[Official] Weapon Cube Update - One Little Problem...

Discussion in 'Time Clickers' started by Kenzie, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. Kenzie

    Kenzie Administrator
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    The Click Launcher update is coming along great, all the new features are in and we've just been focusing on testing.

    One Little Problem....
    iOS needs to review/approve updates before they're released, which means iOS players get the update at least a week after all the other platforms. Unfortunately with this update that means that Steam/Android/Web players (that have the update and are collecting Weapon Cubes) won't be able to share their save file on their iOS devices until the iOS update is released. If you have Weapon Cubes and then load up iOS it will overwrite the save file deleting the Weapon Cubes you've collected!

    Here's some potential solutions we've come up with...

    Option 1 - iOS out of Sync for at least a week
    We release like we always do, pushing the update to all platforms at the same time.

    Pros:
    - Update gets pushed out as soon as it's ready - no delay.

    Cons:

    - Until the iOS update is approved (generally 1 - 2 weeks), if you load a save file on iOS that has Weapon Cubes it will delete all your Weapon Cubes!

    Option 2 - Small update first, delaying release of major features
    Release a small update that doesn't visually include any of the new features but would add some stats & stuff to the background.

    Pros:
    - Removes the compatibility issues between platforms. Due to the small update, all platforms will be able to store/track stats like # of Weapon Cubes, Augments, etc, making them all compatible even if they get the full update at different times.

    Cons:
    - Delays the release of new features by 1 - 2 weeks.

    What do you think is the best release option? Or any other ideas?
     
  2. Humerez

    Humerez Spec Ops

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    Option 1 for me
     
  3. RebelKeithy

    RebelKeithy Rookie

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    I vote for Option 1, but I don't play on an ios device, if I did, I still think I would vote for Option 1 though.
     
  4. Lordshad0wz

    Lordshad0wz Elite

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    Why not submit the apple update and then when it shows up update everything else so its in sync ? The problem will be people wont know and will lose the weapon cubes and get really upset. I primarily play on my Iphone.

    If not I would choose option 2. This way everything is in sync as youve always had it and what everyone is accustomed to.

    Billy
     
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  5. Dimps

    Dimps Elite

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    This is the problem. Optimally it should be stored in, like, a row on your SQL server. And there you have:
    id=player id
    time_cubes=time cubes collected
    some_other_fancy_stuff=some other fancy stuff
    weapon_cubes=weapon cubes collected

    Every time person saves, you receive update on status. This is a good time and place to do a sanity check for your anti-cheat too. On saves and on warps.

    With each save you store just the data that was transferred. So if data is coming with previous version of API, you use your previous server code pipeline, that does not change weapon_cubes at all. Just leave it as it is.

    When you replied to me some time ago you said "we would not have money to have servers to process everything server side", but you don't have to process everything, just the most essential parts. Not just blindly taking a save dump from client to store and to rely on.

    ---

    My decision on your case would have two options:
    1) if your (2) is about delaying it just this once, because you have to fix your storage logic, and whatever change there will be in future - this new code will most probably work fine -- then allright, let's just wait a week or two. It was your oversight, now you've fixed it, no big deal.

    2) if it's going to be your workflow, "whatever we change, let's wait for apple", then it's a NO. Don't let apple slow everyone down.
    Still, your (1) is going to upset a lot of your apple customers. Looks like something you must not do at all costs. Do a server check workaround: if there is currently a save with weaponcubes, and incoming save is without them (old version), take incoming save from old version and store weaponcubes in it, or somewhere near. Just make it compatible somehow. Losing person progress is the worst you can do. No. Never.
     
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  6. Morgath

    Morgath Advanced

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    Have to go with Dimps on this. Can't have the possibility to lose progress if you are not aware of the situation, that's a no, but you can't let Apple delay every update. Would love to vote 1 as eager to try out the new mechanics, but would be better to get the background stuff sorted out now so later updates are not delayed all the time by Apple. So I vote option 2, in the hope that future upgrades are quicker. Will have to wait a week or two more for my shiny new toys, but that's no big deal. Just try not to have it happen too often K? :)
     
  7. Sirion

    Sirion Elite

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    1... in every other case you let apple dictate you what to do... which you shouldn't do (not because it's aplle the same would hold true for google or anyone else)
    people still have the option to play on Idevices so no real deal breaker there...
     
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  8. cephiroth

    cephiroth Spec Ops

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    +1 for Dimps.
     
  9. Humerez

    Humerez Spec Ops

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    for me Sirion said everything
     
  10. TheUrb

    TheUrb Spec Ops

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    As a player who mainly plays on the website but has an iPhone, I know no matter how many warnings you have people will not read them and will lose progress. But I guarantee it will only be once.:D I vote option 1 with a large warning.
     
