Greetings witches, wizards and all magical folk alike!
Welcome to the second Technology & Development blog! We saw great feedback from the first one, so this is something we definitely are interested in continuing for the time being. If you haven’t read the first blog, we highly recommend you do! You can find it here.
Like before, our goal with these blogs is to shed more light into how the Development team works behind the scenes, what we’re working on and what we plan on working on in the near future. It may become technical at times, but we’ll try our best to word it as simply as we can, while still keeping it interesting to read for the majority of you.
- Friends update has been released! We’ve seen a great response from the players after releasing this, which we’re really happy to see. You can find the release post here.
- Guilds improvements released! We quickly got a ton of suggestions after the release of guilds, and these are the ones we initially liked and were interested in implementing. If your idea isn’t here, and hasn’t received a response yet, fear not! There’s still a chance we may decide to implement it. You can find the recent patch note here.
- A lot of miscellaneous updates. These can be found in this patch note, that we released earlier today!
Our Tech Director, Danny, was also on a two-week vacation in the Gambia, Africa, meeting some of the people he’s been helping over the last 9 years, and helping them in person. If helping the people in the Gambia sounds like something you’re interested in, please check out the GoFundMe here. Every cent matters!
We do have some other things that may sound interesting… and that is… data! We store data that we may find beneficial to the server, as they help guide us to make decisions that numbers agree with. It’s easy to say “most players don’t like this game”, but it’s hard to prove without data, for example, we track how many games are played, etc.
Let’s look at something interesting! We want you to participate in this. We’ll ask a question, and when you’ve come up with a guess, click on the spoiler to see the answer.
- Minigames have been here for quite a while. How many games do you think have started ever since the creation of minigames?
- Potterworld is nothing without Magic and our amazing spells. We use spells for a lot of things- animations that you see are done through Magic. Teleporting effects are done through Magic. A lot of things are done through Magic! With that being said, how many spells do you think have been cast ever since we started tracking them? We started on September 2, 2017.
- A total of 307,078 players have gotten sorted on the server. Rank which house you think has the most members to the house with the least. you might be surprised!
- Griffin: 35.8%
- Honeybadger: 25.0%
- Raven: 21.6%
- Serpent: 17%
- In contrast, for players logged in during the past 60 days, the division is as follows:
- Griffin: 32.0%
- Honeybadger: 23.8%
- Raven: 23.7%
- Serpent: 20.5%
- A big part of Potterworld is GUIs. We use it for everything. How many times do you think a GUI button has been clicked successfully? This is not including dialogs (conversation GUIs from NPCs, with the speech bubble).
- How much Gold do you think there is in total right now?
- How many ACs do you think there are in total right now?
- Guilds & friends update
Friends: Because of how old friends are, it’s hard for us to track a lot of useful things. So instead, here’s what we have so far:
Here’s a graph that displays the number of games in the past 60 days:
As you can see from this graph, our old classic games are performing pretty well:
- Hide & Seek
- Melting Floor
- And the return of Quabbleball has been a welcome one.
- Party Games
- Soulshard Wars
We also believe that the decrease in Party Games is due to the lack of updates, and the game becoming too repetitive, as well as the number of rounds per game. Six rounds is a lot, and Party Games is one of the minigames that take the longest to finish playing, and the reward may not be worth it.
So, what are we going to do about this? With Soulshard Wars, we believe we delivered the wrong product. While we tried to keep it as simple as we could, the game is still fairly complex, and it requires players to invest time into knowing how to play the game properly- and then they have to improve their skill. It simply becomes a lot to ask from the players. We’ll probably invest time into other, new, games and once they become ready for release, we’ll most likely replace Soulshard Wars with it. There’s no ETA on this, as we currently have no intention of working on a new game with everything else. We’re also currently playing around with the idea of rotating minigames, where every week, some minigames will be disabled, and others will be enabled. This would allow us to keep Soulshard Wars, as well as bring back old games, such as Spell Wars, Battlegrounds, and more.
With Party Games, we will try to lower the number of rounds needed per game to 4 and then review in a few months if that helped, or not. We’ll also try to think of other fun new game modes (suggestions are very appreciated!) as new party game modes are very quick to add.
If you’re wondering why all games took a dip in the middle of May (at the end of the graph), the simple reasoning is the release of the May the Fourth event.
This is all that we’ll be showing for now! If there’s any data that you want to see, please let us know and we’ll try to include it for the next time. We collect a lot of data on various elements of the server that tracks how different parts are performing. We will most likely be focusing on the marketplace, classes, and some other things next month.
We’ll soon be starting on the parties update. We received little to no concerns from the list of changes we provided last month, so we’re pretty happy with what we have in mind for now. We expect this update to be released at the end of June, or maybe July.
We’ll also be working on creating a new system for hosting our backend servers. Besides from the servers that you’re able to join (hubs, minigames, events, worlds), we have many servers for staff only. We have two build servers, a server for /worlds, a server for /events, a server for /classes, a server for dungeons, and many dev/GD servers. Both of the build servers have hundreds of worlds, and it’s slowly reached a level where it’s no longer maintainable over the years.
We’ll be working on a new system that fixes this issue, and instead make the backend servers “on demand”, meaning, instead of those servers running all the time, a staff member will be able to “request” that they need the server to start up (and once they’re done with it, the server will close). This is the very TLDR explanation of it. It's not the most relevant for you, but as mentioned before, the goal is to be transparent. Sometimes, we have to dedicate a lot of time to our infrastructure, which often isn't visible to players, but there are many good reasons for doing so.
Thanks everyone! We hope you enjoyed this month’s dev blog and this new style. We want to experiment with different styles of doing blogs and see what works, and what doesn't. We hope this is a style that you guys enjoy, as we'd love to dive deeper into how we make decisions, what our data is telling us, and much more.