The Future Proof Podcast 031
Melissa Avery-Weir 0:21
Hello, and welcome to the Future Proof Podcast. This is our bi-monthly podcast where we chat about stuff we're working on anything cool we're planning. I'm Melissa.
Gregory Avery-Weir 0:33
And I'm Gregory. And we have done a release! We finished! !e've released all of the releases!
Melissa Avery-Weir 0:41
All the things! Of all, of all the things! When we last recorded, the Rosette Diceless Companion was almost finished being released. And I think maybe by the time we had published, stuff had kind of been tidied up, but just want to say officially, all versions of the Rosette Diceless Companion that are going to exist in the world--no, I'm kidding--they're all out, as well as the original Diceless. So I think Kindle was one that was still kind of drifting out there, with its weird approval processes and fixes and stuff. So DriveThruRPG, Amazon, and itch.io, all have all versions of the book they're going to have. So it's very excited to be able to, like close that out and say like, "whoo!" Just, you know, put a pin in it for a little while until we get to the other Rosettes that do involve dice. That's a while down the road.
Gregory Avery-Weir 1:43
Yeah. So yeah, Rosette Diceless, and the Companion you can get in a bundle. There's an updated version of Rosette Diceless. And, yeah, physical, PDF, ebook.
Melissa Avery-Weir 1:56
Yep. So we said we'd had released all the things. So we've also released a couple things on Exploit: Zero Day.
Gregory Avery-Weir 2:03
Yeah. So Exploit: Zero Day, it's our puzzle game. You play it in the browser. You can make your own puzzles. And every public puzzle that you're hacking is one that--every puzzle you're solving is one, is a computer system you're hacking into. And also, when you make a system, you're making a puzzle for other people to play. And in the fiction of the game, you're kind of contributing to this weird, I guess, insurance fraud thing that these these hacktivists are doing in order to kind of drain money away from an evil corporation in order to help other people.
Gregory Avery-Weir 2:40
And we want to encourage making systems, you know, in part because it's it's fun. And in part, because like that helps keep the game going, where where people are making puzzles for other people. And it kind of lets us see what's what do people consider interesting about puzzles? You know, what did if they come up with some concept, can we incorporate that inspiration into our own work all that. So we have released a job, which is like a quest in the game, to make yourself a home cluster. And it starts off with saying, "Hey, make a real little cluster of puzzles." And then once you've done that, it gives you a little reward and is like, "Hey, when you get around to it, make an even bigger one, and you'll get another reward." And so it's just a little encouragement and reminder for folks to make their own stuff. It's totally optional. I don't think it unlocks anything. But it gives a little bit of incentive to if you haven't checked out puzzle creation, where you didn't realize that you could do it, go ahead and do it.
Melissa Avery-Weir 3:44
Yeah, so it's sort of a tutorial, in addition to, to being a cool feature of the game that we wanted to kind of show off. I think one of the reasons that people wander away from Exploit: Zero Day is that there are lulls in which you know, in which people are not making puzzles and not making clusters. And so by having sort of a job to encourage people to do so, and they will do so at their own pace. It hopefully, you know, helps incentivize folks to, to come back and see what's new.
Gregory Avery-Weir 4:18
Yeah. And it's, it's, uh, we always do it at a at a slow pace. But we've recently put out a new puzzle cluster of our own as part of a job in Headless Swarm.
Melissa Avery-Weir 4:31
That's right. So headless swarm, our ongoing sort of quasi-early access? I mean, I guess it's early access, even if we don't call it that. Our paid a season of story for Exploit: Zero Day has, will have a total of about sort of nine main jobs. And we've talked about how we were pretty close to finishing the eighth one, and finishing the eighth means that we released the seventh. So job seven, which is actually called RFC 1149... I'll leave that to listeners to Google. And/or maybe check the show notes is out and available for play. So Headless Swarm. Like I said, it's our--you know, everything in EZD is free, except for this paid season of story so far. And Headless Swarm is about five bucks US dollars, and is an entire story arc. And so we will be starting on the development of the ninth and final job soon, at which point we'll be wrapping this puppy up and putting a bow on it and calling it done. So that's very exciting.
Gregory Avery-Weir 5:37
Job seven takes place in an airport. It's your you're working on, on hacking into in airport's traffic control, and otherwise systems in order to protect it from a drone attack.
Melissa Avery-Weir 5:51
Yeah, so yeah, if you play Exploit: Zero Day, you already have kind of an invite from the main person who sort of runs these jobs or sort of introduces you to this dilemma. You already have a job in your inbox for that, and you just buy it right off the site, you know, Exploit: Zero Day is not on Steam or anything like that. So everything is on exploitzeroday.com.
Gregory Avery-Weir 6:14
And if you haven't checked it out yet, there's an entire season, a free story that you can play through that's does a whole bunch of story and puzzles, and so on to solve. And you can use that to decide if you want more and want to play Headless Swarm.