  11. Proton

    Proton Administrator
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    Yeah, that would be optimal. But the server is setup to save the encrypted text (same thing that appears when you import/export). The advantage is it is easier to work with, quicker to develop, and easy to make backups per day. Two cases we don't have to handle are import & reset all progress, since it just replaces all save data. But the trade-off for that simplicity was flexibility.

    The original intention behind cloud save was just to get that save code between devices, we didn't think version control would be necessary (didn't realize the game would get so popular). We put most of our focus on the 'pair code' logic (modeled after how YouTube pairs your phone to your TV).

    The only people that would get affected are people with a TimeGamers account that play between Steam/Web & iOS above wave 1000. Their profile page will show how many Weapon Cubes they have earned via the stats. My profile shows I have 82 on the graph right now (still need to adjust the numerical stats to fit in Weapon Cube stats). So we could assure people that if they lose their Weapon Cubes, Kenz & I could manually edit their save to give them whatever their maximum weapon cubes were, and we could give them some bonus ones for the inconvenience.

    I think the lesson learned here is that we need more robust server side logic. It was just hard to justify the extra time and expense when we didn't plan on making any money on the game. It was just a fun little project before we started work on a free multi-player FPS (which would be monetized with cosmetic things, never pay to win).
     
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  12. Zephyrus

    Zephyrus Rookie

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    Option 1 would be most ideal for a number of reasons.

    The Player Base:
    A majority of the people access the game from either unity based platforms on a web browser or from an external client (i.e. Steam). Delaying a majority of updates due to compatibility issue with the iOS would be more dissatisfaction to the majority of players.

    Soft Limitations:
    While option 1 will result in a delay for iOS users accessing the update and save file, they aren't completely voided of acessing the update in general. Users should still be able to access the game and their save files normally through the web client/steam with the inconvenience of being unable to access TimeClickers for a two week window. The main thing here is that iOS users are not completely shut-off from playing with the update UNLESS they are solely dependent on their iOS for access.

    Update Appeal:
    The whole point of major updates is to provide a significant change to the user's game-play experience. Releasing this update in two partial waves may have an overall negative or diminished return on retaining a player-base or attracting additional audiences.

    Side Note:
    Just pointing out that I'm not advocating for either side, there is still a third option available. You could always choose to delay the update completely by 1-2 weeks until you have everything ready to go. Obviously no one enjoys a delay, but I find it better to save and build anticipation instead of going off half-cocked. Just don't make the mistake of holding off the updates for too long, especially in this nonsensical meta-game going on with the clicker market atm.
     
  13. triggerhappy831

    triggerhappy831 Spec Ops

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    That's a tough call. I play mainly on the PC but use the app when I'm not able to be on or late at night. I'm torn between really wanting the update to come out and realizing how often I hope on to use abilities during the day. Personally I could change my behavior for a week or so, but I do see a problem occurring for people that don't check the forums as much. Option 2 while not ideal does give us part of the update and would give the option for the community to play test. While the devs do an amazing job testing out the designs the amount of time they are able to commit to play testing is tiny compared to it going live. So in general I think it might be better to go with option 2 but I'd be fine with option 1
     
  14. miquelfire

    miquelfire Spec Ops

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    Another option, if you can peak into the save code on the server, and see that a player is after wave 1,000 with weapons cubes, suddenly have none because they're on iOS, make the iOS client think its not connected to the cloud until the update hits it.
     
  15. blundripper

    blundripper Rookie

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    update it on the same time just delay it all
    we can w8 :)
     
  16. Kuki

    Kuki Spec Ops

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    Option 2.
    I don't use iOS devices, but my opinion is to do all devices at the same time, to avoid unexpected problems when the different devices are out of sync.
     
  17. ik1ne

    ik1ne Spec Ops

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    How about choosing option 1 for this time, and making option 3 in the future?
    NVM, option 2 and option 3 in the future. Didn't realize that there's no disadvantage unless you touch your iOS device, so if you stick to Web/Steam client it's completely safe.

    Option 3: frontward compatibility. If there's new feature that isn't implemented in the client, just leave that data alone.

    I don't know how communication&encryption/decryption between server/client is implemented, so hope option 3 is available in the future.
     
    #17 ik1ne, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
  18. Kenzie

    Kenzie Administrator
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    Thanks for all the feedback! We've just posted an announcement that the Click Launcher will be released on Labor Day, Monday September 7!

    The final solution is a combination of Options 1 & 2. iOS has been tested, submitted and is waiting in their review queue. This will limit the amount of time that iOS is out of sync with the other platforms. Web & Steam players will also get an in-game message (still working on those details) letting them know to check the iOS version before loading their save so they don't lose their Weapon Cubes. Lastly, we've also added some code to help us avoid these situations in the future.

    Now to finish testing on the other platforms, let the countdown begin......
     
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