Game Released: Mechadroids – Closed Alpha

Robots Fighting

War… war sometimes changes. Tonight we released Mechadroids to the closed alpha testers! We’ve been playing the game during the evening; we’re stealing credits while attacking each other with some insane weaponry.

Alpha testers will receive an email with details on how to play when they have been accepted. We are having some small issues with our emails being sent into spam folders so please check there before taking out your rubbish! If you’re a tester please log feedback at Deadworld Feedback. If you have any problems with your login or our websites please email us at info@deadworldstudios.co.uk.

The next few weeks will be used to balance Mechadroids ready for our big release onto the Android Market. Once there anyone with an Android phone will be able to download and play Mechadroids.

Remember for more information visit the Mechadroids information page and the Mechadroids site! Good hunting alphas!

How May We Help You?

We’ve been incredibly busy since the annoucement of Mechadroids.  Most of this has been to do with infrastructure work and when we say infrastructure, we’re talking about everything that aids in game development, release and support.  It’s taken a lot of effort and a lot of time.  Reason being is that we want our procedures to support multiple projects, not just one, so a generic approach needs to be taken.

Initially, when we were developing Root Access and released the alpha test, we developed all our infrastructure around that specific project.  It wasn’t necessarily the right way of doing it, but it was the fast way of doing it.  In the end we made more work for ourselves when we started developing Mechadroids as we had to extend our infrastructure systems or clone them for Mechadroids.  Cloning them would result in duplicate code and more to maintain, it would eventually bite us in the derriere.  Extending was the better option but we figured we’d go back to the beginning and design in multi-project support from the start like good software engineers!  If you’re part of our community or waiting for the Mechadroids alpha test, you’re probably aware of the Deadworld ID system, which is our new single sign-on system for all our games and sites.  This was originally specific to Root Access, but the extra work was put in and now we can be sure that all new sites and projects will share the login system which makes things a lot easier to maintain and much more convenient for you guys!

Now, this post isn’t about the Deadworld ID system.  It is about a new addition to our infrastructure.  We realised we were focusing on our development, testing and release systems but we had neglected to put much effort into the support side of things.  Root Access had a feedback reporting system but was fairly minimal and we realised if we wanted our alpha tests to go as planned and maintain a good level of communication and support with our community we needed to revisit this area.

As a result, we give you the Deadworld Studios Feedback Centre.  Again, this is a complete ground-up rewrite of the feedback system that was built into the Root Access website, but this new site makes use of the Deadworld ID system, supports multiple projects and different types of feedback.  Some of you may notice it looks a little similar to the way Get Satisfaction works, that’s because we were heavily considering using it as it really appealed to us, but with very little revenue coming in we cannot afford it, but we had the skills to develop something similar that would suit us!

Please check it out, if you have any bug reports or suggestions about it… well, you’re already on the right site!

Game Announcement: Mechadroids

So, finally after all the secretive, nondescript tweets regarding our hard work we’d like to announce a new game – Mechadroids.

Mechadroid

Mechadroids is a fast paced, tongue-in-cheek game that will be released on Android, Facebook and the Mechadroids site. Initially, we are only releasing the Android version but we’ll be branching into the other platforms soon.

Before we hit the Android Market we’re going to have a closed alpha testing period. This will help us iron out any bugs and tweek the game. This period will last a few weeks then we will release Mechadroids onto the market as an open beta.

Help us perfect this game by going to the Mechadroids alpha registration page and registering to join the Android alpha test. Please also visit our forum to share any thoughts you have about the game.

For those who are wondering what our plans are regarding Root Access, you don’t need to worry. Mechadroids is a small side project for us that we really wanted to make before we continued development on Root Access, which we consider a much larger project.

