As of this writing, Tau Station is about half a million lines of code. Most of that is Perl, a language that is famously concise. Were it written in Java, for example, it would probably clock in at well over a million lines of code. When a codebase gets to this size, it can be very hard to maintain. This is how we manage that complexity.
Continue reading "Making Complex Software Simple"
Tau Station relies heavily on open source code. Our database is PostgreSQL, with database deployment management handled by sqitch. Our main programming language is Perl 5, we use Redis heavily as a fast cache for non-critical data, and so on. Lots and lots of open source code.
For our developers who want to share some of our code with the open source community, we simply ask that the code not have “Tau Station-specific” code in it. In other words, part of the fun of Tau Station is discovering its secrets by exploring the universe, not reading them in source code.
So we’ve released two more modules which, we hope, others might find useful.
Continue reading "Building a Universe with Open Source Code"
After last week’s release of Barnard’s Star, this week was mostly about smoothing the gameplay for that system. Many players are quite happy about it, but a couple of oversights were addressed. In particular, we released a hotfix for a Bank on Caen Stronghold, a Freebooter station, and a Gaule Protectorate embassy on the Barnard’s Star Jump gate. We also had an issue with many names in the “Areas” sidebar showing custom names and many players found this confusing, so we reverted back to standard names.
Thus, this changelog includes information about already seen changes from the hotfix along with new changes.
Continue reading "Update Changelog 2018-Oct-03"
For the week of August 13 through August 17, 2018, part of Tau Station’s backend development team will be in lovely Glasgow, Scotland, attending The Perl Conference – Glasgow. There are major Perl events held worldwide every month and this is one of our favorites.
Continue reading "The Perl Conference, Glasgow, Scotland"
The complexity of Tau Station requires a huge amount of work and care. Extensive research and times goes into every aspect of the game. Be it scientific, historical, or otherwise, we strive to make the Tau Station universe believable and as realistic as possible to further the experience of immersion and enjoyment. Read on to learn more about the ways we spend the time needed to bring this realism into a sci-fi game set hundreds of years into the future…
Continue reading "The Richness of Tau Station"
Tau Station has been in Closed Alpha since the beginning of January and we’ve been getting fantastic support from the first Community members who have joined the test. We’re very happy about all of the feedback and suggestions. Around 100 of all participants did the first feedback survey so far, and we’re happy to see an average rating of 7.4 even with the game still in its Alpha state. On top to that, the gaming activity and login frequency are awesome; some of you have already reached level 10+! It seems we have delivered something that you’ve been enjoying. In order to keep delivering it, we need your help!
Continue reading "Shop Grand Opening & Next Steps!"
This status report for December concludes the thrilling year of 2017. For our team, it felt like light speed, and together with you, we will welcome the new year, 2018, in a very special way: the day we all have been waiting for! On January 2nd, 2018, the first spaceship will lift off to Tau Station. In a few days, 100 passengers will fasten their seat belts for the Closed Alpha Test. Read on to see what we achieved in December and get your last chance to be on board as well…
Continue reading "Tau Station Status Report: December 2017"
People have been waiting a long time for the launch of Tau Station and we’re just about to start our closed alpha, as described here. If you want a chance to be invited to participate, please complete this short survey. If you’re not chosen, don’t feel bad; we’re working to ensure we have a good cross-section of players who represent different facets of what we’re trying to achieve, including accessibility, cross-browser compatibility, responsive design for mobile, and, of course, a strong desire to immerse themselves into a rich science fiction universe.
Don’t forget: the survey is only open until the end of December, 2017!
Another month comes to an end and all teams were able to finish a lot, as you can see in our brand new status report. Many UIs and designs made it to the game. Features like storage per station and Market Vendors have been implemented, a lot of progress was made by the narrative team, new missions were added, and more load testing was performed. Several tasks need be done before Closed Alpha can start, but the outlook for December points out that we’ve been coming closer: Full in-house play-testing is on the list…
Continue reading "Tau Station Status Report: November 2017"
Time is running out fast! 2017 is nearly over, but we made a lot of progress in October 2017, as you can see in the new status report about the development of our science fiction game, Tau Station. Our focus is (still) on getting the game ready for Closed Alpha. Due to the progress on the backend, the frontend team was able to get several core elements in shape for testing. The art team has created a lot of designs. Long story short: several UIs, core game chat, and a couple more missions are waiting for you, while game design is pushing the skill system and combat even further.
Continue reading "Tau Station Status Report: October 2017"