help.  Note that we need strong writing skills but not just in English.  This game has its roots in Europe and has since cultivated a strong following in many countries and languages.  If you are such a person with bilingual capacities; we especially need you!  Such roles could include, in-game/forum/discord moderator, translator, social media manager, player-event organizer, and more!

The Design Teams:

The Content Team is already hard at work designing new islands, and thinking of possible implementation issues for new module types, and bot roles.  This role is not just sculpting islands, it is creating all aspects of new and re-imagined content.  There are limits to island sculpting until the dev-client is released.  However, you will see that has not stopped members on this team.  If you are resourceful, creative, and hard-working, you too may re-imagine a Perpetuum universe to that we can all be proud of!

The Economy Team has formed to allow members to focus on all things Industry and Market.  This is an important component of the Perpetuum sandbox we all know is imperative to maintain, to further reinforce this, dedicating people and attention to this subject is necessary.  Team members here are spending a lot of time in spreadsheets looking at how costs of different ore types, or different yield amounts affect production levels and economy health, and more!  If you find yourself doing this very thing as a player, you might consider lending your skills to this team!

The Balance Team has been the most overworked team to date.  Even without the server, identifying the problems (the solutions) and creating spreadsheets to hash out effects of changes is already an enormous task given the scope of what is at stake.  It is a challenging problem, that requires creativity and systems-thinking skills to understand how it all works.  Yet even the most rigorous theory-crafting won’t account for the reality “on the ground”.  Testing will be the final determinate of what is or is not balanced.  We all know what happens when you balance from a distance, we want our balancing team to be hands on with their changes and not take it for granted.  For this team you could either be an experienced PVP or PVE player, perpetuum or similar game experiences would be preferred.  Do you have what it takes Agent?!

 

If you are interested in volunteering, now is your chance!

Fill out the survey and make yourself known!
We look forward to reading your responses and contacting you soon.

 

So at this point you might be thinking to yourself: “Hey, can I just play?”

Of course!  We do not expect everyone and their mother to be a volunteer, nor should they.  We are making this so that more people can have more fun.  But, we recognize their is willing and able talent in our community that is more than eager to help.  To that, we are grateful!

 

You might also be saying to yourself: “Hey, I want to help, but I can’t for [time/skill/effort] limitations…”

SULK NO LONGER BRAVE HERO!  For there is a way that any and everyone can show their support for this ambitious endeavor:  Support us on Patreon!  And ensure a lasting and bright future for you and your children to enjoy a Perpetuum that shall exist in perpetuity.

Announcing the Open Perpetuum Project

A Re-Introduction

We are You – the players of Perpetuum.  We have spent years fighting with and against you, conquering betas and leveling gammas, building empires of wealth, and providing content of our own creation in the true-nature of a sandbox mmo.

As you may have heard, Avatar Creations has formally announced their end of development activity and has since pledged to provide a server application for the community to use for their own purposes.

As a result of this, we have established a group to dedicate, consolidate, and organize community members and resources to once again bring Perpetuum back and introduce it to a new generation of players.  We have several immediate and long term goals to ensure the success of this project.  But first perhaps you would like to know who we are and how this will be a better Perpetuum.

 

Announcing the Open Perpetuum Project – The Community Development Project

We are Open Perpetuum: a collective of diverse, altruistic players like you, organized around the central principle of reviving and making a better Perpetuum. The server, development, and volunteer work, everything you see here is a part of this big open source project.  Together we will generate a better balance, content, and establish a persistent perpetuum-universe that we have always wanted and can all enjoy.

 

Goals – How to make a better Perpetuum

All of us agree Perpetuum has potential to be a sustainable, living, fun, and engaging sandbox mmo.  Our primary goal is to realize this latent potential.  To best achieve this, we have outlined specific areas for our project to focus on.  We have established teams to address each area.

  • Balance – The balancing team is responsible for establishing, testing, and integrating balance changes to the game.
  • Content – The content team will generate and edit in-game content, including the world, zones, and robots!
  • Web – The web team is running the community web-presence, the forums, FB, Twitter etc.
  • Server – The server team is all about infrastructure and making sure the pipeline for changes, and player connections are the best they can be.

If you see an area of interest or expertise, volunteer!  Each subject has a wealth of tasks, alternatives, and solutions that could use your help.

 

Donating

We have established a transparent, equitable crowd-funding platform to allow donations to be managed and tracked.

Please go here to contribute!  https://www.patreon.com/openperpetuum

All monetary contributions will be considered purely as donations, and NOT in exchange for any guarantee, service or product.  All donations will go to any necessary costs associated with running the server.  Any surplus will be held to further fund the server in the years to come.  Should there be a significant call for additional allocations from the community, as there was on the official server, funds may be allocated to advertise our server.  The goal in advertising will be to grow the community, not obtain more donations.  No member, contributor, consultant or player will be compensated for their time, effort or work generated on behalf of the Open Perpetuum Project.  This is not a commercial enterprise.  This is not a professional establishment.  This is an experimental project for the purposes of learning, enjoyment, and skill-building.

 

Conclusion

You may be returning as an old vet from early beta, or a new player that bought the game yesterday.  We hope everyone sees that the game for the last few years has been lackluster, but not irreparable.  Many have already agreed there are simple, direct, solutions to a number of these issues (opportunities) if only we had our own server…

With the recent announcement and pending release, we will!

This is an enormous opportunity to revitalize the game, and ensure future success and growth of our community.

Join us!  Donate! Contribute!  And soon: Play!

 

Website: community.sequer.nl

Forums: community.sequer.nl/meta/

Discord: discord.gg/e4gH9Ff   (Use the OpenPerpetuum Category)

Patreon: www.patreon.com/openperpetuum

Facebook: www.facebook.com/openperpetuum

Twitter: twitter.com/openperpetuum