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Forum » MMO's » Star Citizen
Geekbyte 19th May 2014

Joined: 10th Apr 2014
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Taken from last weeks Arena Commander report

https://robertsspaceindus ... kly-Report-May-12-16

Let me begin with the information you most want to hear: we intend to launch Arena Commander in two weeks, on May 29th.The goal is that every backer will have access to the single player “Free Flight” and “Vanduul Swarm” games modes on this day, and the very first batch of multiplayer testers will get access to the game’s multiplayer game modes. We will scale up the multiplayer as quickly as possible starting on that date, increasing the number of players as it is stable and stopping to fix bugs where needed.

This date is based on our best possible projections using the latest information put together by Star Citizen’s production team as of this afternoon. This is a big part of what the often-unseen production side of game development does: schedule out every task they believe is required for a game to ship. Sometimes (in fact, more often than not) things go wrong and these forecasts change: bugs we don’t foresee appear, features we didn’t realize we needed become necessary and so on. This is why we haven’t had a solid release date yet; it’s not to better schedule marketing or because we want to keep you out of the cockpit… it’s because game development is a complex beast, and there are few games more complex than Star Citizen! At this point, we’re close enough that we feel fairly confident in this date… but the next two weeks will be a march!

Before I leave you to the individual studio weekly reports, I’d like to walk you through exactly what the next two weeks—if all goes well—mean for Arena Commander’s development:

  • May 17th: our IT groups will be updating our global internal server infrastructure. A lot of the internal tools we use for game development (checking in builds, storing assets, etc.) are in dire need of downtime and update; we’ve been running them in the red zone so we can have 24 hour round-the-world development on Arena Commander. During this downtime we will also be switching over to a much more flexible and advanced architecture for our content management system Perforce. We will be upgrading to using Perforce Streams which will allow much quicker and more flexible movement between code branches for our development team. This prepares us for the added complexity of launching and supporting a live multiplayer service like Arena Commander. Saturday’s update will allow us to push the final Arena Commander update out to the world with much more confidence (corrupted data from these servers was a major issue at the PAX East reveal!)
  • May 18th: with the new servers in place, we will split off the “Arena Commander Release” branch of Star Citizen. This will separate the Arena Commander you play from the rest of the game that is being developed by other teams. So data checked in by teams around the world that doesn’t have anything to do with dogfighting (such as FPS weapons, planetside maps or future ship assets) won’t cause additional bugs for the team to worry about.
  • May 19th: The QA team will begin their final troubleshooting session with the new Arena Commander Release branch. They will go through the entire game and catalog all the current bugs they can find – ships not spawning in the correct place, physics not functioning correctly, disconnects during battle and so on. This will help to generate our final “Must Fix” list for release. It is important to remember though that our internal QA team cannot find everything and it is very likely that we will not fix everything prior to release. We are releasing playable code to the community much, much earlier than you normally would in AAAgame development. Because of this it will not be as polished as a final game would be so we are going to need a lot of support from all of you to help us in bug finding and gameplay feedback!
  • May 23rd: The official cross-studio playtesting of the Arena Commander Release begins. This represents a “pencils down” phase where, unless you are working on an authorized must fix issue the team is expected to QA the game as much as possible. After this point, only a limited number of “designated driver” team leads will be able to check in any changes to the game itself.
  • May 27th: By this point, we hope to have the egregious, game breaking issues resolved but there will still be plenty of known and unknown issues. This is also our deadline for making sure the launcher is hardened for the deluge of users and the first set of necessary servers for the release have been spun up. After this point all check in privileges will be revoked and will only be returned on an as needed basis by senior Production staff and myself.
  • May 28th: The release candidate build of the game will be compiled. If all goes as planned, this is the version of Arena Commander you will be playing! The team at Turbulent will begin switching over the website to the version that will make Arena Commander available to backers. I will personally ‘sign off’ Arena Commander as ready for the community on the evening of the 28th. To be clear, we fully expect that there will be bugs remaining, potentially some bad ones. That said, our primary focus is getting a version out to the community to help us find all the issues and work together to improve Arena Commander.

  • May 29th: This morning, the web team will spin up additional authentication and web servers in the in anticipation of high traffic during the release. The engineering team will begin “warming” caches on cloud servers around the world, making sure the release candidate game is ready and waiting for users. By the end of the day, we will update the website making the game available, and the first public release of Arena Commander (which we’re calling v0.8) will be live to the world for testing!

After this we will continue to work hard finishing off game modes, making balancing calls and hotfixes as we spin up more and more servers, allowing for more and more concurrent multiplayer games.

  • v0.9 will be an intermediate step with additional features, polish, fixes and the Squadron Battle game mode.
  • v1.0 will be when everyone can access the multiplayer and all game modes are in (Capture the Core comes in with v1.0).

As you can see, there’s a lot to do over the next two weeks and as you have seen there can be many unforeseen issues. I believe this is the best development team in the industry and we are certainly backed by the most invested, supportive community in gaming. We will keep you updated as this process continues; if there are any unexpected changes, the community will know what they are AND how they impact the schedule as soon as I do.

This is what is unique about Star Citizen – you are getting a very close and personal look at what development is like from the inside. Enjoy the ride!

— Chris Roberts

Twitch: GeekByte | Twitter: GeekByteUK
Steam: GeekByte | Origin: GeekByte
Star Citizen: Geekbyte | PSN: GeekByteUK
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Last Edit: 19th May 2014 by Geekbyte
Nal 28th May 2014

Joined: 26th Apr 2014
Rank: XSGamer
Posts: 84
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one more day ...
Like (1)
Obsessite 28th May 2014

Joined: 17th Feb 2014
Rank: XSGamer
Posts: 149
Likes 11

Well, it'll likely be early hours of Friday morning for us UK/EU peeps, judging from the 'by the end of the day' comment.

It'll be great to finally get our hands on a working game. The glorified showroom was looking a bit lame compared to Elite Dangerous' alpha offerings!

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