Friday, 12 August 2016

Devblog #32 - What's new this week and the future of the Block Parties


Early this week, we released a new patch for Atom Universe. This gave our PlayStation 4 and Steam Early Access members the opportunity to test out some new features, such as the avatar clothing and the new 10-Pin Bowling Challenges.

Time to hang up the Space Suits

With this new update, it’s time to let your avatar kick back and relax in some more comfortable clothing. In, Steam Early Access members got a first look at Adam and Eve’s new wardrobe attire. We’re happy to announce that this feature has now been brought over the PlayStation 4.

Another major update that we’ve implemented into Atom Universe is the 10-Pin Bowling challenges, if you’re looking for a more difficult challenge, then this is for you!

Bowling Challenge – Obstacles have now been placed on the bowling lane and you must use your skill to navigate your bowling ball to that strike. Mastering spin is a must!

Bowling Challenge Pro – This is for the hardcore bowlers out there, navigating your bowling ball past stationary obstacles is too easy for you. Now, you’re faced with infuriating obstacles that move along the lane. In this mode, your spin and timing skills are put to the ultimate test.

Future of the Block Parties

In our last DevBlog, we left you with a question that has been troubling us. The future of our bi-monthly Block Parties. With our servers affecting players entering our Block Parties. Should continue them, or hold off until the servers become more stable?

We’ve had an overwhelming response from our community and we’ve taken this feedback under consideration. Starting from this Saturday, we’ll be starting to hold the bi-monthly Block Parties on a monthly basis now. If you’re an Early Access member, please do feel free to come and join us from 12:00PM CST / 10AM PST / 1:00PM EST / 6PM GMT.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

PlayStation 4 & Steam Early Access Patch Notes

Greetings all,

PlayStation 4 & Steam Early Access members will now be able to download the latest patch for Atom Universe. With it, comes a whole wealth of changes from avatar clothing, two brand new game modes for our classic 10-Pin Bowling and of course, bug fixes. More details down below.

Patch Notes:

  • Customization of avatar clothes
  • Additional functionality to customize clothing colour
  • Additional functionality to customize accessory colour 
  • New clothing and accessories added for even more customization
  • 2 new bowling modes: Challenge Bowling and Challenge Bowling Pro
  • Added tutorial prompts to initial bowling play-through
  • Improved ball physics
  • New standalone UI for subscription to make navigation simpler 
  • Added details of subscription perks
  • Back-end service improvements
  • Improvements and bug fixes to server scalability
  • Players can now see all private spaces created by their in-game friends
  • General minor formatting improvements
  • Networking related bug fixes 
  • Fixed an issue that prevented all networked players from being able to see other players premium content if the local player did not have this content unlocked
  • Fixed the new chat notifications that previously did not work
  • Collision improvements
  • Users will no longer get stuck after sitting down

Friday, 5 August 2016

DevBlog #31 - Managing the Atom Universe Servers

Greetings Atomz,

Friday is upon us and we’re ready for the weekend, let’s kick things off with one of our DevBlogs shall we?

Managing the Atom Universe Servers

For some time now, we’ve been hosting the Atom Universe Parties for our Early Access month on a fortnightly basis. While some Early Access members have been able to join in on this meet-ups some of you have had difficulty joining in.

With this DevBlog, we’ll be taking a closer look at why some members have difficulty joining and what we’ll be doing to improve the servers to prevent this forum happening further down the line.
Speaking to Alex Grona, we look at some of the potential issues that could be causing the connection drop outs.

“They are two possible factors to consider when players get disconnect from the Atom Universe servers. Firstly, connection timeout with the server. This can either be caused by the Atom Universe client or the server itself. Potentially, the client can be slow and causes the server connection to drop.  (e.g memory leaks, bugs or low performing machines). The server can also become slow and start dropping connections in order to perform more effectively. (e.g. too many are trying to connect the server at once).

Secondly, the server has crashed. Currently, there isn’t any in-game messaging to notify players that this has happened. If this issue occurs then all players will be removed from the server and returned to the main menu. The servers will then create a new instance and players will be able to log back into the game.”

This can be a very frustrating experience, especially if this is continually happening to yourself. We need to remember that we’re still in Early Access and Atom Universe is still in development. Unfortunately, that’s just the nature of the beast at this stage in development. The question now is how can we improve upon this?

“Behind the scenes, we’re currently focusing on stress testing running all kinds of scenarios that we may encounter further down the line. By running these tests we’ll be able to identify any issues that are affecting us and we’ll be able to implement a fix. Over time we will start to see the servers become more and more stable and these connection drop outs will become less frequent.”

With this issue being common for some Early Members during the Block Party events we host fortnightly, it’s left us with a question and that is should we continue these events, or hold off until the servers become more stable?