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IfThen Software

Devlog #7: Version Numbers & Grabbing

Posted by , 04 February 2015 - - - - - - · 727 views

Version Number is now Displayed

So, first off: I finished another user story! Within a single day too. Believe it or not, I’ve had a rather bad track record in that department.

While on the livestream, I managed to finish the version number user story. This means that the next release will have a version number in the top-left corner.
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This is helpful mainly to developers and testers. If something is acting strangely, you have a way to make sure you are using the latest version. It also helps with tracking bugs, since you can pin them down to an exact build of the game.

I finished the feature in the expected amount of time. Very unexpected, and I was quite happy about it!

Grabbing… Not Quite as Good

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I worked on one other user story today: Grabbing. Unlike the version number, this one will require more work. This is mainly because I ran into a problem while writing the acceptance tests for it.

Mockolate apparently calls the constructor for each class you mock, but provides null arguments. This is usually fine… Unless you try to use one of those arguments in the constructor. That is exactly what happened while I was coding grabbing.

At first I didn’t even know it was a problem with the mocks. I’ve mentioned this before, but trying to debug a problem within a step definition while using Cuke4AS3 is very difficult. I had to gradually comment the relevant code blocks before I could even figure out which source file and line was causing the error.

This particular problem happened with two classes. The first was the Synchronization class which I created. To make things easier, I simply moved the offending calls into the initialization method.

The other was the Character class. Its constructor was creating a Spritemap using the art asset supplied by an argument. FlashPunk did not take kindly to being given a null graphic, and complained. To fix this problem, I decided to simply use the full Character class and not bother trying to create a mock for it.

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Areum is now Volund - Choosing a new Project Name

Posted by , 24 December 2014 - - - - - - · 499 views

"Areum" is not as Unique as we Hoped

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One of the biggest changes to Areum recently has been a new name.

Choosing a name for a game is always a difficult process, and this one took us a couple of weeks. I consider us fortunate that it didn't take longer!

First off, let me explain the reason why we renamed the 2D MMORPG project. I want to make it clear that everyone on the team loved the name. Unfortunately, it came to my attention that "Areum" is the name of a South Korean idol singer. This might not have been too bad, but when I searched both Twitter and Google, the results were flooded with information about her.

Why Change Names?

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Having your brand obscured by another brand of the same name is never a good thing for a business. For one, it makes it difficult to find information about your brand. If your own pages are as deeply buried as they were for us with the name "Areum", people are likely to just give up looking.

Another issue you run into is that your brand name has very likely already been taken on various social media websites. This was certainly the case for Areum, I am sad to say.

A related "problem" is that people who are looking for the other brand may find yours instead. From a publicity standpoint this might not be so bad: Free advertising, right? But it just increases confusion, and there is no guarantee that people will be interested in both brands.

Choosing a new Name

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So, on to choosing a new name. The three of us drew up lists and lists of potential names, circling the ones we liked the best. But this was only part of the process: For every potential name, I had to check if it was already taken by another game. I also had to make sure that it was it would show up in search results.

But that wasn't all: I also had to make sure that the name did not translate into anything offensive in another language. On that note, I also had to make sure that the name did not translate into another brand.

All of these checks needed to be "fuzzy", which just made things more complicated. In other words, I needed to make sure that I checked variations of the name and possible misspellings. I also had to check words which were phonetically similar.

That last one actually saved us at the last minute more than once! There were several occasions where we thought we had found a good name. However, we then discovered that it sounded like another word with an unfortunate meaning.

Settling on the name Volund

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After two weeks of this, we were no closer to finding a new name for Areum then when we started. That's when someone on the team, I forget who, suggested using the name "Volund".

For those of you who are just joining our community, I need to explain some history real quick. IfThen Software created an MMORPG named "Volund Preview 1" and released it four years ago on April 10th, 2010. After releasing Preview 1, we moved on to other projects. The server was eventually taken down due to limited resources.

A lot of worldbuilding has already been done for the Volund universe, so this would open up a lot of new options. This sealed the deal for us: Volund would be the new name for Areum, the medieval fantasy 2D MMORPG project.

We are all very excited to revisit the Volund universe! There are a lot of cool ideas that we are itching to try out.

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Trello Board is Live

Posted by , 02 September 2014 - - - - - - · 592 views

Areum finally has a Trello board Posted Image

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(click to visit the board)

Trello is a free online task management program: I highly recommend it to anyone who needs to do planning for a project.

Today I finished estimating the tasks for the first pre-production demo of the game. So tomorrow, I should be able to actually start working on them Posted Image I actually did this on the livestream, so you can view the recording if you are interested in the process:
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This update is also over on the official blog at: http://www.ifthensoftware.net/?p=114

Finally: A Progress Update

Posted by , 01 September 2014 - - - - - - · 400 views
MMORPG, Tasks, Planning
I’ve wanted to do this since Friday, so I’m finally writing it up :D I technically don’t have any time left for work today, but I’m making an exception just so that this whole thing actually gets started!

Over the past few days, I’ve been working on the task list for Areum, as well as designing the new movement system. Specifically, I’ve been working on the list of tasks that I need to finish before IfThen Software can release version 0.1.0 of the 1st Real Level Prototype of Areum.
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Boy, there’s more to do than I thought! D: Pictured here are the features (index cards), tasks (sticky notes), and the design for the new movement system. There is also another page of designs under the one shown, for different networking and login related tasks.

To give a quick overview, I have to do the following:
  • New Movement System (designed to reduce the effect of latency)
  • Login Prompt
  • Misc. Informational Screens (for example: “the server is offline”, “the game is too crowded”, etc.)
  • Walking Animations
  • Security Improvements
In total, there is about 12 hours worth of work to be done. But that’s ideal work hours which means that it will probably take a little longer since it is impossible to work at 100% efficiency. Currently, I’m looking to have these finished by the end of the week.

Note that these are all things *I* need to complete: Jake, who normally handles content related tasks, has already finished all of the work he needs to do for this first release. So, I am feeling slightly swamped o_o I’m just recovering from a cold as well, which didn't help productivity at all. Back in full swing now though!
I also posted this over on the official company blog if anyone wants to check that out as well :) http://www.ifthensoftware.net/?p=108

Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.327

Posted by , 14 February 2013 - - - - - - · 825 views

Download: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.327

Account passwords are now encrypted, and we've changed the storage system for account data. Because of this, all current accounts had to be wiped; this is just a pre-alpha, so hopefully you guys didn't lose too much progress.

We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
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And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0

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