Back Online

Well, if anyone tried to access our site over the last few days they may have noticed that we’ve been down quite a bit, so apologies for that.  If anyone is interested, the blackout was due to a few reasons:

  1. FlatlineWe attempted to update some software on our VPS so we could replace Hudson with Jenkins.  The update caused some serious errors where most system services went offline and refused to start (including Apache).
  2. Upon realising that there was too much damage to put right in a swift amount of time, we decided to restore the VPS snapshot we took immediately before the update.  The restore failed.  The snapshot was corrupt.  The VPS wouldn’t boot.
  3. Our host (Webfusion) said that a VPS factory reset was pretty much our only option.  Fortunately, we take daily backups so we weren’t going to lose much.  Problem was, once we got back to where we were, we were still going to need to update the VPS to install Jenkins and potentially break everything again.  Since our VPS was due for renewal we decided to purchase a nice new shiny version of our VPS and migrate everything across, this way no updating would be required when things were operational again; so that’s what we did.  Unfortunately, once our new VPS was set up we discovered that the backup manager, that’s part of our VPS control panel, wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  It refused to restore the backup we threw at it, so in the end we had to extract the contents of the backup and move them into place manually… which is still an ongoing task.

Most of the Deadworld stuff is back online and functioning normally.  There’s just a few other things, including some personal sites, that still need to be restored.  Hopefully, this’ll all be done in the next couple of days.

Good news is that Jenkins is up and running though, so it wasn’t all for nothing!

Why, Hello There!

Hi, I’m Zeis and – as much as it saddens me – the replacement for Pringle. I will be the token-German on the Team and ‘support’ CWolf and Jargon with my crazy bullshit ideas as well as graphics I’ll more than likely pull out of my arse.

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Like I already said, everyone calls me Zeis (don’t ask, long story) and I’m a 21 year old graphics designer/voice actor/show host/VFX artist/web designer/videogame journalist/YouTube Vlogger/you name it. I was born and raised in Munich, Germany and am still living here.

I’ve been playing and watching people play videogames pretty much all my life, which brought me into competitive e-sports, namely Counter-Strike 1.6, which I played for almost 6 years straight with the intention of becoming pro. I dropped that dream though – I was playing 8 hours a day after school which was just plain exhausting and not worth it. I moved on, thinking that ‘Game Designer’ might be my next big dream. The ‘Games Academy’ was too expensive at the time and once again, I had to drop the dream like Michael Jackson would’ve dropped a 18 year old boy. This dream however couldn’t get out of my head.

And so I was thinking hard of ways to get into the games industry. Then it struck me like the look of two gay men making out strikes a hardcore christian; I shall become a videogame journalist! And so I did, founding a blog, getting friends to write with me and constantly putting out articles and reviews until I had about 20.000 readers a month. To speed things in this story up, here’s a list of shit I did:

  • Founded TheGamersBlog
  • Founded TheGamersMagazine
  • Merged with GamersUnity
  • Studied Show-Hosting and Voice-Acting
  • Got into PR, working for HTC, MSI and Namco Bandai Europe
  • Got into show-hosting at Game-TV, a German broadcaster specialised in Gaming
  • Co-Founded Krautgaming

And then there was a long period of time in which absolutely nothing happened.

So now I’m joining Deadworld Studios and am slapping my graphics/UI designs as well as my ideas into the faces of those two magnificent bastards.

TL;DR: I’m Zeis. Graphics Design. 7+ years of experience in the gaming industry.

Cheerio,
Phillip “Zeis” Lentz

Returning to Full Strength!

So, things are moving around a little these days. With the sad departure of Ben ‘Pringle’ Halbert we now welcome a new member to the team. Please welcome Phillip ‘Zeis’ Lentz as our new member taken directly from the Deadworld Studios community!

Now don’t think that Zeis is a replacement. It was always part of the plan to bring in a 4th to help fill some voids in Deadworld’s skill-set. However, the departure of Ben forced us to accelerate our plans a little. Zeis brings a large range of skills to the team including several that we really need which will aid us in bringing our games to you guys faster.

Anyway, enough about Zeis as we’ll let introduce himself in another post.

So long, farewell…

Playing guitar beyond a campfireHi, Ben here – or Pringle as you probably know me on IRC.

It’s sad news today I’m afraid, as much as I love Deadworld and the projects we’ve been working on both publically and privately, I find that I have little to no time in the day to properly contribute. I’ve had a few things on my plate and I was hoping that once they were dealt with I would be able to get more involved again, unfortunately life has a way of … well, getting in the way.

