Welcome to Keen Software House Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the KSH community.
  1. You are currently browsing our forum as a guest. Create your own forum account to access all forum functionality.

Update 01.139 - Stable branch, Update 01.140 dev - Planetary improvements

Discussion in 'Change Log' started by Drui, Jun 16, 2016.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Commander Rotal Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,975
    No dev background needed, really, all one needs is a bit of thinking about it. And if we're wrong - well, let me quote myself from a Youtube comment: If i'm wrong the worst thing that happens is a couple meaningless red crosses under my KSH forum posts. If i'm right they just fucked their own game over and people applaud them for it. Seems to me there's no downside to arguing when you're deeply, deeply worried about a game you love. I have nothing to gain by shutting up and nothing to lose by speaking up.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Mix-martes86 Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,110
    Yeah, my "professional self" got the better of me and went a bit overboard there.

    In any case, the rest of the post still stands. The numbers don't lie, the tester base was reset to 0 the moment the patch got out, and real useful testers will be down to a few dozens, with the logical impact such an event has.
     
  3. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,828
    24 hours after the release of the dev build when the stable build is available to check out isn't a great test case. People will be exploring the stable build first. But this begs the question:

    If you upgrade to the dev build can you easily roll back to the stable build? Having both builds on the same machine means a lot of manual file management as far as I can tell.

    Keen did not do a good job of promoting the dev build. There was about half a sentence regarding the dev build and zero information in this week's video. I think there's a blurb about planets... but zero explanation about what changed. So installing the dev build might be a bit of a hassle and a one way trip unless you make arrangements to manually roll back to the stable build.

    Perhaps they'll do a little better next week regarding feature updates. But the notes in the change log have always been a little wanting as far as giving a true description of all or even a majority of the changes. I think this lack of information really impedes testing and bug reporting as people don't know what to look for and you may find a bug that is rooted in a change weeks ago, but is just being uncovered today.

    If Keen steps it up a bit in documentation as well as creating an install package that allows the user choose between the stable version and the dev version on startup (both versions are installed rather than just one), we'll see a little more people exploring the dev version. Those who play on servers will more than likely want the stable version installed and might not go through the hassle of installing the dev version. So I really think the dev version and the stable need to be able to live on the same install, even if it means two separate directories with duplicate assets.

    Oh, and another consideration will be saves transferring between the two versions: possible? Maybe not. So there's some consideration of loading an existing world without making a backup copy.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Mix-martes86 Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,110
    Not directly related to your point, but reading this part made me think of another possibility, which is people choosing sometimes the "dev" version because it could be better (performance, bugs, etc.) compared to the current "stable" build. Just a random thought.

    Steam should hand the back and forth transparently, at least in my past experience with ArmA3's dev branches.
    Saves are another matter. I can't remember, because it's been a while, but I used to have specific saves I used when testing the Source builds, and they may have protested whenever I tried loading them with the official release, or maybe the other way around, the Source protesting the current version saves. But, for me, it's perfectly normal if saves aren't 100% compatible sometimes.

    I agree. It's like using the game as we always have, with weekly updates, became an obscure thing only to be used by those in the know, and Keen doesn't seem to want everyone to be playing that to avoid complaints from less knowledgeable people. And the "dev" version not having specific patch notes is also quite a mistake.

    The double install may be a good idea if it's given enough visibility and ease of use, but the separate assets would mean double the size, which is not a good thing to have, specially when your disk is already cluttered with mods.
     
  5. Bahroth Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    173
    Now what I want now is either a built in way to have both running or a guide to have both a dev build and a "stable" build without conflict.
     
  6. StarCore Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    51
    So that's it ? The "planetary improvements" are just meteors not spawning from within the planet ? Ho awesome...
    How naive of me to think that they would have done something about the ridiculous amount of RAM required to play with planets which prevents all the players (i.e most) not having 12 Go+ of RAM to play them.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  7. Dantheotherone Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    18
    Everybody should be able to voice their opinion but if they do it in a non-constructive way then they should expect to find it falling on deaf ears. That is what I'll try to do here and that is voice my opinion and my speculation in a constructive manner.

