Alpha Update - April 22nd, 2016

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Happy Friday everyone!

 

We have now come to the conclusion of our second week of Alpha, and its exciting to see the amount of new characters being made and people getting out into the world of Agon. We continue to send out more Alpha keys as we expand our server capacity, and look forward to getting more people in game. Our Developer Blog for this week was postponed until next Tuesday, but there are some developments that we wanted to share with you today in the meantime.

 

Server and AMS Update:

 

The team is happy to report that since our most recent server hardware upgrade, we have been able to keep the servers running smoothly for the last ten days. The team will continue to monitor how the servers function and find ways to improve performance, both with hardware upgrades and system updates. We also are in the process of acquiring a separate testing environment for the development and quality assurance teams. This will allow us to test the changes we have planned that are currently being worked on before introducing them into the "live" Alpha server.

As we have mentioned previously, the primary purpose of Alpha is to stress test our game and patch servers as well as the stability and performance of the game client. All of you who have so far participated in Alpha have been a great help in pinpointing areas where we there was room for improvement as well as uncover and resolve the most common account management issues there have been.

 

Development Update:

 

With the server stable for our player base, the development team shifted focus on some technical updates to the game itself. One of our lead developers, Austin, has been working with multi-threading as well as an upgrade to Java 8. These are currently running on a development build, but we still have a lot of work to do in order to get the game to support 64-bit and multi-threading with the game engine itself. This will allow players to utilize more capability from their modern hardware which will ultimately increase performance as well as increase protection from hackers.

Our lead developers have also spent a lot of time getting some of our associate developers up to speed on the toolchain and development workflow so more people can get involved down the line. The new processes being implemented will increase the cohesion between team members and prove well worth the time investment. Our new development tracking tool has been retooled to help collaboration, task management and general flow of all things that need to be easily managed and tracked. There has also been a lot of work done on tools that will allow us to monitor and reboot the servers automatically.

 

Marketing Update:

 

One of the aspects of Darkfall: Rise of Agon that the team really wants to expand upon is the lore of the game world. This not only includes the aspect of lore found within the game, and how it ties to certain aspects such as quests and in-game locations, but also the lore that is available for public consumption. On the latter, we are working to have an entire "Lore" section on our website. This will include not only lore from the previous Darkfall iteration, but an expansion on that as well and how it ties into the state of Darkfall: Rise of Agon. We plan to have videos and screenshots that will provide our community with a better understanding and knowledge of the history and lore of the world of Agon.

The marketing team is also working to find partnerships with 3rd parties to help bring more exposure to the game, especially for when we move towards our Closed Beta phase. We will provide more information on these initiatives when the time is right, but our goal is to provide visibility of Darkfall: Rise of Agon to other gaming communities and players around the market.

We are also getting our Streamer program ready which we plan to launch at the beginning of Closed Beta. As we mentioned previously, this program will provide incentives to members of our community and other streamers to help provide more exposure of the game within the Twitch community. The specifics of this program will be revealed in the future and we are excited to see the streams of our players in game.

 

Next Week:

 

We will have a more detailed development and game design update next Tuesday for you. We are also working hard to have a patch ready for next week that will help improve performance and stability for our players as well as address a few issues that we have already begun working on.

Feel free to join in on the discussion and have a great weekend!

- The team at Big Picture Games