What about alpha 2?

Okay, I think that by now everyone knows I am feature-complete for alpha 2 (except for tokens, which may or may not appear in time for alpha 2; probably not). So where is the build?

The truth is that there’s still a lot of work to do:

  • With the new release comes a brand new website. Some admins are working on it. Why do I have to wait on the website to publish alpha 2? See below.
  • I want to be able to push updates more often. Alpha 2 is very playable, and I’d like to push the missing pieces one at a time and not wait for 6 months like I did between alpha 1 and 2. Of course, to auto-update one needs a well-defined place to get the software. Hence the need for the website.
  • Alpha 2 being unlocked, you will be able to play any game you want. This implies that alpha 2 will get a lot of attention (trust me on that, I was amazed by the attention alpha 1 got, even though only Blue Moon was playable). This will generates tons of comments and feedback. The blog is not the good place for this to happen. So hopefully the new forums will be good.
  • I still have to do a final round of private testing with my favorite personnal tester (namely Fork). I don’t want to push too many bugs in the wild. Some people are very easy on the criticism (I know you aren’t).
  • Depending on the final tests, between 0 and 2 weeks of bug fixing will be required.
  • Because alpha 2 is unlocked, I can foresee that the big mess will begin. Incompatible software updates as I work my way to 2.0 release, different people creating the same game, and even udpates to games. I have to find a way to keep versionning manageable. Not sure how I’ll do that. But if it is unlocked, it has to have a solution to versionning.
  • Finally I made a choice, which may not be so wise. I am currently using .NET 3.5 SP1, which is in beta. The good news is that it is full of goodies. The bad is that I don’t want to push the beta unto you, and I don’t know when it’s going to be released. Official wording is “this summer”.

So to sum up. The checklist for alpha 2 release is: website + auto-update + tests + versionning + .NET 3.5 SP1. I’ll post progress in this blog, of course.

One last thing you may want to know. I get my well-deserved holidays in July. From July, 1st, I am leaving for three weeks. I go to a remote island. There’s no electricity, even less internet. So there no work will be done and no news posted during this period.

It is highly unlikely that everything gets completed in the next two weeks. So I’d say alpha 2 release should occur beginning of August.

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21 Comments on “What about alpha 2?”


  1. Jod, take your time. But please use this time to make sure one last thing is possible.

    Please please make sure it’s possible to build a submodule for MTG that lets us play the Cube format with OCTGN.

    The cube is the greatest MTG variant ever created. It’s a multiplayer draft composed of 500 of the most broken cards ever printed. And it’s insanely fun.

    A cube is basically a stack of the 500 most broken cards in MTG. Everyone drafts cards from the cube and builds a deck based on it.

    It’s honestly the best mtg variant I’ve ever played. Please make a module to support the cube on OCTGN.

    All you have to do is let us make a stack of a huge number of cards, and have the program autopack them into random draft packs. Then it can supported the same way a regular draft is on OCTGN.

    If that is possible in alpha 2 then the Cube will be supported.

    Read the rules here…

    http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/9975.html

    Some more chatter about it here…

    http://forums.starcitygames.com/viewtopic.php?t=303767

    Thank you so much for your time and hardwork.

  2. Indy Says:

    I say take your time and don’t cave to the community pressure (we’ll still be here even if alpha 2 doesn’t come until ’09). I’ve released desktop apps to the public in the past, and it’s always a nightmare (even moreso if you jump the gun on preparations).

    Like they say, all good things to those who wait.

  3. Cuken Says:

    I have some ideas on the solution for different game releases. If you want to shoot me over an email, I have them all written out. Whatever you decide to do, I can’t wait for the release! In case we don’t hear from you, have a great time on your vacation.

  4. Matthew Says:

    Meow, don’t forget to get a neighbor to feed your animals and pick up your mail!

