As we mentioned in the previous post, ever since the Steam launch we've been busy working on getting new hosting. Over the last week we've finally received all the paperwork and hardware accesses to start the process:

On June 16th (Monday), starting at 10:00 we'll start the migration from our old servers in Budapest to a large datacenter in Amsterdam operated by Internap.

Internap certainly has a track record in gaming hosting, so this will hopefully lower the on-terrain latency - Amsterdam is one of the major hubs of Transatlantic networking, so players from Europe and America should notice a much more stable connection. Internap also cooked up various solutions to continually adapt networks, so in short we're having high hopes for this.

Now, a few words about the migration itself: During the period of moving, which we estimate to be around 3-4 hours (but you know how it is), all services will be down - game, web, email, IRC, everything. Some of this delay is inevitable (DNS propagation) and services will come back asynchronously: we'll try to get the game back up as fast as we can - most services are already running and working fine, we just need to synchronize some files and databases.

It's probably your best bet to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to follow our migration progress.

Wish us luck.

Gamma Frontier

Finally the day has come, when we unleash what we essentially consider as almost a rewrite of the game (considering there's barely anything left untouched in it), and open the Gamma Frontier. This has been a frankly unreasonable amount of work, but having seen some of the things already built on the test servers, I feel it was already well worth it.

A big big BIG thank you and massive respect goes to anyone who gave the test server a shot and systematically uncovered our occasional mishaps through numbers and lines of code; we hope the final product lives up to your expectations. (And if you didn't join the test server, now you know who to blame.)

The massive list of changes and upgrades are available here, the help pages are available here, and a fairly accurate representation of the dev-team can be found here.

And now, it's your turn: Last one on Gamma is a rotten Arkhe!

With the upcoming patch dealing with terraforming and player built settlements we also need to upgrade some of our current tools to better suit the challenges these new systems pose. The most basic such system involving the terrain is the one visualizing where players can go - the slope display.

As part of the work on the PBS patch we have upgraded the slope display so you'll not only be able to see where your robot can go, but also where robots of other classes can venture. More importantly the new slope display will also show areas which need to be flattened before a building can be raised at a certain area.

As these new tools won't be needed all the time we're making them optional. You'll be able to cycle between the different display modes using the slope toggle button.

Also, most of the server side code work on the individual PBS nodes has now finished and we're in the process of building the terraform blueprint system while the artists work on the gfx for the nodes. And before you ask, the next part of the PBS series blog should be out next week ;)

Here's a bit of a pre-xmas sneak peek on the progress of the new terrain engine. We're still heavily working on it, but the difference is already very notable. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Here's a sneak peek of some of the upcoming shader 3 changes. Keep in mind that this is still heavily work in progress, and the final version will include even more upgrades. Shadows are deliberately turned off at the moment, these images show the level of changes upcoming to the terrain engine and the water renderer.