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MattScott

The State of the Game (Updated 06/15/2018)

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Hi everyone,

 

Edit: 06/02/2018

 

It's now been about 3 weeks, and I want to take some time to speak directly to the Fallen Earth players.

 

First, I know there have been lots of questions asked on the forums. I have spent some time reading many of these, and I found them intricate, well written, and virtually impossible for me to answer right now for reasons that I'll explain below. I also want to acknowledge the many players who have reached out to me offering help or detailed walkthrus of some of the issues plaguing the game. That kind of detail helps. I've been in-game a little messing around with specific mechanics to familiarize myself with some of what has been talked about, and I'll continue to get up to speed.

 

Second, I don't have a long term plan or roadmap for the game yet. I'm still in the investigation phase.

 

So instead I thought I would write a short post to talk about where we're at and what we have to work with, because I think that will guide how we proceed.

 

The codebase for Fallen Earth is split into three parts:

- The original Icarus engine and tool set used to build and maintain the world

- The Frontend client / updater

- The Backend servers

 

Let's start with the Icarus Engine and tools.

 

Unfortunately, there is some code missing here. We have one developer who has been slowly reverse engineering the missing pieces just so we can get the tools back up and running. There has been some progress, and we obviously have the output from the engine, which is what the servers operate on. So in theory the tools could be entirely replaced some day. But the editor itself doesn't work right now.

 

Next the Frontend client.

 

We have all the code, and it is theoretically possible for us to patch the game or the updater. However this code is significantly old. It requires tools that are more than a decade in age, installations of old libraries, and very customized windows installs to even build everything. It is a matter of time before current operating systems wont be able to run this client. We need to think ahead and start migrating to something much newer and maintained. This means a complete rewrite using the framework of what has been built as a roadmap. 

 

The challenge is that we also don't have any of the source art files. No 3DSMax files. No PSDs. No high rez textures at all. We have reached out to the original dev team to see if we can get these, but in their absence, we will need to create these files from the data that ships with the game. This is not at all ideal, since these files have all been compressed or down rezed to work. But it will at least be a starting point, and it will give us an idea of scope for the art, so we can assess how extensive it will be to rebuild.

 

Lastly the Backend client.

 

This is in the best shape. The developer who is currently assigned to the project has been able to piece everything together so that each server can be rebuilt and redeployed. I think this is where we can make the most short term improvement to the game by fixing bugs and exploits. Ultimately we will still want to migrate these systems into whatever the new framework is so they can be more easily maintained.

 

Where do we go from here?

 

Please don't read this as Little Orbit giving up, or even us being discouraged. I knew most of this before we took over GamersFirst. I just want to share where we are at, and that it's going to take some time to provide a clear roadmap of how we're going to rebuild. From there, we can look at the design and possible changes down the road.

 

I am still looking to schedule some time to answer as many questions as I can with players. I'll have Lixil post that update when we get a little closer.

 

Edit: 06/15/2018

 

This week was E3, so I didn't get a lot of time on Fallen Earth.

 

We have been able to extract the compiled game issues from the main data file.

 

We have been able to get about 40% through re-organizing all the C++ code. The main problem was that several core libraries were copied and included several times. It's impossible to know which version is the most up-to-date, but it's clear they aren't all the same. So we've started moving everything into a new repository with each library referenced and only included once. We still have to do this for all the server code and some of the front end code, but we were able to get some of the tools recompiling this way.

 

Thanks,
Matt

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Im writing this on the behalf of all the APB people being bamboozled by the admin tracker. rip

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Thank you for this State of the Game posting. It is the first in a very long time. Going on three years if it hasn't reached that point already.

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Thank you for taking the time to tell us the issues your team is facing currently with FE. It is very much appreciated.

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I'm glad you were finally able to touch on this game. I haven't played this game in ages, but right now its still pretty unique. It does sound like you are in quite the pickle with a lot of rebuilding to do.

Edited by EventideOne

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Thank you very much for posting current State of the Game Matthew, it's very much appreciated.

Edited by Lukasocz

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This is good to see. Proper state of where you are with no actual promises and what you have to cleanup to get into a potential position. Hopefully this sort of thing continues.

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17 hours ago, Rolpack said:

Im writing this on the behalf of all the APB people being bamboozled by the admin tracker. rip

Some of us play both! FE can be a lot of fun, albeit it is dated. Closest i think anyone got to a Fallout MMO.

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Thank you so much for the honest update, Matt. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you, but it also sounds like you are up to the task. APB and FE are two diamonds in the rough, absolutely unique games that never saw their full potential. Congratulations on acquiring them. and best of luck making them shine. ❤️

 

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Thank you so much for the State of the Game, our first one in much too long.

I understand the degree of what is wrong and/or missing must be a bit overwhelming but please keep going forward. Fallen Earth is just so unique, there really is nothing out there that gives a player what this one does.

Despite all that is wrong, the loyal fan base that has persisted for a decade now has got to say something. 

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So refreshing to have a dev that keeps the community in the loop. Thank you. I look forward to many more years wandering the FE wasteland.

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i have no idea about informatics or game codes you listed or what talk about, but its clear new orbit is very profesional company.

 

New orbit treat games with love and passion, making comunity being a part of game .

 

much thanks  to save our favourite game!!

 

 

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Thanks for the updates. You’re doing more in a single post than the old team in months. Well done, my wallet can soon open up to you.

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Thanks fo the update.

 

For me, there are some priority "bugfixes":

- Random DC of players:

with the login issues after (maybe the client is not sending the "keep-alive" packets or something like that, because seems to be the client what lose the connection)*

 

- Dupe related bug:

Remove the weight limit temporaly or change the weight of the items to 0,0001 like others. Crafters can be gratefully with this "fix"

 

With this two fixes, the people can wait at least 6 months more before complaining again, they are been playing like that for five years.

 

*P.D.

Related to the connection,

my game is using  "Frontend  (<-- the game wich is normal), System & svchost proceses with admin rights" to connect after the updater,

This is causing issues with the firewalls, because you make the rules for "frontend" but this proces isn't the only one needed to get the connection.

Other games only need the client executable to work or at least the executables are on the game directory, like the updater.

I don't understand why a game has to use system proceses with admin rights.

Edited by rufino
Info about the connection

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Thank you for the update. I am really glad to see that you are giving this game a good deal of thought and investigation and i also feel that in the three weeks since LO took over, we have seen more interaction with the community and information to the players than we ever did with the old team. :)

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Thank you Matt for the update,it is highly appreciated this game is taken to some proper hands finally :)!we will wait patiently as the road ahead is having many things to be fixed/cleared!good luck to the dev team fixing !

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As for art:

Community can help! Some of us can surely contribute with remade model or even designing new stuff to replace the old. For now, art is least concern. That spaghetti code client need refreshing.

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Hi Matt,

 

Great news. Being a game developer myself i have always wondered what the tools and backend were like.

 

I had no idea that the most fundamental thing such as the toolset is currently broken. Thats painful and will hinder development eh.

 

Not having direct access to art isnt so huge a problem IF the toolset (once fixed) can leverage what art is currently in the game as there is a LOT of art you can reuse to make new content.

 

If the editors can create new npcs and items using current models, you should have no problem with pumping out new stuff once you get to grips with the other infrastucture.

 

I have played fallen earth since early closed alpha. I would love for you to contact me directly by email so we could have a one to one. I feel i have a few insights that would be extremely useful for you. Not sure if you will see this or if you can even post up emails.

 

Exile.online@yahoo.com

 

Please reach out to me if you can.

 

Regards 

Prometheus

Edited by Prometheus2011
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