  5. Giz Says:

    In advance, have nice holidays ^_^
    And thank you for both the work and the news about it 🙂

  6. Kempeth Says:

    I still have to do a final round of private testing with my favorite personnal tester (namely Fork)
    I guess Fork will get many offers for beer the next few weeks… 😉

    Thanks for this info.

    About different game modules for the same games. How does the program determine which modules can play together?

  7. roblethal Says:

    looking good jods. can’t wait to check it out in August. If you still have my email, drop me a line if you need something.

  8. Rix Says:

    Thanks for the warning ! I’d rather be told I’ll have to wait than being disappointed by a delay ! 😛 😀

    Have some nice holidays and keep up the good work !

  9. Kirb Says:

    Enjoy your holiday~

  10. Philip Says:

    I’m not a programmer, but I wish I was so I could help you do this, but is there anyway to program OCTGN to work for intel Macs?

  11. Kempeth Says:

    Philip, if there is a working implementation of .NET 3.5 on a platform then it should work. Considering that it will be released in Summer chances it will take a while for folks to update MONO and other such projects.

    Until then it’s either dualboot or using a compatibility layer.

  12. Nok1 Says:

    Sounds awesome, I can’t wait!

    You haven’t gotten back to me for quite some time about me helping you on the project (I sent you an email a while back), so if you’re still needing some help programming anything send me an email. I have some extra free time during the summer as well.

  13. Ryan A. Span Says:

    Hello,

    I’m Ryan Span, an author and game designer. I’d like to get in touch with the OCTGN creator in order to discuss a commercial venture with a possible OCTGN version, but I’ve found no contact details anywhere. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Ryan

  14. Kempeth Says:

    Ryan, you could register at octgn.org and send him a pm through the system or he might contact you when he reads this.

  15. Oen Says:

    Ryan I doubt you will have much success. Just that if this program becomes commercial like you want it will go against the whole purpose of it. Also you open yourself up for lots of lawsuits since it is used to emulate copyrighted card games (it would probably fall into a legal grey area, but why risk it?).

  16. Kempeth Says:

    Well if it’s a special version locked to a specific game to which Ryan holds the copyright or at least an appropriate license that should not be a problem. I personally see other problems. Mainly the work required. For a commercial version jods would need to develop a dedicated server software, a shop or at least an interface to one, a way to verify the user actually has the cards he wants to play with, etc…

    Given the normal version isn’t even finished yet it might probably be a while before he can start with a commercial client.

  17. Kempeth Says:

    One day and it’s August… I’m exited! The International month of OCTGN 2…

  18. jods Says:

    @Philip:
    I friend of mine had success running a WPF app in Parallels. You can try with OCTGN (I haven’t). Other than that, until Mono catches up with Microsoft WPF is a Windows-only technology.
    I know Fork has success playing in a similar setup on a Linux box, so it may be possible…

    @Nok1:
    Sorry, I’ve checked my mails and I don’t seem to have any mail from you hanging… Maybe it went to the spam folder and I missed it. Can you send it again?

    @Ryan:
    I sent you a mail.

    @Kempeth:
    hehe… we’ll see. I will make a new post soon. For now it’s August 1st and that’s the national day here. (I let you lookup the country).

  19. jods Says:

    To the writer of the “Cube” comment:
    Sorry for the anti-spam filter! I saw you tried countless times to post… Because you put two links inside your comment, the anti-spam filter put it in the moderation queue. I’ve restored it.

    As for your request: I would like to make every format playable. But certainly not for alpha 2. This is not even a beta, so I focus on core functionnalities. There’s no draft, no sealed, yet. So don’t expect Cube! But later, surely…

    Thanks for the suggestion, I didn’t know this format, it sounds cool!

  20. Play Emperor via OCTGN Says:

    It’s now well past the start of August, it’s almost the end of August.
    And NET 3.5 is out already. Any word on when beta this will be ready?

  21. jods Says:

    I’ll probably make a new post soon.

    The fact is that I didn’t work at all on OCTGN since I came back from holiday. So you should rather look for a September release.


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