    I have verified to myself that I can switch back and forth between the stable and developer branches. Therefore nobody is forced to choose one and be limited to that choice. Will there be a problem with the mods? Yes is the answer to that. But I have had mods fail and or cause problems just because of a normal Thursday update. Give the modders credit where credit is due. After all they are basically shooting at a moving target (code that is changing during development).

    I will reserve most of my thoughts until the update on the stable branch at the end of the month and compare the difference between it and the developer branch to see if any exist.
    I personally think they should have made the developers branch the default and had the stable branch as a option to those that didn't desire the weekly updates.

    Now on to speculation. I see the current stable branch as not much different than the other in stability right now but as time goes on I don't see any reason why it shouldn't become more stable for a number of reasons. One being not restricted to a weekly deadline.

    If a bug is found in the stable branch People have the means to report it. If the developers find a fix for it in say two weeks time what reason would they have to wait two more weeks to put it into the stable branch?
    They can just as easily introduce it into the upcoming Thursday developers branch update to be further tested and add it at the end of the month to the stable branch if no problems arose from it.

    I am fully aware this statement is used almost to the point of being worn out but this game started as early access and is still currently being developed as such. Things are subject to change. For better or worse.
    If a person would rather not deal with what comes with that then it is a simple matter to just move on to something else. I have over two thousand hours invested playing this game and have gotten my money's worth many times over. I would feel the same way if it had been two-hundred or less hours.

    I have encountered a magnitude of bugs. Many were fixed, some I worked around, others I waited to be fixed and yet some I still am waiting on being fixed.
    But that's the name of the game when it is a work in progress.

    A positive dialog with the developers goes a long way as opposed to comments like "This game sucks and you people are a bunch of (Enter whatever profanity a person chooses)".

    Just like any other humans they (KSH) have done good things and stupid things (cough ... exploding cyberdogs ... cough). So, since we also are human why should there be selective judgement?

    This is just my opinion for whatever it's worth. Just as you are free to express your opinion I am also free to express mine.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. JimLess Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    19
    I bought a 32 GB memory. But still, the game sometimes just hangs. Well drilling and quality of planets and asteroids terrible. Voxels need to be updated 10 times faster ... Otherwise, it's boring gameplay. Well, the development thread, does not load worlds, even though it is written that fixed. No did not fixed ...
     
  9. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,828
    Very good post.

    (The rest of this post is not directed at Dantheotherone)

    I see Keen identifying a problem and then taking steps to resolve it. The results are not known and won't be known for some time. But they are doing something. Which is quite the opposite of nothing. I think everyone should bare that in mind. I'm certain if this doesn't work out, they will adjust their approach or find a new one. In fact I'm almost certain that they will change their approach, as almost every plan never stays the same once set in motion. We can only measure progress in weeks and even months. I doubt there will be one wunder-patch that will bring everything in the game in-line. But the bottom-line is that they are doing something. Let's just wait and see how that something turns out.
     
  10. chrisb Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,460
    Yes, but we both know deep down.. BI never release a finished game, its simply a play on words.. :words:
    I run A2 and its still being updated with two versions, actually its three now I think.. Lose count.:D

    Its all basically the same thing, you simply have to go with the one your happy with.. My advice to any players, don't build anything using too many mods..??? :stare: :eek: :eek:ops:
     
  11. mze9412 Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    791
    Of course it will. It always happens. I know that very much from own experience. Just did that last week. Again. *annoyed at self*
     
  12. Merandix Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    519
    How do you guys feel this compares to the intended way Deepflame is managing Medieval Engineers update schedule. He's planning to do biweekly or slower updates, with bugfix-updates inbetween.

    Also, while I can understand what you're coming from with the stable / dev branch debate... how do you guys explain it works so well for games like Subnautica? Is it purely the intended 'weekly' updates? Or is it purely the fact that that game has a built-in issue reporting tool?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. noname42 Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    95
    It says that they implemented several experimental planet features so I guess it's not just meteors.

