Speaking of Faith

February 2, 2006

This an old status update on my web-based game Engineering Faith.

Year ye, all faithful. The Engineering continues strong, and the masses are growing. Since my last post, there’s been 8 new versions, which have included some really huge balance improvements, among other things. People of course are still finding amusing ways to wreak havoc, but less so than before.

Speaking of havoc, people have actually been attacking each other, which is exciting. I think this is partially because they’re enjoying stealing artifacts from people who have been hoarding them, but it’s also fun to get more interaction.

Speaking of interaction, I have the much-neglected Covenants system on my radar. I want to have as much group-forming and interplay in Faith as there has been in Asylum. People will also be more inclined to invite new players if they can then work together in the game (although that has some potential abuse implications.)

Speaking of invites, they’re going well - there are more than 50 people testing now, which is awesome. The gradual growth has allowed me to systematically fix things that get out of hand one by one. I’ve been manually giving people invites so far, but that’s getting freaking annoying. Naturally, the system will be automatically assigning then fairly soon - I just don’t know exactly how yet. Also, the ability to send an invite to somebody who doesn’t yet have an Altering Time account would be good.

Speaking of good, there’s been good feedback on the Forum and in the bug system, and people seem to be engaged with the development process. People are taking an active part in how the game turns out, and letting me know what they feel is important. Play still feels a bit slow to me (a complaint I’ve gotten less of recently) so I’ll keep hacking away at that issue. I want there to be more new activities to do in the later game - maybe more incentives to change things throughout the game.

Speaking of things, things on the technical side have progressed a fair amount since Faith started development. The amazing Dreamhost has given me the technologies MySQL 5 and PHP 5. Dynamic Ajax technology has become mainstream too. Faith doesn’t really take advantage of any of these technologies, but as I learn them more thoroughly I’ll be retrofitting Faith with them. Ajax is particularly exciting - it’s the technology behind the magic “pin” buttons on the Affairs page that instantly update when clicked. The new MySQL version should help me keep things stay orderly as the Faith database grows towards 100,000 items.

Speaking of databases, I’m currently sitting in Databases class at SFU. Yawn. If I hadn’t been a database programmer by profession for 3 years already, this class would probably be more interesting. Maybe I’ll learn _some_thing by the time it’s finished.

Speaking of finished…

© Allen Pike. See also Twitter and Steamclock.