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Vikingo

Release Roadmap for PE 4.1+

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nice to see the bug hunting/killing never stops! B|

 

and I dare to ask, any status on a possible Q1 window release? :ph34r:

 

thanks! 

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We hope to close the beta test in Q1, so, since the second quarter technically starts with April 1st, the release won't happen before that. But we may be forced to delay it until June for the following reasons:

  • ITEC exhibition in May; this requires preparation time, then most of the team is away for a week, and there's stuff to do immediately after the show. Therefore, if we can't push it out in early April, it'll have to wait until June.
  • Manual preparation; we want to make a new print run for the manual, but of course as long as there are changes made to the user interface we also have to update the manual. Once that the time for last minute changes of the content is over it's time to send it to the printer. But how many? I'm thinking of setting up our web shop to accept preorders for it.
  • Terrain data; this one is a big issue. We want to ship the next version with as many legacy maps converted to the new format as possible. We know that converted legacy maps are a bit larger than the original maps, but HOW MUCH larger is somewhat difficult to predict since it depends a lot on the amount of changes that would be made in the conversion process, and how they affect the data compression ratio (uncompressed maps are unacceptably large).

Now, the total size of all the maps is unknown. But a number of questions hinge on them. First of all, we have decided to split the Steel Beasts installer from the map data installation, so that if we push future updates for Steel Beasts you don't have to download the maps again and again. Next, we're preparing a map server to replace the current forum's map download area. Who knows, maybe one day we extend that to scenarios, and or game sessions. The point is, if you want to open a scenario for which you don't have the map, Steel Beasts will recognize that and then connect to a map server and query the map from that location, then add the map to a download queue that will run automatically in the background. Which is all very nifty, but not everybody is on a broadband internet connection, and if many people are requesting a lot of map data at the same time the servers may be unable to serve in a timely fashion.

So, some people may prefer to have the map installer delivered on physical media. But the choice of medium depends a lot on the total size of the installer, so this is at the moment the biggest unknown. Do we put everything on two DVDs? Do we need five? Ten? Should we rather ship a USB stick, or an SD card? How many will we need? (So, I'm thinking of setting up our web shop to take preorders.)

 

But before I can update the web shop, I also want to offer bundles with Steel Beasts installer (DVD? or is there enough space left on that USB stick?), map installer, and the printed manual ... plus upgrade license, or new license, or an upgrade option for people that never updated past version 2.6. That's a lot of combinations, maybe fewer is better. But in any case, I can offer such bundles only once that I know what needs to be produced, and that largely hinges on the map installer.

 

As soon as I have answers to all of this I'll start making announcements.

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