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Indiegogo update 2014-12-31

This post has been published at Indiegogo campaign on December 31, 2014.

Campaign is over!

It is just about time to discuss the results. 522 people contributed to the campaign over the last 40 days. Totally we have been able to raise $9,301. Thank you very much!

All in all, it is a rather good result, and we are satisfied with it. Some people were concerned about the prospect of the project since the goal was evidently not to be reached. No worries! The $20,000 goal was set in order to make sure that we would be able to finance full-time work on the project and thus fit into the promised schedule. Well, it is ruled out now. We failed to spread the word about the project to sufficient number of people. But everything lies ahead! Though not on a full-time basis, we continue working hard on Screeps, and the raised sum makes us even more confident that our efforts are appreciated and the project has huge potential. Unique potential at that!

As said in the project description, Screeps will be polished and launched in any case. The Early Preview phase will not go live in January as it could in case of 100% funding, but we really hope it will happen not later than February.

Now, some news about the Survival Leaderboard. Watching the situation, we decided to set up a really serious leaderboard without any room for cheating. To that end, the local browser Survival Mode will not work when the game is against the points. Therefore, the Survival Mode will be divided into two modes: Training (browser simulation) and Ranked which will run on the server and place your result into the current season leaderboard. So, in order to launch the Survival Leaderboard we need to refine the server part of the game so that your scripts could work server-side. Such an approach raises reliability, but at the same time, makes the task harder. This is why we could not launch it in December, but we still plan to demonstrate it very soon, hopefully early January. And the good news is that this mode will be available to all, not just the Early Preview subscribers!

Thanks again for all your support. We, as well as you, really look forward to see what the result will be!

Indiegogo update 2014-12-08

This post has been published at Indiegogo campaign on December 8, 2014.

In this post, we want to pour some light on how Screeps will look online and the main difference between Screeps and any other game you have ever seen.

In any strategy game, you as the player need to contol everything. In classic RTS games, you have to closely watch everything happening on the screen and react as quick as possible. There have been many efforts to bring this concept online to make a full-fledged MMO RTS, but all of them were fruitless. Why so? Mostly because in an MMO with big persistent world you cannot:

  1. always react properly to whatever happens in the game,
  2. be aware of whatever happens when you are away.

No game can be a real strategy game until these problems are solved. And both of them are solved in Screeps!

In Screeps, your scripts, unlike you, are always online. Hence, having written a relatively smart script you turn out to be actually controlling the game – always and everywhere. But what about the second problem: how can you know what happens in the game while you are away?

In Screeps, we devised two mechanisms to solve this problem. Both of them are now absent in the current Simulation mode, but you will see them on the Early Preview stage.

The first is the Game.notify() method. You will be able to program your script so that the game sends you a notification via e-mail at any moment and with any data you need. An opponent attacked you while you were away? Send yourself a message, and you will be able to instantly come in and check that your scripts defend properly.

The second mechanism is room history snapshots. You will be able to set up live recording of everything in each of your rooms, say, every 10 minutes into these snapshots. Aside from automatic saving, it will be possible to create snapshots manually by using the method Room.makeSnapshot(). Later you can review them in the chronological order and thus restore the whole scene.

It will be like match replays on TV. By the way, the Survival Leaderboard that will soon be implemented will allow you to see replays of every match from the board. It will look roughly like this.

We hope to launch the Survival Leaderboard very soon.

Indiegogo update 2014-11-26

This post has been published at Indiegogo campaign on November 26, 2014.

Short but important update following up the previous one. Please read carefully, it is important.

Many complained that our perks were hard to understand since it's unknown how much CPU was needed for comfortable playing. After hard thinking we decided to change the perk system in this campaign.

From now on, each perk will offer you certain amount of CPU Credits which you will spend on running your script real-time on our servers within a month. It's up to you how you will use your credits. You can run your scripts with any values from 30 to 300 CPU. For example, you can spend 240 CPU Credits on 1 month with 240 CPU, or 2 months with 120 CPU, or 8 months with 30 CPU. You can change the value at any moment right within a game.

The amount of memory and room history snapshots are now equal for all players (the exact amount will be known only after the Early Preview launches).

Perks Exclusive Badge and Own Room do not include CPU Credits anymore, but you can purchase them separately, if you wish.

All your currently purchased perks are saved, so if you are content with your current perks, no actions required. However, if you want to change your perk for one of the new ones, just email us at contact@screeps.com from the address you used for signing up on Indiegogo. Choosing a new perk, keep in mind that all who has already backed the campaign by this moment have access to all new Early Bird perks!

We hope that this modified policy will be more appealing to you.

Indiegogo update 2014-11-25

This post has been published at Indiegogo campaign on November 25, 2014.

Friends,

People ask us a lot of questions, and we decided to address some of them in this update. The main question is: what will happen if the campaign doesn't reach the goal? As we have already said, we need this campaign to make sure that we'll be able to finish everything in due time, which means enough financial resources for full-time work on the project. The promised MMO part will be launched in any case. However, Screeps does not have financing at all – it is an indy project of a couple of people working in their free time. So we can't guarantee that we'll be able to launch the Early Preview in January. We will do our best, but still can't guarantee. This is what will happen in case we won't reach the target. On the other hand, we guarantee the January timeline in case of reaching it.

We hear a lot of concerns about workability, performance, usability, etc. of the current demo version of the game. Please keep in mind that this is only a demo, not a ready game. Certainly, the ready game, when it's launched, will have a player profile, saving your code to the server, GitHub integration, etc, and computations will be done on the server rather than your browser, which will boost performancce.

By the way, we are working on certain improvements right now. For example, today we launched an update that boosted performance considerably which allowed to raise the maximum execution speed to 500%. Besides, this update fixes a lot of bugs and adds some features that you requested like up/down buttons in the console and switching tabs in the editor on Alt+1, Alt+2, Alt+3. Soon we hope to add zooming of the game window and a pop-up mode of the code editor in a separate window which will make control more convenient.

We added a new $300 perk to the campaign which allows you to design your own room for your open world. You will have exclusive right to build your spawns in this room. It doesn't mean that they will be indestructible, so you won't get significance advantage, but no one will be able to build spawns until you stop playing. So you will be able to leave a major trace in the history of Screeps.

Thank you very much for your support! We are really impressed by the results you get as you master the game. For example, there is an interesting community on Reddit already, and one may find lots of really intelligent scripts on GitHub. It all shows that Screeps has bright future. Let's create it together! Please spread the word to your friends and colleagues.