Developer Update

From Dan’s post to Thumdar:

Bruce has managed to resurrect the tools download pages (on the QA cluster, not in prod yet) and it’s looking pretty good, with a few blemishes.

As soon as we can make it properly ‘safe’ we will merge that to prod so you all can start vetting the tools to see if they still work 🙂

Hopefully the submission process will ‘work’ with the proviso that we will refuse the submission 🙂 (so we don’t end up with 90 zillion designs queued up before we’re ready for them).

Then we will pick a handful of ‘extra special favorite people’ (i.e. as random a selection as we can, while still picking people who actually know how this stuff works already… used to work…) and allow JUST THEM to actually submit designs. Which we will then NOT approve, but it will be another step forward.

Unfortunately, it sounds like we will have to rewrite the ‘product to sord activation’ process *before* we can re-write the approval process (the act of approving a design still requires too much access to in-company assets. Specifically, we can’t approve without access to our corporate source control system, and that’s not something we can provide access to externally, even if we were of a mind to do so (which we aren’t, in case that’s not clear) 🙂


When There was first built, we didn’t have a Developer program. We knew we wanted one, but it wasn’t exactly fleshed out up front.

Consequently, assets (textures, models, etc) were stored in a source control system, just like any other Game Development Shop. This made sense, since the only people who were changing these assets were in-house.

When we added the Developer Program, the There-side of the system actually shoehorned YOUR assets into the source control system too, so they could be distributed to the servers just like There products. It probably “seemed like a good idea at the time”.

Fast forward to now, where we’re going to try and make the “There Side” of the Developer Program operate more automatically. As Dan says, there’s no way we’re going to give this process direct access to our source control system, so we need a “better” way. Actually, “better” means “the right way”, since what we want to do is just shoot the assets right out to the servers instead of the meandering path it takes now. A little side affect of that could mean that products would become available instantly once they’re approved (in the best of all worlds).

Of course, like all good solutions, there are lots of things which need to be figured out/solved first, so as Dan says, we’re “not out of the woods yet”. If it looks like it’s going to take too long, I may consider resurrecting the old “back office” approval system for a while, provided it can be done economically.

  1. #1 by Kirmeo Wingwalker on 2012.03.19 - 8:28 am

    I think it’s been mentioned before, but I’d really like to see the previewer/submission tool support Collada files. I’m a professional programmer working primarily on Windows, but with Mac/Win behind-the-scenes code. I would have no problem signing a NDA just to look at the feasibility of this becoming a reality.

  2. #2 by Jimuari on 2012.03.19 - 6:19 am

    Looking forward to seeing the results of your hard work. Its has been so long since we were cast adrift in the terrible sea of virtual worlds searching for that familiar harbour of home. When the port appeared in the horizon we released a collective scream of delight and headed our ships straight for it. Even in the shallows some of us lost our way and others the will but we as a group made it back home again. After all of this we have some who want to stand on the beach and complain about the landing. Others want to complain about the beach. We ignore them and walk on till we find the ones with ear to ear smiles. The ones who are so excited they can’t find words to paint what their minds see. These are the ones who are happy to be home. These are the true Therians. We as Therians want to as a group, thank you for all your hard work. We could not have found our way without you and could never have rebuilt our homes. We realize just how great it is that you have done this for us. We sing your names in praise and will never forget. Thank you.

  3. #3 by dx on 2012.03.18 - 11:48 am

    Yeah. Take a few days off. Clear the mind a bit of everything but the new approval system. Rigging that old thing means splitting your brain into too many places at once being short-handed in the approval process as I understand it. You’re going to explode. Everything is going great so far! Save for the fixing of old problems creating new ones. Like give/lend making people jump up and down because they can’t do anything else after giving someone something. lol. Maybe it’s best to give this one a bit of an extended fighting chance in case it’s closer than you realized to fruition? Of course if all fails it can be implemented in the future, right? Although it certainly sounds like it would save a lot of time. GL.

    Hope you all had a quenching St. Patrick’s Day!

  4. #4 by SunnyMusic on 2012.03.18 - 9:06 am

    Thank you, Team Phoenix for your dedication to getting this all figured out and implemented. Sounds so complicated. Cheering you on! 😀

  5. #5 by coolnet on 2012.03.17 - 8:20 pm

    I hope it works out. 🙂 I believe you all have the ability to do it. 🙂 I’m looking forward to it. I have a house that is already to be submit.

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