I’d like to take an opportunity to explain the current state of things, and what is happening with regards to continued development of Mirage into 2019. You may have noticed a few community changes in the last weeks, namely:
- Deletion of the community Facebook
- Removal of Reddit
- Wiki link taken down
- Forums closed
On the surface this might look like the behaviour of a product / service that is shutting down. On the contrary, this is simply me realising that there were far too many community hubs for me to manage. People would constantly try and reach out to me or the moderator team through facebook, reddit or the forums and basically get no response because I just didn’t ever really look at them. The net result of this is a lot of people left feeling like they got really shitty support or deliberately ignored, which is something I don’t want to happen going forwards. The wiki link has been dropped simply as it has outdated information, and is directly tied to a subreddit I no longer support.
A sign of things to come
So aside from the removal of a bunch of community pages, what else is going on? Well, the real aim of all this is to get a handle on everything so myself, the moderation team, and you (the players) are in a more solid position going forwards. With that in mind, a few things are going to happen over the next few weeks:
- Realm Rules will be moved out of the forums and onto the website
- Support section of the website with FAQs and a form to contact Char by email with any issues
- Addition of a Manual to the website, which will explain the mechanics of the game in detail and help answer questions new players might have
- Rework of how players donate to the project:
- Removal of Paypal as a payment method
- Removal of the cyclic realm bonus mechanism that is poorly understood
- Addition of usable scrolls in-game which will grant specific realm-wide bonuses
- These can be freely traded
- You can just buy the realm bonus scrolls you want instead of relying on the RNG of the current donation system
- All buffs affect everyone playing just like now
- Gender and Name change scrolls will also be available, the latter at a reasonable cost
- Addition of in-game store, where you can buy these scrolls using google play
The development and management of Mirage as a project over the years has largely been a mess. A poorly supported mess with little direction, at that! The game in it’s current form is effectively a proof of concept, and has a number of engine limitations as a result of how it was built in a reasonably rushed and exploratory way (my first game and all that). That said, it has found a place in the Play Store and many of you continue to enjoy it despite it’s shortcomings – which is awesome. I think it’s time this stuff started getting ran properly.
With that in mind…
I started work some time ago rewriting the whole game from scratch. New client, new server, new technology, new engine. The aim here is to remove the limitations and built some real foundations that are going to make it easy to build and extend the game properly – to make it possible to actually build the game I originally set out to realise. It is still relatively early days with the new engine, though I can say the fundamental client and server architecture is looking great and I am very close to having something we can log into and run around in. One of the largest changes is the world will be one big consistent map rather than lots of small ones – this is something I have always wanted but did not have the patience to engineer the first time round.
How is this relevant to improving the website and ripping out paypal donations? Well, really attacking this game as a serious Indie project is going to take a hell of a lot of blood sweat and tears and I want to make sure the current version of Mirage and it’s players (you guys!) are taken care of while I do it. It’s about making sure the old house doesn’t fall down while you build the new one, and embracing this opportunity to turn over a new leaf – treating the game and it’s community with the respect it deserves, taking the attitude of “no compromises, do it properly” from the new engine and applying it to Mirage on the whole.
When can we see the new stuff?
As soon as I have something cool to show you, I will. In the mean time the donations patch should land mid-december, expect some new content along side it to keep the wheels turning.
Thanks for reading,