Just wanted to post a quick update on a few things.
It’s been a hectic week as we’ve been dealing with a number of bug reports and other minor issues lately. We’ve received a lot of questions, so I’m just gonna dump a few quick answers here…
About a week ago, we deployed a patch that upped the quality of a number of the in-game graphics (adding some effects when turns change, detailed explosions when units die, etc.) This caused an increase in graphics-related crashes (mostly due to unpredictable GPU memory limits imposed by the browser itself). Some of these had some pretty strange and interesting consequences (such as players automatically resigning when a huge number of units exploded at once). I personally spent many many hours investigating these issues, and we’ve made three changes:
- Efficiency improvements to graphics themselves to reduce GPU memory usage (more to come, but we’ve fixed several of the biggest problems).
- Better error handling so that graphics errors don’t cause the game engine itself to fail (the “auto-lose” bug was caused by the game engine itself erroring when the graphics events crashed during an end-of-turn procedure known as “collecting the bodies”).
- Improved logging so that we’re more aware of what’s going on when users have these errors.
Prismata actually uses a surprisingly small amount of graphics memory. However, the browser version is subject to browser-imposed limitations on GPU memory that can depend on all kinds of other things (not only how good your machine is, but what other things your browser may be doing). So it’s a different story compared to the usual “minimum system requirements” that you see on most PC game boxes; the browser controls how much GPU memory it thinks Prismata ought to receive, and we can’t do too much about it.
It suffices to say that a full standalone client will solve that issue, and we’re most of the way toward having one ready (though there are still a few features that don’t work). We might publish a non-fully-featured standalone version sometime for our alpha users to test to see if it improves stability for them. (Is there demand for this?)
We’ve got a number of bug reports in the last day or so showing replays in which Master Bot is doing strange things (like buying mostly Animuses or Blastforges for the whole game). We’re still investigating why this might be happening (it seems random and doesn’t seem to be happening to everyone, and we’re unsure whether it’s the bot code itself or something else in Prismata.) If anyone can provide some reliable ways to reproduce this behaviour, please drop us a line.
If we can’t resolve these issues in a few days, we’ll probably just revert the bot back to an old version. Thanks for your patience.
EDIT: Bot problems have been fixed!
Last quick thing… we’ve had a lot of comments on the changes we’ve made to the Arena (now Ranked Play) and Black Lab. We’re going to be deploying a few further tweaks in the upcoming days; here’s a rough list of changes:
- Streak bonus added in Ranked Play.
- Bonus stars no longer affect your rewards in Ranked Play.
- Ranked Play Score Screen will be merged with the prizebox-opening screen.
- Changes to the distribution of what you get when you hit XXX in the black lab. (Feel free to hoard your black cards for the next few days until the changes are live, though the difference will ultimately not matter after we reset the rewards in the weeks/months to come.)
More info + vlog to come once things settle down.
Thanks again to everyone in the Prismata alpha for your patience, your bug reports, and all your helpful comments.