Update

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Omroth
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Update

Post by Omroth » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:55 am

Hey guys.

Here's an update on our progress.

I've spent the last month working on the multiplayer/singleplayer league system, while the rest of the team have mainly been working on the single player "story" mode, which is our short-form roguelike-like-like mode, which is almost finished.

The league system will enter testing with you guys hopefully by the first week of November. Features currently in:

- Start a league with 1 - 32 players.
- Various league formats, including all-play-all, knockout, all-play-all followed by knockout - more formats to come
- Any game mode/map for each "stage", including the option to have the same seed for each "round" of a stage
- League messageboards
- Fun "betting" system where the game calculates odds based on players' world rankings and gives you various "betting lines"
- Option to earn upgraded robots based on how you play in matches
- Option to include the AI teams (more for "co-op" play with 1 or 2 friends)
- You can create an "open" league which will accept new players (optional password) up to an optional limit. The league creator can "activate" the league and start it at any time, closing entries.

The system has been designed with a lot of input from Neofelis, so hopefully it has what you guys need - any feedback very welcome. The system is designed to not require you to wait until everyone has finished their matches in round x before letting you play round x + 1, but it does only let you play one league match at once.


What we're still planning:

- Robot market to buy new players with currency earnt by playing matches/betting (NO NOT REAL LIFE MONEY)
- Ability to kick out players who aren't playing fast enough
- Shorter timeout limits
- daily leagues


Our tentative launch date is Febuary 5th, with a fully-featured final final final beta on December 19th. We'll be looking to get a lot of testing from you guys in November and December - the league system will need it.

I know it's been quiet the last two months, but we really are almost there, and the next update is a big one. Thanks for sticking with us.

Ian
M1N1M3
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Re: Update

Post by M1N1M3 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:09 pm

Thanks for the update. The tournament system sounds awesome. It definitely looks like you got all the feature requests in there.

I do have a question though;
The system is designed to not require you to wait until everyone has finished their matches in round x before letting you play round x + 1, but it does only let you play one league match at once.
Could you elaborate as to why? It seems like in a round-robin format, the ability to play multiple games at once makes sense. I suppose it has to do with turn timeouts?

Apart from that I'm extremely excited about this update. The forums seem to have quietened down recently, but hopefully this will generate some hype.
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Omroth
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Re: Update

Post by Omroth » Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:34 pm

Hey M1N1M3, cheers for the response.

The answer to that is a bit complicated, and there isn't really one overriding reason. It's allowed me to do quite a few things better or easier than otherwise, and I do think it's nice to have a more linear flow to the leagues.

I am concerned that it will lead to leagues taking longer, but I want to see how it plays out.

The "Commissioner" of a league will be able to force the ending of a match if he needs to.

Ian
Ankon
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Re: Update

Post by Ankon » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:37 pm

Thanks for the news :)
The league system sounds very nice on paper, the 'open league' format sounds very interesting as does the idea of having a 'commissioner' for the league .
Nice to see singleplayer is nearly done too, with all the ideas you have been posting about it it could be really fun.
Cheers.
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Neofelis
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Re: Update

Post by Neofelis » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:22 pm

Everything sounds great (for a reason 8)), but I too would prefer being able to play matches simultaneously, since that does make the leagues go faster. However, I can imagine that in an all-play-all league with 32 players you wouldn't want all of them at once, so you'd at least need to make it so that the match timer doesn't start until both players have committed a turn, so that's another thing you'd need to consider while coding. I could survive with only one match at a time (a reason to participate in more tournaments!), so it's not the end of the world.

I think it would also be useful for the participants to be able to leave the tournament themselves without needing to be kicked and also to flag matches for the Commissioner so they can more easily notice players who haven't shown up for a while.
wonderhero
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Re: Update

Post by wonderhero » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:41 am

I was expecting to read something like "we have fixed all BUGs and we bought a powerful server to be able to serve many online players".

Now the famous Frozen Synapse is almost forgotten, abandoned. The big reasons the players left this game are:

1. The bugs that frequently occur. I'm not talking about BUGs that occurs rarely. Every update brings new big BUGs because you don't test the game enough, properly. Players are sick and tired of this problem. That's why last month it was a big quiet on this forum until you wrote something. Ask yourself why ?
I'm glad to test beta, alpha, final beta etc, but if I meet the same big bug every game then it's clear for me that you didn't test anything.

