30/10/2019 by JohnoTheKid
Since our last release last weekend I have had some time to see our features working in "the real world".
With that in mind I have released a patch this evening, with the following work completed;
There are a few more little improvements coming before the next wave of features
26/10/2019 by JohnoTheKid
This is the first in a series of feature highlight posts about the new features that have been released in today's new version (2019.5). We wanted to make the game more engaging, at a community level, so I have developed some features to enhance the community feel of the game.
The more Gucci end of software development, and of a new version being released to you all, are all the new features, these are detailed below.
High profile criminals and those involved in large scale criminal enterprise are often targeted by the Federal Government, you may have heard of RICO cases in the real world. There are a number of ways that the Federal Government may try to take you down, and this is limited to ensure that the same players cannot be targeted excessively. There is also a floor to how wealthy you must be before the government will consider targeting you.
A new set of features, which allows you to hire employees, who need paying daily, which will help to reduce some of the cash flow in the game.
When deciding to hire a member of your entourage there is a variable amount of time it will take for the hire to be complete and for that member of your entourage to be active.
Having a bodyguard makes it 30% more expensive to successfully shoot you,. There is also a chance that, in the even of an attempt upon your life, your bodyguard will sacrifice themselves to save you. If you have a bodyguard and an intelligence operative, you will find out who shot your bodyguard.
An intelligence operative is like a spy, trying to find out information about what your enemies are doing, especially when it concerns you or your well being.
There is a chance they will find and expose, anybody searching for you, about to kill you, or otherwise attacking you or your businesses.
Additionally, in the event of an attempt on your life, there's a chance that your intelligence operator will evacuate you to safety.
A lawyer is a handy person to have around. They will decrease the cost of your bail, attempt to decrease any sentences you receive, if they can't get you off the charges completely.
When being snitched on by another player, there is a 30% chance that your lawyer will get you a 50% reduction in sentence.
Players can now sell drugs on the streets, from their own stash that they have gained from either production or wholesale purchase. These drugs will sell for much more than the local wholesale price, but naturally there is a risk of being caught, or of making nothing.
There is now a shoutbox for players who find themselves in jail, so that the incarcerated few can leave messages to one another
Players can now post on the walls of other players, and on the walls of syndicates. When posts are made, the appropriate people (the player whose wall it is, or the officers of the syndicate) are sent notifications
You can now mention other players in comments, and they will receive a notification. You can also click the mention @johnothekid to see the profile of the person being mentioned. This will hopefully encourage some more community engagement, and help people stay involved in the conversations they're in.
There are now various emojis which can be used in forums, article comments, and such. these little addition should help to make the community feel that tiny bit more engaging.
Sometimes, in addition to building new features, existing features are improved. These improvements are outlined below.
The syndicate profiles have had a real overhaul, with a better interface for viewing information about the syndicate, including the properties which are held by the members of that syndicate. Syndicate profiles now also have a wall on which players can post. The wall highlights whether the posting player is a member of that syndicate, allowing Syndicates to use this as a news feed, if they were so inclined.
Notifications can now have contextual links (i.e. customisable buttons), the notification system has felt a little less than helpful for a little while now, and this particular update seems to have been really useful once it was implemented.
When travelling between cities, and this is influenced by your standing with the local syndicate, there is now a chance that (if you have drugs on hand, the more drugs, the higher the risk) that you will get busted, and your drug supply will be confiscated.
The messaging UI had been lack lustre for a little while, this has now been improved to look much more like an SMS UI, conversations will automatically refresh themselves looking for new messages, meaning it is much easier to be conversational. The UI itself has also had something of an uplift.
Along with the addition of emojis and mentions, the forums now have some better features with regards to viewing replies (which are now paginated) and better moderation facilities.
When stuff is broken, it needs fixing...
I noticed an issue with restocking bullet factories, this has now been resolved.
In the interests of delivering features in a timely fashion, some items were removed from the current release, these are explained below.
We have discussed, many times, that the game may soon become round based. This item on the agenda allowed essentially a "button" to save some key statistics, leaderboards, and such, about the current round, and then reset completely. Building lifetime leaderboards, and resetting round leaderboards, characters, statistics, and such.
This item was shelved as it is not needed yet. More time is needed to test some of the new features, which meant that this feature would unnecessarily hold up the release of new features.
It had been mentioned to us by a small number of players that a chatroom within the game would be great. And we agreed with this feedback.
However, developing this feature requires something of an upgrade in infrastructure, which is in the pipeline, but I decided that there were not enough players wanting this feature (as, of course, we do use Discord) to justify the delay to the release.
Whilst working through this rather substantial piece of work, it became apparent that it was going to take ages (fair enough) but also that nobody had actually asked for it. Rather than delay the release I decided to shelve this piece of work until a later date.
The business HQ is now back, so that you can see the various businesses you have around the world. As I am looking at building a new member of the entourage to help manage this, and the business functionality will soon be disappearing altogether (and replaced with something better), I decided to shelve this piece of development for now.
Not everything fits into a new feature, an improvement, or a bug, so here are some of the other things that I have been working on in the background.
We now track a number of statistics about game activities. Whilst this is not yet visible, there will soon be an area where these statistics (such as crime success percentage, number of partner crimes completed) can be viewed. This also paves the way for our achievements system.
I have now implemented a small yet reliable automated system to deploy new changes. This will reduce the amount of time that the game is down when new features are being deployed. Naturally, more efficient deployments also mean a leaner development cycle, meaning I can deliver more features in a faster timeframe.
I have now managed to remove pretty much all remnants of the previous user interface, and compile frontend assets using industry standard techniques. Again, for you guys what these means is a quicker and more stable release cycle for new features.
Legends will now have their experience capped, this means that once you have hit Legend (or if the top players have exactly the same experience) wealth and violence will become the deciding factors in leaderboard ranking.
I will soon be drafting the new list of features and improvements, alongside technical upgrades, and working towards our app. The end game here is still to continue adding features, and bringing our existing features in line with our long term plan. This all will, eventually, enable the development of our apps.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on everything I've said above! In the comments here, in the development forum, or in Discord
26/10/2019 by JohnoTheKid
I am aiming to release the latest version of the game, and full release notes, this afternoon. With this in mind, there maybe some disruption to service but I will do my best to minimise this.
I will let you know when it's all done. I am aiming to start the process of releasing this at around 1400/2pm UK Time.