Friday, 24 April 2009

Never on a Friday

Sod's Law states that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. And it has! This most fundamental of engineering principles has really been biting us trying to get 1.1.5 together.

For the last few weeks we've been chasing a really nasty crash bug in the graphics drivers on early Intel Macs with Radeon X cards. This kills the machine stone dead and we were very keen to get a fix for it. Unfortunately we don't have one of these to test on so I've been borrowing a mate's machine every so often to try a fix out on. Last weekend I finally got a fix that didn't break anything else at the same time and wouldn't leave users on those machines severely disadvantaged. And then we tried to build the patch... Since we wanted to update some dlls we then ran into problems with the launcher under Windows not releasing the dlls and failing to write over them. Sigh. The patch doesn't even affect Windows! Back out of that and try a different way to update things. Nope. Back out of that and try a different way of applying the fix. Phew! That works.

And then last night we learnt that the fix only works for Mac Leopard (1.5) users and that Mac Tiger (1.4) users see different symptoms... Sorry, Hugh :(

Perhaps in hindsight we should have released 1.1.5 when the main bit was ready and resolved the Mac bug with a hot fix, but Johnnie & Ben are hard taskmasters on QA and rightly don't like to let things out unfinished!

So unless any other horrors turn up at the last moment, we'll be releasing 1.1.5 on Monday.

We have a strict rule here that we never ever release on a Friday. There are two reasons for that:
(1) By Friday we are often so fed up and frustrated by the last minute little niggles that there is a strong temptation just to get it out of the door so we can end the week clean.
(2) If we release on Friday and there are problems, there's not so much support available over the weekend and it would probably be Monday before we could help.

Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Moviestorm 1.1.5, so near...

Version 1.1.5 has now passed testing. However, in yet another cruel twist of fate, the patcher won't work. Apparently it's something to do with automatically updating dll's which is causing the grief this time. We're hoping to get a fix later today.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Moviestorm 1.1.5 nearly ready (again)

OK, here we go. We think we've finally dealt with the nasty crash bug that's been giving us such an ass-kicking for the last few weeks, and we're now starting the process of wrapping up Moviestorm 1.1.5 ready for release.

It's not yet a guaranteed dead cert, but it's definitely looking good to get to you soon.

Wish us luck...

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Carrying a torch for Love(craft)

We know it's been pretty quiet around here recently. We're sorry about that - as Matt says, it's all Daves's fault (and yes, the pluralisation there is correct).

We're as busy as Santa's favourite elf on Christmas Eve here at Moviestorm Towers, putting the final touches on Moviestorm version 1.1.5 as well as working on several forthcoming Content Packs. We've already teased you with footage from some early development code for the Pyro pack - remember the rain and the fireworks? - but Julian, Ben and Chris have just shown me some new developments, also coming in Pyro, which were so pretty I had to share them with you. Ready for some Lovecraftian exploration?

View the high-quality version at

"And when tales fly thick in the grottoes of tritons, and conches in seaweed cities blow wild tunes learned from the Elder Ones, then great eager vapours flock to heaven laden with lore; and Kingsport, nestling uneasy on its lesser cliffs below that awesome hanging sentinel of rock, sees oceanward only a mystic whiteness, as if the cliff's rim were the rim of all earth, and the solemn bells of the buoys tolled free in the aether of faery."

P.S. It's been brought to my attention that I should probably issue a public apology for the dreadfully tortured pun-laden title of this post. I hereby do so, unreservedly.