I wanted to put a news post out to explain a whole bunch of things about this game, how it started, where it is now, and where it is going. I feel like I owe that to the 1,300+ of you who have signed up. In order for me to tell you the story of where we are and where we are going, I need to first tell you how the game started, as it goes a long way to explaining the position we are currently in.
A year ago I had a job of technical responsibility, and I needed to "fall in love" with programming again. So I started building something fun, without any of the constraints of commercial or enterprise development. So I started building this game, with no intention of ever putting it live. Enthused by rapidly whipping features together I showed it to a few friends. Those friends really enjoyed the game, and the reward I got from building something which I could see people enjoying convinced me to package it up and ship it out. So I did.
As people started signing up, and we went into partnership with Novogamer, we paid for advertising for a short while, and people signed up, the game thrived. Happy days. The players wanted more features, and I happily obliged, throwing more and more features on top of the game. Since then we've had periods of immense activity, and periods of complete death. That's fine, the game has been live since the 25th of August.
This is not a commercial venture, and I doubt it ever will be. For a whole host of reasons.
Well, as developing and supporting this game is not my primary occupation, it has to fit in around my regular life. It doesn't take a genius to find out who I am and know that I am a professional programmer / systems engineer / architect, and I also have a young son. So if my real life is busy, this does take a back seat. Nothing wrong with that, providing for my family will always have to come first, obviously.
What this has meant is that there have been some bugs which have gone unanswered, or UX improvements which could (and should) have been made, which I haven't. Outside of work, overtime and commuting, I've just not had time. If you scroll through the news posts you will notice that I actually enlisted the help of some friends to help make up for the deficit of time I had, unfortunately they've also been busy, and consequently unable to help.
I now have a job closer to home, and a better work-life balance. I have every intention of improving the game, adding new features, and so on.
You remember at the beginning of this article how I said it was never meant to go live? What that means is a bunch of things which I should have put in place, I didn't. For the technically minded amongst you these are things like Containerisation, Continuous Integration and Deployment, automated testing, things to manage scale (some of you will remember us hitting scale issues a couple of times over the last 9 months).
Additionally, there's no real support system in place to check things, and all administrative functions (like bans and such) have only been put in as and when there was a requirement for them.
Putting all those things in now would be quite hard work, think about the man who built his house upon the sand.
I need to do a bit of an analysis, but those things will be implemented; the only reason is that it will make safely adding new features much easier. Either I will port the functionality, a block at a time, into a new code base, and make sure every element conforms to everything I need it to. Or I will work through the existing code base, and implement those features.
What that is then going to mean is the next major piece of work, which is around making the game ready to be an app and delivered across lots of platforms like iOS and Android and perhaps Facebook etc. will become much, much easier.
This work will take some time.
But, once that time is done, we'll be able to really focus on improving existing functionality and user interface, implementing new features, and a whole ream of other work that I would love to do on this.
So, my friends, that is the plan. You might not see anything for a little while but it is happening. I will try to find a decent and safe way to automatically share progress and updates with you about it.
I thought I would put a post up to let you know what the development team have been up to. Currently in Beta are a bunch of new features, we're also working on updating the software to make it much faster for us to develop and release new features, whilst also improving user experience, and fixing some of the niggling issues that have been reported to us.
Most of this work is now in Beta, so should be released to you all soon!
Although Mafia Online 2 is now not happening, as we're going to grow and improve this version with new features and such, we do need to look at increasing the size of our Beta tester base; this allows us more resource to ensure features are fully tested and stable before they go live on the game.
I am seeking 3 to 5 new beta testers to take part in a Beta round of the game. These players should be experienced players of the game, and will be responsible for helping to test new and existing features. The perk is that by the time the features come to the game, you already have some experience and some strategy, which can, on occasion, be super handy.
If you are interested in being a Beta tester for the game - please send me an email at [email protected] with why you think you should be on our next round of Beta testing. You will be expected to help find and report bugs, and to communicate that information concisely through our chosen platform.
I look forward to hearing from you all JTK!
Just a quick news entry this time. We have now implemented email verification. That means that you will need to verify your email address (by us sending you an email, and you clicking a link), before you can continue playing, or access community features.
The reason for this is that whilst previously we didn't have much of a problem with clearly fake email addresses being used to register. More and more we are finding users registering for new accounts, especially once they have been banned - or if they wish to have duplicate accounts, using email addresses which clearly either do not exist, or are not their own.
Our hope is that this will provide a small barrier to illegitimate usage of the game
Another development update. Firstly, you can now upload profile pictures! These are visible in various places throughout the game. Don't upload anything offensive, at best it'll get removed.
Also, the forum has had a little bit of a re-skin.
Voting for us on these sites allows us to rank higher, and gain more players to play Mafia Online
Mafia Online is a text based mafia game based around the world. We are a mafia game which allows you to play co-operatively and competitively with players from all over the world. Mafia Online is a free to play (f2p) browser game, which does not require any software on your computer to play