2. The incapability of server to process the new tasks in time if more than 500 players are online. Players don't have patience to wait 3 minutes till the current turn is processed or the current interface window is refreshed. Even with 100 online players I have to wait a while till my wished page is refreshed. Have you fixed this problem ?

I have a bad feeling that the Frozen Cortex will have the same problems as Frozen Synapse still have.


If you really want to do something about the motivation/aim of people to play this game beside pleasure or just for funny then the multiplayer league is not enough. Dedicated players we'll create sites and forums for tournaments anyway.

The ranking system still needs improvement. Top players can still froze their ranking positions by stop playing. They should disappear from ranking table or lose Elo points after one month of inactivity.
If the ranking table/list would be divided in more subdivisions/lists then all players would have more aims. Such like "to achieve the top of their division (class)". Ok is hard for me to achieve elite division but I want to be in top of beginner/rookie/veteran or bronze/silver/gold/diamond division and so on. Every player would have an accessible aim.

Now only experienced players have the aim to achieve top position and this is not easy. The newbie players lost this hope. The Tournaments haves rules, deadline, timeout etc. Only a very small part of players will enjoy tournament. You have to give them an accessible and unconditional aim.
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Omroth
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Re: Update

Post by Omroth » Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:57 am

Wonderhero, when did you last see a problem with 500 users online? When we did the Steam free weekend recently we had > 1000 and it was fine, due to investment in a proper server upgrade. The server was completely rewritten about 18 months ago, and we've been tweaking it ever since.

As for the bugs - if we release with bugs existing that you've flagged up that are bad, then you have every right to lambast me. But not now when we don't even have a final beta.

Ian
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Paul
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Re: Update

Post by Paul » Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:11 am

Sorry to hear you feel like that - a specific list of what you see as critical FS bugs would definitely be of interest.

Like Ian, I'm surprised to hear that there are any server issues at this point but that's something to look at.
Paul Kilduff-Taylor

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wonderhero
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Re: Update

Post by wonderhero » Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:14 pm

Investment in a proper server upgrade ? It's new for me. I will tell my friends about it to come back to FS in this case.

Maybe years passed to fast for my mind and I'm behind now with news and I apology for that. I really can't remember not even once to be able to refresh a FS list (window) faster when more than 500 players was online. I will check this any time I login FS and I will write about it if something is wrong.
Omroth wrote:As for the bugs - if we release with bugs existing that you've flagged up that are bad, then you have every right to lambast me. But not now when we don't even have a final beta.
As tester I'm expecting to find rare bugs, those that you couldn't find in your tests, those that occurs once in at least 10 consecutive matches, not each match.
Bug like this viewtopic.php?f=38&t=10350 I met in every consecutive new match after last update.

As testers we need to play a "tournament" for entertainment because finding bugs is not a nice thing. But if players find the same bug in every match then we can't start a tournament because they will give up quickly like they already did in last one.
Also in last tournament players was afraid that the next update will make our unfinished matches to be unplayable so most of them gave up too.
Don't lose testers, you need them before final release.


Another big problem I met in a tournament (especially FS) is that players couldn't communicate to each other except on a specific forum that is not the right solution.
Players needs to communicate in game no matter if their opponents are offline or not. For sample I need to let a message to say that I have to go in a place without internet for some days or I can't finish that match in a specific time etc
Many times I want to discuss details about a specific turn letting an offline message that he can read when he is online. Now even if my opponent is online but not in my game I can't communicate with him if he is not on IRC.
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Paul
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Re: Update

Post by Paul » Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:35 pm

Really do appreciate the patience on Cortex bugs, especially some that have been hanging around.

If you feel like there are any FS bugs you need to alert us to as well then do still do that.

We'd like to do a better messaging system in FS - we know that offline messaging is lacking - that's all I can say on this at the moment.

I'm sorry that you've had problems and like I said, it's massively appreciated that you've stuck with Cortex as a tester for such a long time. We're going to work massively hard on fixing bugs at the right time for release - I can promise you that.
Paul Kilduff-Taylor

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Noonzilla
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Re: Update

Post by Noonzilla » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:33 pm

wonderhero wrote:If the ranking table/list would be divided in more subdivisions/lists then all players would have more aims. Such like "to achieve the top of their division (class)". Ok is hard for me to achieve elite division but I want to be in top of beginner/rookie/veteran or bronze/silver/gold/diamond division and so on. Every player would have an accessible aim.
This is gold by the way. I hope this gets implemented.
oddvox
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Re: Update

Post by oddvox » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:15 pm

Thanks for the update guys. Look forward to putting in some more time with the game soon
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