    Edit: There is a new slider in the options for vegetation view distance and there is a new progress bar when downloading mods (don't know if it's also in stable release)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  14. Mix-martes86 Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,110
    Yeah, but if they don't say what they actually implemented, it's like they didn't actually do anything at all because we're not looking for anything new or can't see it.
    A "dev" changelog is very much needed.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  15. Clanner Jake Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    197
    no. it's not.
     
  16. zDeveloper10 Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    742
    yeah. it can be hard to evaluate the changes without knowing what has actually changed. "some planetary fixes" is too vague
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  17. Clanner Jake Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    197
    and on a related note, why should we be interested in testing when we have no clue what's being tested? probably more pertinent is how do we know what to push tell it breaks, or even what bugs got fix'd?

    and on a side note; the more i think about the stable, the more i'm not looking forward to the biased "month update" scheme either, features should get merged as they're ready so the larger base can ferret it out, not just wait tell some arbitrary and long date that was set is reached(but i don't know how feasible this would be to be honest)... but the lack of a change long alone makes me seriously think about what keen is doing/thinking in those talks they have about SE's future.
     
  18. Pro3Display Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    143
    that's my friend why it's called stable - it doesn't break weekly but once a month:baby:
     
  19. zDeveloper10 Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    742
    on one hand,it still breaks. on the other hand,the people who threw in the towel because it broke in new and (not so) exciting ways every week got heard. so I'd imagine a lot of it was probably for those people; even if the server doesn't get tested as much it seems they value those people enough to do that. makes sense though, since they didn't seem to be too interested in writing much about what was going on with mp it's not much of a loss compared to people seeing it as simply being unreliable; they must be already getting whatever data they need(or are focused on other things atm)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Clanner Jake Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    197
    given the gimmick nature of the "stable branch" i vote for a third option: they wanted to pry some leeches off them that nagged every week consistently about the same stupid problem they signed on for but didn't think threw.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  21. g4borg Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    271
    Having a stable branch, which updates slower, will be very cool especially when the time comes where true dedicated SE servers are operating. By then, it should already run "with some experience", so starting this any later, would have been a huge mistake.

    Without wanting to get to close to people criticizing it, I think, it is just your fear of the unknown, and missing experience talking. This actual mode of release has proven itself as a very good "reduction" of mistakes, and keeping the amount of branches as low as possible is again helpful in reducing even more complications. I can however understand the reluctance, as I am from a generation of coders, who still grew up without branches in development, and not only had to shift early to it, but also had to watch even older people adapt to it way harder, with a lot of "precognitive wisdom" about branching coming up in the process, with very similar arguments, like here mentioned.

    And over time, it showed, all of those arguments were relative, and didnt become true. Some even turned from haters to evangelists.
    Lets be honest, logically, we only feel like its confusing first, may have even double the amount of possible errors, and may introduce us the nightmare of both things not doing what we really want. But thats just feelings and fears, not logic.
    And if someone still talks against the idea and thinks, he has experience, I laugh in his face. Blatantly, and arrogantly, I dare to question that.

    Having a stable branch ensures, that bugfixes are tested, new developments can be integrated better, and when major changes come up, that e.g. for a mod maintainer needs to adjust stuff, he has time to adjust or give crucial feedback. Many breaks of the past, or regression bugs we saw, might have been avoidable, if the release is also branched. Just remember stuff, like character models, directx 11, or introduction of mods themselves...

    Just because we have a stable branch, doesn't mean its the only branch for development, so no, you dont necessarily need a third branch for us customers, all you need is two: you test your mods on the test branch, for future compatibility, and adjust it there. You keep your mod in the stable updated against stable. No more "patch breaks stuff suddenly" issues. Of course mistakes can happen anywhere, but I can tell from my experience, people who assume the worst by experience, have not enough experience, to understand, that its okay to be afraid, and a crisis is still a good moment for a skeptic to dance and say i told you so.

