Hello everyone! The end of July brought with it the sad news of Peter 'Calistas' Tyson's departure. If you were away and missed the announcement then see the hot news section later for the links to his farewell letter and last ever dev diary. Peter made quite a mark on the Dragon Empires community and it was very sad to see him go. However, he returns to his native New Zealand to get married and start a family and what more honourable a reason does he need? :) Whilst the thought of mini-Tysons running around is somewhat unnerving, I'm sure you’ll join me in wishing him and his family all the very best for the future.
So who's running the show now?
Good question! Contrary to the reports of a coup, (this was untrue ;), I was offered the position and gladly accepted. Some of you may recognise me from my previous works: 'That QA person who assisted the beta-testers', or more recently 'When Calistas went on vacation'. That's right, I'm "Satine", a.k.a. Sam Russell. If you ever have a question about the forum, the game, your account or need anything Dragon Empires related then please feel free to ask me.
How will things change around here?
I have every intention on carrying on the good work Calistas started. I don't envisage any huge changes right now in the way we do things, although I am going to re-assess areas to see if they can be 'freshened-up'. For this, I should like to consult with all of you every step of the way; get your feedback, ideas and suggestions. I thought this newsletter was a good place to start and so placed a Poll over on our forums so that you can vote and add your comments regarding the frequency, content etc. Don't forget, if you don't tell us how you want things we can't *always* guess :)
Lore - The Crusades - Part 1
Author: Rob Adams
When the Hunters arrived home that evening they bought something back with them... more
Hot News (and there's a lot of it this month!)
- Den of Shadows´ competition winner!
The judge's decision is in and a big congratulations is in order for Shintuk, the winner! You can read the winning story and all the other entries over at the Den of Shadows.
- Satine writes of her first week as CLM in today´s Dev Diary
How has Satine's first week as Community Liaison Manager been? You can find out in this week's Dev diary
- Stratics House of Commons chat logs
Read the logs from yesterday's two dev chats. The first one can be found here and the second one, here
- Empire Echoes Filler
Robc is on vacation this week. Jack drew an exclusive picture to take Empire Echoes' place.
- Calistas´ last dev diary
Well it's Peter's very last day today and so it was fitting that he should have today's dev diary. Click on to read his farewell letter
- Dragon Empires - The History of the Game at Stratics
Ever wondered how it all began? Stratics has posted an interesting catalogue of events showing the entire history of Dragon Empires to date.
- Satine leads a coup, Calistas booted out!
Ok, not true at all, but it is true that Calistas is leaving us and Satine is taking up the job of CLM Dragon Empires. Read on!
- Robc talks about lost packets
The latest Empire Echoes is on the devilry of Lost packets.
- Stratics interviews Jolyon
Stratics have interviewed Jolyon, principal artist on Dragon Empires.
Dev News - What is up with that server?
For this newsletter it seemed fitting to have words with the server guys ;) so I went off to find out what they've been up to for the last few weeks. Dan, the chap leading the server team, told me that they had been working on improving a few key areas in particular. The first was the core architecture. In order to ensure that thousands of users can be supported on the server, a suite of tools have been created to simulate this many players running around and doing stuff in the game-world. As you can appreciate, getting this right is essential for the beta and it just isn't practical to run these fundamental tests with real people.
There has also been a focus on developing systems for monitoring the behaviour of the server such as how it is performing and what actions are being performed by the various connected players. This will be more and more important when the system is released. A series of more advanced error detection and recovery routines have been developed to support this.
Other areas the team have been working on include improving things such as the maintainability of the server code base so it is easier to add new features when the game is shipped as well as the development of new methods that will improve the performance of the database.
Until next time!