Melissa Avery-Weir 6:28
Pretty good writing, I think we did on that one. And then also on the Exploit: Zero Day front, so we've been doing--or we did something behind the scenes, that was a pretty hefty lift. Like we were, we were planning for this. I was like, "Oh, we haven't done like any, like huge releases on EZD since the last podcast," but that is because we have been working on a little bit of a doozy of a thing to, to implement and test.
Gregory Avery-Weir 6:57
Yeah, this one's big. If we did it right, you will notice no difference. And it is, it's entirely under the hood. But it's an important thing. So the techie people will know in the audience will know how much of a big deal kind of major schema refactoring is. I'll try and make it not too technical and hard to get. But in Exploit: Zero Day, we've got--and this is pretty typical of an architecture for a lot of things--we have the concept of a user and the concept of an account. And so we've got like in the code, we've got users who are like--each, each player of the game has a user and an account, and the user is where we should be storing the data about like, what's your password, and... or we don't store your password. But what's, how do we figure out if you've got the right password? And, you know, are you able to log in via Twitter and stuff like that. And then the account model is where we should have always been storing kind of game-specific things that don't have to do with like logging in and managing who you are, but instead are like, what's your handle on the game? And what puzzles do you have?
Melissa Avery-Weir 8:13
It's like a profile on another site, right? Like, yeah, it would be like, what's your display name, right? Like that kind of like, user facing public-y sorts of stuff. And in fact, it is the stuff that other users see about you.
Gregory Avery-Weir 8:26
Yeah, theoretically, I think nothing, nothing in your user should be visible to anyone. It's only your account that that the rest of the game is dealing with. And we just muddied the waters a little bit when we were initially developing the game. We just kind of weren't, didn't quite have the full vision of things. And so in some cases, like the, the badges you've earned, were earned by the account. Whereas the jobs that you did that you were engaged, you're employed in in order to earn those badges, the user was employed instead of the account.
Melissa Avery-Weir 9:00
Gregory Avery-Weir 9:01
And so there are all sorts of places where we were using users when we knew we should be--we've known for a while we should have been using accounts. But switching that stuff over is just a pain. It's a whole lot of work, just to make sure we cover all of the bases, make sure everywhere where it says ".user", it says ".account" instead, all that stuff. There's a huge database migration that's required. We think--
Melissa Avery-Weir 9:25
It's very scary!
Gregory Avery-Weir 9:26
Yeah, we think we've got all that squared away. Our test environment is working fine. And so sometime soon, maybe like tomorrow, as of recording...
Melissa Avery-Weir 9:37
Maybe! Or Saturday.
Gregory Avery-Weir 9:39
But, but sometime in the next week or three, we're going to take a big backup of everything, make sure we've got everything stored away so we can just restore back to where we were. And then we're going to going to run this and if everything goes well, no one will ever notice because we'll have hooked everything up properly. And think, I think the only difference is like... There's one or two places in the, in the code that if you like, look into the source code, you'll notice that a different alphanumeric string was used to represent you then than it was before. So yeah.
Melissa Avery-Weir 10:12
kind of one of the, one of the reasons we went ahead and tackled this, because on the one hand, you could say like, well, we'll just keep going forward the way we should go, right, like put things on account on the profile kind of side of things. But as we're looking at EZD, like this is kind of our final alpha set of changes. And that that is a heavy lift, of something to do in a beta phase, just like, just sort of psychologically, when you think of what happens in an alpha version of a game versus what happens in a beta version of developing something.
Gregory Avery-Weir 10:44
Yeah, we're adding a whole lot of new features with stuff still messy.
Melissa Avery-Weir 10:49
Exactly. So kind of going into beta with a clean slate on some of this technical debt, that we know how to clear up and that we know exists, like, so there's some that we don't know, we're gonna find something or something that, you know, that's not worth tackling. But so yeah, it's kind of a relief to have it done. It'll feel, it'll feel better once it's released. And, you know, we haven't missed anything major, like forum sign ins or something like I don't know, there's a long regression checklist that I work through as a tester when I'm testing. So hopefully, we caught everything. And hopefully that will go out soon, possibly after, or before this podcast makes it out.
Gregory Avery-Weir 11:29
Yeah. And if you are playing Exploit: Zero Day and you run into something totally weird that you can't, can't figure out why it's doing it. Let us know. firstname.lastname@example.org or there's actually there's a report bug button on every page, there's like a little, little bug symbol, you can you can click. I think it's down in the footer. And it's either in the footer or at the top, it's on one of those things, and just just report that and let us know. And we'll, we'll get that fixed.
Melissa Avery-Weir 11:56
Yeah. Thank you if you do. I mean, we hope you don't, but we do appreciate bug reports quite a bit. So. Yeah. So lots of EZD talk this time. That has been, that's our focus after Rosette Diceless Companion. So here we are, but you can find all of our stuff over at futureproofgames.com. We're on Twitter at @playfutureproof and on YouTube as Future Proof Games, which is where we archive our Twitch streams. There's also a video version of this, which you may or may not be observing now. You can hit us up with questions or comments, from the blog or anywhere on social media. Our theme music is "Juparo" by Broke for Free which is used with permission.