    I know, stable - e.g. for any debian user - would mean something else: it would actually mean the "laid back released version, which is only maintained", while the actual game atm. runs on testing, and the "testing" is sid.
    This might make sense on a released product, that updates the whole product in yearly cycles, but in this case, having only "the most stable" and "the future playground" is sufficient, any other branches belong into the git (and devs can make so many branches there, as they want)
    Also, I am pretty sure, very needed hotfixes can be carried through to stable at any time, in fact two branches means, a hotfix can even become exactly that: a quick and stabilizing fix for a bug in stable, that has been fixed in testing differently and more in detail. As user you wont see the difference. But as maintainer or developer, both mods and the game itself, it will relieve a bit of stress, and actually most mistakes (really, like almost all of them) are caused by human error due to stuff like stress, anyway.

    So I can basicly see absolutely no downside in this, and if you disagree, I will let you, can't do anything. But I really hope people give it a try, and transform from critics to evangelists, as branched releases would benefit a lot of products, and thinking like a dev helps everyone.
    --- Automerge ---
    I also love space engineers.

    But thats the thing: as a dev, we had to do this transformation, due to our work, ourselves, once. Believe me, you hate branching even more, if as "programmer" you see, this is all more "work for you personally", as you have to keep the branching in mind, and it adds a bit of organisation around your work, having to think not about one codebase, but many. But your own "investment" very often influence yourself, just as your own "publicly stated arguments" fall back on your opinions and make you polarize even more, if you know what I mean.
    If someone says, he thinks this is a good process, out of development experience, it's not to show you superiority, I think, it's more an indirect tale of saying: I also had your concerns, as I know this change, from experience, maybe even because of reasons of my own lazyness, so its even hard to tell how radical and emotional I was back then about it. But it turned out, I was wrong. It is indeed a superior way of avoiding a lot of trouble. So please listen to me, because not only I love the game, I also love Amanda Tapping, and want her to be happy and relieved, so she can slaughter more Goa'Uld.

    Believe me, almost all developers face this once in their life, some accept it, but especially those, who got introduced to branching later on in their career, as it is a very young pattern overall, can vividly remember how they felt. I can, and I say, for one, no worries, m8.

    You are of course right however with one thing: modders will also have to adjust. It also means a bit more work around the mod, to have two versions, and they will rely on fewer feedback, as people will split in testing and stable. But this will even out, as soon as the "additional organisation" is "mastered", and overall it will make things easier "on the run" and increase the longeviety of mods, which is actually their crucial problem - especially if they have custom code. So yeah, of course, we will have some epic fails along the way, but this method has been a proven one to reduce them overall by establishing a protocol with a "fail safe".

    If your starfleet teaching has taught you anything, the federation loves redundancy for a reason...
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  22. megapro Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    72
    I'm not a programmer myself so I hope my question doesn't sound dumb to you or anyone who is a programmer but how exactly is ADDING a stable branch to the weekly test version keeping the amount of branches as low as possible? That sounds contradictory to me. Previously there was 1 public branch now there are 2 (excluding the dx9 support version).
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  23. g4borg Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    271
    I meant, instead of 3 or 4, have only 2. Its the branching itself, that is wise, but its still nice to keep the amount of branches as low as possible.

    if you have one, you dont have a branch at all :)
    so 2 is the minimum.

    yeah the dx9 would be a third one, but i think, nobody really argues about that branch for some reason, everybody seems to see the clear necessity of it :p we would have to start a chicken and egg problem if we argue, that it actually went from 2 to 3 and why was the single branch then not a branch, if there were two anyway. :p But as said, I mean the process of releasing to the public in two tickrates, with one river flowing into the other.

    Just think back on .... e.g. when suits were refurbished, which happened quite a few times, and how suddenly everybody had to remove certain mods until they were updated ...

    sorry, i did not write for a particular side, i just wrote my overall opinion, and some asked for more branches :p

    in the end, process will show how it works. its always possible, it doesnt work, this is just talk about opinions, only time and patience will tell. It may even become like people will ask for more branches instead of less in the future. Or Keen might need some time to make the branching releases really meaningful.
    I just say, I find it a good move from Keen, and I dont fear it. With so, many many words.

