Dev Notes: From the Trenches (Oct 4st 2021)

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Mini Militia Classic Alpha Force

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Oct 5, 2021, 12:23:26 AM10/5/21
to Mini Militia Classic Alpha Force
Hey all,

Here's a detailed update on the final task of Alpha Phase 2... "moving item spawn management to the server". Testing of this on LAN went really good today. For such a huge change under the hood we thought this would be really broken out of the gate, it's wasn't bad! Nothing we can't tweak before this next update. So we're setting up a server tonight to move the dev testing to the next level. Wish us luck, something tells me we're gonna need it.  This success will determine how soon the next update comes out. Without further ado, lets get into it...

Thanks,
Hunter
P.S. Much thanks to our comms officer for pulling this info out of us while we worked.

REPORTED ISSUES
Map Loading - We think we have narrowed down the map initialization error that is causing players to be put into different maps while in the same game. The whole game startup needs to be revised to fix this (and more). We will look at implementing this fix after the v0.5.0 release proves to be stable (as in after any urgent bug fixes or a
need to roll back because the new code just doesn't work yet).

No Damage -  These sightings involve a player suddenly being unable to do damage to others but taking damage themselves. We are still looking for more data about this occurrence. We need to know:
1) Does this problem affect everyone or just you?
2) Are you running a mod? Your mod could be triggering the servers to think you are cheating.
3) Send us a video of the no damage issue happening and make note of the situation when the bug started. Video of the game BEFORE the bug starts is valuable.
4) Can you repeat it?
5) Does a specific loadout trigger it?
When we get to hardening the systems we expect to have a better clue as to why you specifically were affected by this and what values went out of range will be logged. We simply aren't there yet on this part of the system and we didn't expect for it to be popping off like it is doing (at random). Once we have added better logging, the server will
include WHY you were shutdown. That should get interesting.

CURRENT STATUS
No New Visible Content - The next few releases are slated to NOT have any new visible changes. If all goes well this update should be very disappointing to players who were hoping for more. However, it could be exciting for those who want the chance to see code explode in an epic and unexpected way. We're working on a lot of system upgrades and moving client managed data over for the servers to handle. These are important steps to have implemented for us to do future content releases. Our end goal is to be able to offer a variety of new content (game modes, maps, and maybe items) from the server and not have to do a client update. This is HUGE for us but it also means very boring updates for the players while we work on building and testing these
new systems.

Move Weapon/Item Spawn Management to the Server - We have begun
internal testing and expect it to last through most of this week if no issues arise. We
need to find and resolve as many bugs as we can before putting the changes out as a release. When this next release goes out, there is going to be a list of things we need testers to look for as well as general anomalies. So we ask you to pay special attention to the Dev Notes for the possible issues to look out for. An ideal situation is players see no change to how weapons and items behave in the game.

Custom Maps Players - Spawning will be handled by the servers now, but not in a way that can be customized yet. It's not very flexible and it is not going to look at the spawn points set on the custom maps or weapon spawns. The server uses its own awareness of the map, NOT the host, to determine where spawns are going to happen and it tries to spawn players away from enemy activity and mines, etc. Unfortunately the next release will break even more aspects of the custom maps (weapons/items). We want players to be able to create and use custom maps so we will fix this/figure out a way, we just aren't yet certain of how that will be done yet and how fast.


WHAT IS NEXT?
Leaderboards and Seasons - September's leaderboard season has ended and will be calculated so we can go check out those old leaderboards. In the next phase (Beta 0), we will revisit leaderboards and add the per game averages boards. This is data we are already collecting and just haven't been able to show you all yet. The next season is likely
to run through October 31st. Quick Play games are currently set to have a 10k per game spend limit. We're considering dropping the cap to 5k. If we make the change, we will cut this season in half so the data is clean and easy to calculate. If you have any thoughts on what the battle coin spend limit should be in Quick Play, let us know.

Subscriptions (also known as elite, battle, or season passes in other AAA titles) - We've been brainstorming and writing down ideas of what all could be offered as a part of the MMC subscriptions. The plan is to create 3 tiers of services players can subscribe to. They will increase in perks to go with an increase in price so the most expensive features to implement will have the highest monthly subscription cost to cover expenses. We don't have a pricing model yet, we're still researching this, but we want to make it affordable.

Below are some of our ideas. They are listed in no particular order and we haven't committed them to any particular tier yet. Some of these are on our wishlist, meaning we don't have this capability right now, but would like to be able to offer some day. Also, it won't be possible for us to have all of these ready in time for public launch.
Please look over this list and tell us:
1) What are your top 5 from this list?
2) What else could we offer that isn't listed here? (We're looking for clever "nice to have" features that enhance some aspect of the joy this game can bring to you)
3) What price range do you suggest for the 3 tiers?

Subscription Ideas (NOT FINAL; NOT COMPLETE)
- Remove ads
- Battlecoin discounts on loadout/item purchases (5%, 10%, 25%)
- Special name plate/medal
- Highlighted name
- Verified (unique) name
- Subscriber custom leaderboards
- View full profiles of other players
- Daily rewards (similar to v5 battle pass)
- Clan creation
- Can sponsor private Clan server
- Private servers
- Can host a tournament
- Voting power in the next "Fan Picked Feature" (FPF voting to be
discussed later)
- Double XP and/or battle coin days
- Launching servers in a region that may not have enough players to
keep a dedicated server alive in
- Have access to non-meta affecting features in game that non-subs do
not have access to (like up to the minute data lookups, advanced
stats, etc.)
- Host games and share those advanced features (maybe something like
voice capability (MAYBE, and not before launch), etc.)
- Earlier access to game modes, items, avatars, etc.

Things we are not keen on considering and will be an uphill battle selling us on, but we will hear you out:
- Anything that gates/blocks access to any meta affecting element (in game power that is not widely accessible via other means is not something I want to even consider.)
- Gating access to primary game features. The goal is to make things accessible though they may be harder to get. You might have to get a lot of ad sponsor tokens, or burn a lot of coins, but we don't want to put things out of reach that are a core function of the game. We will gate "nice to haves" and some things that are simply a huge power
drain to manage.

Our monetization strategy hopes to be simple and its still developing. It will be a hybrid approach that does not lean towards game imbalance, while rewarding long term/returning players and lessening the grind demands over time. Our monetization will use a combination of ad based revenue (that is expected to eventually grow to cover the cost of infrastructure), in app purchases (like one-time consumables, gifting, etc.), and then subscriptions will subsidize the difference (if any) and be used to further develop the game (revenue proceeds and players willing.)

We expect the discussion will be ongoing and evolve. We're going to try and appeal to a wide variety of people as we grow this segment of our game ecosystem. Feedback from you all takes out the guesswork, and we will definitely be taking this plan in small steps, so please share your opinion with us along the way. Its the only way we'll know your thoughts before launch.

Discord Discussions - Just a reminder we have two Discord servers available to converse about MMClassic content.
Appsomniacs Official (https://discord.gg/d6A2UjwA25) - We will start a thread about subscription ideas and you can offer comments here.
Mess Hall (https://discord.gg/98M93UMrhV) - Has voice chat channels available for game play.


LATEST ROADMAP:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1KBRgRIe8z0duhetJY1RHmqu-XL1_HLrX

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