10/08/2019 by JohnoTheKid
I’m going to be brutally honest in this post. We have an awesome community, when it’s active. That’s why this post is what it is, and is not a notice of discontinuation of Mafia Online.
We all know I’ve been up and down about rebuilding Mafia Online, and apps, and everything else to go with it. If you’ve been playing for much of the last year you’ll know about all the trials and tribulations I’ve had with development of the game, from going alone to teaming up with other developers. Revamping to rebuilding, and everything in between.
I have had a really stark realisation, and I’m going to hold my hands up and categorically accept my failings on this.
Rebuilding (or revamping in one go) the game, is an absolutely monumental task. It is also, for many months, likely to be thankless.
I don’t make any money from the game, as I’ve covered previously it was never even really meant to go live - it went live because people enjoyed playing it.
It stayed live, because people enjoyed playing it.
I build this in my spare time, and host it etc out of my own pocket. That’s all fine. My sudden and stark realisation was around my motivation to rebuild the game, it’s a huge project, with no short term gratification. And actually, it’s rebuilding a bunch of features, for no real reason other than I don’t really like some of the code. Without gratification, with the best will in the world, it’s been impossible for me to stay motivated.
So, the decision I’ve come to, after toying with the idea of just shutting the game down. Is to do the thing that made me love the game in the first place. Build new features on the game we’ve got.
I am sincerely hoping this is with the backing of the players - you guys are what makes this particular project and platform fun for me. So, with hand on heavy hard, I ask you to get involved, get active in the community (and in game) and help me continue this conversation and journey.
I want to know; what features do you want? And what pisses you off about the game? A small and manageable list of things for me to do, on the existing game, that I can get to work on right away.
PS: This is being originally posted in Discord, where I expect most of the conversation to happen. I've posted it here because it is a valid part of our story.
20/07/2019 by JohnoTheKid
Following on from my last post about the past, present, and future of the game, and admittedly getting my life in order a bit. I have now gotten everything ready to decide how to proceed with the game.
I am not going to post a lengthy post here, because the news section on this game should be reserved for new and updates about this game, though occasionally I will post updates referencing the new game.
So, for everything to do with Mafia Online 2, for now, you can visit https://devblog.playmafia.online This is a user provided link">devblog.playmafia.online it is a bit plain, it is not pretty, but I didn't want to slow up development on the new game with making the development blog perfect.
I will still use the forums here for discussion around the new game until it's launch, which I am expecting to be around September time. I am not going to continuously delay the new game going live for the purpose of making it perfect, it'll never go live if I do that, and I suspect that's been the reason I have accidentally procrastinated in getting it going properly.
All the best y'all and thank you for your continued support.
11/05/2019 by JohnoTheKid
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.