    For me personally it has two upsides: a) I will see which mods are maintained through this more clearly over time, if i see how they handle branch updates b) I can build my own blueprints less caring about whether things break suddenly, and try if certain things get fixed on demand. One downside: I am not sure how long it takes until its bug free with the steam workshop, as I always expect catastrophes :p

    Pneumatically, I also argue, that we should not forget, it puts more pressure on them too, and pressure equals stronger workforce!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
    • Informative Informative x 1
  24. megapro Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    72
    If I remember correctly they finished working on the dx9 branch that's why I put it in brackets. You can't really count that since it only remained there for backwards compatibility and probably some kind of compensation for people who bought the game with older systems but it won't receive any updates or bugfixes as far as I know.
     
  25. Major Awesome Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    33
    How about some news on how the Xbox version is coming, since I don't see anything about it for E3. I don't even care about a pinpoint date, make it mysteriously vague like "Fall 2016" or something like minecraft did; release it as is and update it every month or so. I have checked for this every Thursday since the announcement in 2014, and the wait is oh so tedious.
     
  26. Clanner Jake Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    197
    3 years into SE-2's development "OHH SNAP!.. guys we forgot to..."
     
  27. Merandix Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    519
    Just a little thing about branches... Stable shares a LOT of code with the 'experimental' version. All large features being developed are also on their own separate dev-branches, hidden from our view. But still, even those share a LOT of the code with the 'stable' branch. In fact, a good bug-report from stable may affect both stable, experimental and the internal dev-builds. It's not like the amount of testers is decreasing. Just the group testing the NEWEST features (and associated problems) is smaller. Once that group irons out the biggest issues, then it is passed on to stable, and more bugs will be found... with much lower risk of large stability problems or game-breaking bugs. Basically, it goes like this: new feature goes through QA-testing, new feature passes on to experimental version, where volunteers test the game for bugs, then the feature moves on to stable (where large bugs may still be discovered). KSP also uses this, but their experimental branch is closed, meaning only accessible to people who have applied for being experimental testers. Same goes for Star Citizen (their PTU is essentially a closed version of what the 'dev branch' is here). Most games just have this particular phase of development not entirely open. You have to apply for testing on experimentals. Subnautica actually also has an open experimental version you can subscribe to through steam.

    At least, that is my take on how branches work after having played several early access games, and having been told snippets about branches by programmer-friends :p I may be wrong, but to my understanding, it works like that, and going by the programmers I know, it is in fact a bit odd that some people who program for a living are a bit afraid of this change. So I'm really curious what the scare is, or where I'm wrong in my explanation of how this works. Because it seems a bit off that this system seemingly works for every company out there but Keen (or is it the intended frequency of updates Keen is still maintaining in combination with all of this?).
     
  28. Syncaidius Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    824
    That's how it's supposed to work. But its a complete waste of time if they don't test anything in the first place. And right now, it feels like this is the case.

    Obviously, we've only had our first delivery of the stable branch last week but already it feels wrong when the unstable branch is more stable than the stable branch, which itself isn't even that stable to begin with. It almost felt like they didn't bother to start the game and play for just 5 minutes before giving us the "stable" branch.

    Instead of creating a totally new branch I think it'd have been better if they switched to bi-weekly updates. That way they have a few days to actually test things instead of rushing stuff out to meet the weekly update expectations/schedule. As it stands now, they've only made more work for themselves, because now they have to update every week like before and on top of that, manage changes to the stable branch.

    Any programmers here who've worked with branching will know that merges have a habit of going wrong (and creating even more bugs) when you least expect, even when everything looks perfectly fine. Especially for big projects like SE/VRage/ME.

    I have nothing against them adding a stable branch of course, but if they're going to do that they really need to step up on testing a lot.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  29. Spets Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,214
    you can delete planets in creative now? :eek:
     
  30. LocInt Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    264
    Where is my dev update
     
Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.