Server Fixes, New Pets & Capes

Today I've been working on the February update of Eterspire. I did quite a lot of things so let's see...

Server Crashes

One of the main issues we ran into once the game released is that the server would crash every a few hours, due to a mysterious encoding error. Apparently, some user would send characters that Python, running on Windows, didn't know how to process and it would just blow up.

We couldn't find which character was causing this issue, so we caught the exception an moved on. The server has been stable so far, but I won't really trust it until it's proven its worth.

What this error made is realize is that we weren't logging errors to a file that we could later check when debugging problems. If the console crashed, the traceback logs were gone. Fixing this was an easy task, since we were logging the server output with tee, so logging the errors was just a matter of piping both the standard error and the standard output to the same output: 2>&1 | tee -a ServerLog.txt

Easy as pie, server stable and errors saved.

New Pets

Eterspire is an MTX-supported game. We need money to continue working on it, let's face it. But we've worked hard to make it non-pay-to-win, so I believe it's a good tradeoff for players. One of the things we sell in-game is pets. Today, I've been working on new ones.

First, there's this giant, jelly speckling, that bubbles and follows you slowly from afar. If you time your movement, you can even sit inside it. It's super cute and it's currently my favorite pet in the game!

I've also introduced the Speckling party, which is actually a speckling conga line that follows you around.

There's also a giant basilisk and a Damasc party, all very cute.

Designing the following algorithm for the giant pets wasn't easy. The current one assumes the pet is small and that it will follow you closely, so half of the pet would go through your character. It looked super messy. However, the implementation for the multipets such as the speckling party did help with this. Every speckling follows each other, so the last speckling is rather away from you. What I ended up doing, is adding an "invisible pet" between you and the giant pets, so that the giant pet follows this invisible pet that, in turn, follows you, so it stays at a distance from your character. All happy, Wi-Fi connection!

Excellent Capes

One of the most underwhelming moments in Eterspire was getting an excellent cape. Excellent items are very hard to come across, so getting a cape, which doesn't yield any bonuses, was a frustrating experience for many players. Excellent capes will no longer drop, and instead have been moved to the Eterspire Store, at a cheap price.

Android Version

I've set up our Google Play account, and so work on the Android version of the game has begun. I'll keep you updated about how that goes. If everything turns as expected, Eterspire should be out on Android by the end of this month.

Player Stats

We have more concurrent players than ever! We've kept a steady rhythm of 5 concurrent players or more for 8:30 hours today, although the server was down for maintenance for some hours. This is way more than yesterday, and infinitely more than we've had during the whole beta testing period. Hooray!

Today we've also met exactly 40 new users. Yesterday we got exactly 50, which is another round-number coincidence, so the rate today was a little slower.

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