As such, this is my official public notice that I am no longer an official part of Deadworld Studios, I will of course still be around on #deadworld and I’ll still see CWolf and Jargon in real life frequently – too often as far as I’m concerned (nah, I love them really).

So, goodbye Deadworld Studios and I’ll speak to you soon I’m sure.

– Ben ‘Pringle’ Halbert

RA Alpha Build 237 Released

A traditional 'memory dump' blue screen of deathWe’ve just released build 237 to the community.

This release, as you can see, is pretty small and only contains bug fixes. Progress on Root Access was a little slow after Christmas due to a very busy January and February (lots of traveling, World of Love indie games conference and a wedding/stag do to attend). In addition to this we’ve been working hard on a small side project, however, we’re not in the position to release details on this just yet.

We’ve fixed two very important bugs for Root Access. The memory issues on the client and server have now been fixed which means the server will now remain running! We know some of our testers have been trying to connect to the RA server over the past couple of months but found it down. This shouldn’t happen nearly as much anymore!

In regards to the issues people were experiencing with sound, the entire system has been rewritten and we’re now using hardware OpenAL. In layman’s terms it should work a lot better now!

The full change log for release 237 is below,

Bugs Fixed (Root Access):

    #39 – OpenJDK sound gain issue
    #54 – Pseduo-memory leak on client (Reopened then fixed again)
    #61 – Out of memory on server
    #62 – A ticking sound occurs when playing the game
    #78 – Music returns to normal volume after the tracks repeat

Changes (DWS Updater):

    – Updater now launches games directly instead of using .bat and .sh files for Windows and Linux/Mac respectively

Bugs Fixed (DWS Updater):

    #33 – UI error when not showing console/details
    #47 – Installer does not create directories if directories do not exist

Loving Harder

World of Love 2Well things have been quiet here at Deadworld Studios but I promise you we’ve been busy behind the scenes.

As many of you know we attended World of Love last week; it was an excellent conference and a wonderful experience. The talks and interviews have given us a great deal to think about and we’re hoping to step things up a gear. Special thanks to David Hayward for arranging the event, I know that we’ll be there again in the future.

I (Pringle) have been renovating and moving house over the past … well it seems like forever … but I’m almost in and just need to unpack properly (at the moment I can’t get into my study due to stacks of boxes). So hopefully in the next week or two you should start to see some work being done on the website.

Jargon and CWolf are hard at work with the latest batch of bug fixes and getting everything stable and working on something else as well. In a few weeks time we’ll be ready for the next wave of testing for Root Access and we’ll be announcing something new at the same time. For now you’ll just have to wait and see.

For those of you who want to know more about what happened at World of Love itself, I’d point you in the direction of the relevant post on the World of Love news feed (you can even see us in the photo if you look closely) and Matt Badley’s summary of the talks, both of which provide far better information than I could.

Interfacing with UI #4 – Coherent UI

February 5th, 2016

This is part of a series of posts revolving around user interface design and development, the introduction and links to the other posts can be found here. Last I wrote about user interfaces I discussed the new Unity UI system and I wrote about our process of porting from Daikon Forge to it. That was a year and a half ago and a lot has changed since then. To keep things interesting we decided to move from Unity UI (yet another move?!) to Coherent UI and I’ll explain why we did it. Why Move… Again?!... (read more)

@RogueVec: And so it begins! #RebootDevelop

19/04/2018 @ 8:05am UTC

@RogueVec: We'll be at @RebootDevelop this year. We can't wait! If you want to hang out just give us a shout! #RebootDevelop2018 #GameDev

16/04/2018 @ 12:06pm UTC

@SolitudeGame: Fullscreen terminals allow you to hook into your ship's guns for fine control! Moddable gun modules, terminals and UI! https://t.co/B5N01jrA70 #GameDev

8/12/2017 @ 4:58pm UTC

@CWolf: Woo! And, now we have a cross-compiled (nix --> win64) @SolitudeGame server in our build and deploy pipeline #RV #GameDev

28/11/2017 @ 3:39pm UTC

@CWolf: CI love #GameDev #RV

21/11/2017 @ 4:06pm UTC