So this is more of a 'State of Bombdog' as I haven't been working on M.A.V. and instead have been working on the new Bombdog Studios website. This work is tied directly to M.A.V. though, as it is set to bring a proper user profile system both the game and the website.

The goal is to have a nice looking site that is HIGHLY functional for existing players, but also presents information to new users in a better, easier to digest, way.

Enough talking, here are some in-development pictures!

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New about page:

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And a home page sample:

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So, first things, there is a lot more white! I wanted to go with something clean so that images and text can stand out and capture attention instead of competing with all the background elements.

More so, other than design, I have been working on a better user system and integrating all aspects of the site into a single sign on. Currently I have tests linking the game login to the web and store login, which at least gets 1 step farther than the current site. This means you can comment on blog posts and interact with the site with the same login as your game login. I also have a website side counter part to the achievements system and am setting up a system to allow that information to be embedded into other sites, so you can display your stats anywhere you want.

Next big step is getting a forum system integrated while making sure I have all the core features of the current message board.

After that, there are 2 big technical hurdles to launching the site. 1 is migrating the server and DNS, so that I can make use of the faster and cheaper server host I have the test site on. The second big hurdle is finding a user friendly way of migrating all the current users to the new user system. Neither one of these is a HUGE deal, but will take time to solve.

That is all for this week! Go post your site feedback to the message board!

Posted on May 19, 2015

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Welcome to another State of the Game!

In this past week, I released a long awaited snapshot build! You can read the full release notes here

Now that the snapshop build is live I have turned my full attention to rebuilding the website and online services part of the game. As a start, I put a Wiki up and users are already adding tons of great information to it! I have the new site up and running and have a good layout picked. I am adding content and planning out all the core elements. This includes a more dynamic homepage, a better designed 'About' section, and a fully redone store. 

While all this sounds amazing, there are still some significant technical challenges. For starters, I will be migrating server hosts, as my sever host, while reliable, can not provide the server power at a reasonable cost [when I first launched the dev site on the same server, it crashed the whole server]. I have secured a host that is significantly faster and  about 1/3rd the month cost, which is nice! 

Also, there is the  significant hurdle of migrating accounts. The ultimate goal will be to have a unified account for the store, the game, and the forums. Right now, these all use a completely different account system and will have to be merged. At the very LEAST, the shop and game will be merged.

That is all for this week! By next week I hope to have some screenshots and a possible beta version of the site. See you then!

Posted on May 13, 2015

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Welcome back to another exciting week in development!

This week I have been making a strong push to get a snapshot build out. I am needing to add a UI screen to the garage to display to display the current players profile.

This will allow you to see simple things, like lifetime stats, earned achievements, and your current player rank. As the back-end portion of data expands, so will the player profile.

While this process has taken me MUCH longer than I had hoped it would, I do have to remind myself that I am 1 person basically recreating Xbox Live or Steam. So while the next snapshot might be slightly underwhelming do to the length of time it took, it has a significant amount of backend work in it!
 

Speaking of which, the backend is only have the battle, the other half being the frontend or website in this case. Sadly, it is painfully obvious that the current developer can NOT build the website he said he could and that means he was a huge waste of time and money. After dealing with this through 2 companies and spending nearly a whole year trying to find someone to do it and do it right, I give up and will be doing a new website myself.

I will be doing this after the next snapshot, that way all the systems are in place to make the following snapshot switch to the beta site. I will then develop the game and site together in tandem, and when the next stable build is ready the new site will go live.

I am not really looking forward to this, but the old saying, 'If you want something done right, do it yourself' is really coming into play at this point.

Well that is all for this week! See you in game! 

Posted on May 6, 2015

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Welcome to the weekly State of the Game!

This week I have been focused on the 'account leveling' system. This is the general earning of XP and having it increase your overall account level. Account level will be used in all different ways, including unlocking new parts for siege and arena mode games. Campaign mode will have different methods of getting parts, based on the economy of the overall world. 

Currently there are 100 account levels, which I feel should keep any completionist busy for some time, though not forever. It's also very easy to increase the max level, though I don't want to have parts only available to the highest levels that take forever to unlock. In general, the goal is to have 80% of the parts available at level 50 which is actually at about 25% of the way to level 100 [it's a quadratic scale].

So far, there are a few things that will earn you XP, including getting a kill, destroying a part, and winning a siege or arena game. In general, a player should be able to progress from level 1 to level 2 in 2 games [or 1 really good arena game], and going from level 50 to 51 will take about 75 games. Level 99 to level 100 will be approximately 150 games. This means going from level 1 to 100 will take several thousand games, something that is not completely out of reach.

In addition to part unlocks, the overall account level will be useful in doing any kind of automated match making and allow people to get an idea of a players skill when they meet.

Now that this system is in, I am looking to move on to providing a UI to the entire player profile now. This means achievement notifications, showing XP gained, and making the profile button in the garage do something. All good things to get done this coming week!

Posted on April 29, 2015

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Welcome back to another epic State of the Game!

This week was almost entirely lost to me having to go do a bunch of manual labor. You see, when I moved to Germany, I owned a house. Unfortunately, it would have been impossible to sell at the time, do to the 'Great Recession'. So, the house was put up for rent and a group of people moved in and lived there for the next 3 years.

Sadly, this group of people turned out to not be a great group. Even though I never raised the rent or ever did anything to prevent them from using the house as their own, they made the choice to neglect and destroy the home.

This past week I spent nearly 5 days, working 18 hours a day, along with my fantastic neighbors, trying to repair all the damage they causes.  Even though I only worked on it for 5 days, I was so tired and worn out that I didn't get much chance to work on M.A.V.. 

There is a silver lining though!

I don't have to ever worry about it again and I can now get rid of the house and all the headaches it has caused!

But, now I am back and in the next week I am hoping to wrap up the base amount of achievements, get a basic player profile UI in the game, and a new snapshot build out!

See you next week! 

Posted on April 22, 2015

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