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The Future Proof Podcast 044

Podcast episode

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:00:22
Hello, and welcome to the Future Proof podcast. This is our bimonthly podcast, roughly where we chat about stuff we've been working on and anything cool we're planning. I'm Melissa Avery-Weir.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:00:34
And I'm Gregory Avery-Weir. And we were busy a couple months ago and did end up doing a podcast. What were we busy with?

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:00:42
We were busy migrating all of our sites—almost all of our sites—from one hosting provider to another. We have traditionally used Dreamhost as our hosting provider, pros and cons included. And for our sites that are running like, you know, that actually have server side code that are running Django, we had been using what their platform has in place, which is a mixture of Apache as the web server and something called Passenger, which is one of my least favorite server managing utilities. And it's, you know, shared hosting, so it's locked down. There's just all sorts of annoyances with it, but it's very cheap.

They decided, understandably, to deprecate, to remove supporting that technology, the Passenger setup. And so we would have had to like buy servers through them, and they're, they're not reliable enough to be paying money for that. So we undertook migrating all of our stuff to which it applied to DigitalOcean, which I've used as a host for a long time. This is not some sort of weird ass ad or anything. I'm sure there are better. So yeah, we migrated our stuff there, ad it was a really cool opportunity to do a lot of standardization because like, something happens in devOps. Well, something happens to me in DevOps. I don't know if this happens to anyone else, but like, you build a site, I don't know, ten years ago, and you're like, "Ah, I've got it deploying correctly," and then you barely ever touch that deployment code again. And then your next site you build two years later, and you have learned a lot in that time and you know a lot more about your systems. And so you write your deployment code, it's going to look a lot like the old one, but be better. And so you end up, once you have, what did we move? Seven, eight sites? 

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:02:49
Something like that, yeah.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:02:51
Over the course of, you know, the original FPG site all the way through to our newest, which I guess would be Rosette Diceless in terms of deployment...

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:03:03
Yeah, I think so.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:03:04
Yeah, we've understood a lot. We see a lot more commonalities between them, et cetera. So this was really cool because we basically went in with sort of infrastructure—not infrastructure—configuration as code. We use a tool called Ansible and we just had like configuration management in place on these servers from day zero. So it was exciting. It was exhausting... That day that we booked, which was I think March 29 and everything was shutting off on the 30th or 31st. 

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:03:39
Something like that, yeah.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:03:41
Yeah. Cause I did lose a site. I had to... It was down for several days.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:03:45
Yeah, not one of FPG's. One of your personal sites, right?

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:03:47
Yeah, one of my personal sites. And it was a twelve hour day? We started—

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:03:58

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:04:59
We started at like ten or eleven and worked until ten or eleven. So that was unpleasant because I still had to go to work in the morning. But it was, there was a lot of stuff that, because of day job stuff, I hadn't been able to do a ton of prep for. So we were really just kind of flying by the seat of our pants. Like, we knew what to do, but we were...

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:04:25
Yeah, we had sort of tested out all the steps. This also involved moving our databases from MySQL to Postgres. So that was half of the whole endeavor. But now, since we've got all this fancy Ansible stuff, if we need to start up a new server or recreate a server, we can just kind of do it.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:04:43

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:04:44
We just got all the steps we need to do it. Yeah, it's pretty cool.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:04:48
It's pretty fucking amazing to have a good Ansible setup and then also good deployment scripts, which we don't use Ansible to deploy our code. So to have those two as kind of a one-two setup is pretty great. Yeah. And to be on postgres. So anyway, all around an improvement. We have not had a single outage. I can't believe... I feel like I've just— 

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:05:12
We've had a blip or two. But yeah, our uptime has improved dramatically.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:05:21
Yeah, we were really suffering for the last, I don't know, year under Dreamhost with persistent outages multiple times a day, that kind of thing.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:05:34
Presumably one of the reasons why we were getting outages was one of the reasons why they stopped supporting Passenger because they were having to deal with stuff.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:05:42
The memory usage just doesn't make sense to be running this stuff here. So yeah, I got to play with all the fancy, nice server tech I like to play with. We came out, you know, spending more money, but worth it for being able to sleep all night without getting calls.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:06:05
So you mentioned Rosette Diceless as one of the sites that we moved over and we were talking before recording about how like, it's possible that a lot of the people who are following this podcast are kind of following it for, are more familiar with video game stuff than with tabletop roleplaying stuff. And it kind of feels like tabletop roleplaying is getting a little bit of a renaissance in the past several years, with actual play stuff becoming more and more popular and then Baldur's Gate 3 coming out. Which you've been playing and enjoying, I think?

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:06:38
Yes, quite a bit. Don't get me started. That'll be a 30 minute podcast.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:06:45
And my soapbox with regard to roleplaying games is often you can very easily think that Dungeons and Dragons is the only game that exists, and it's a fine game for what it is—for that sort of swashbuckling fantasy stuff. But I highly encourage everyone to try different systems. And it just so happens that we have a roleplaying system of our own called Rosette Diceless that I think one of the big strengths of it is that it's not focused on combat. It's not focused on violent conflict. 

There's a set of conflict rules that you use to resolve, like, disputes or an action scene or a mystery or possibly an action like a combat, a fight, but they all use the same rules. And you can have a character that's useful in a conflict like that without having to give them the "gun" skill. You can just, you know, they can, you can do all the cool stuff that happens in action movies, say, where, you know, there's someone who's not a fighter but is able to be hacking at the same time, or, you know, be... serve as a distraction to get folks away from a site. And it's... Rosette Diceless is designed to, like, let you create cool characters quickly and play them in a sort of round robin game master-style where different people are in charge of plots at different times. Or even you don't need a game master if the conflict is between players. You can check that out at rosettrpg.com... Yes?

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:08:31
Yes, I think so.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:08:35
And there's, we've got the core book and we have a supplement book that has, like, tips for play and some more character options and a few, like, special gameplay systems for, you know, more advanced players or folks who just kind of want to see a wider breadth of what the system can do.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:08:56
Yeah, it was kind of originally, I mean, maybe more primarily conceived as for live action roleplay. Like, yeah, that was sort of the original idea was: don't have dice because they're unwieldy. Not that you can't, but be diceless. And part of the reason it's so flexible to be able to kind of split up into different groups and not have a GM present is because you might be LARPing and you, you might be doing that. I feel like I don't know if LARP is—I don't know how often LARPing is people's introduction to, you know, role playing systems, but it's good for that, too, even though now we haven't played it that way in a while.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:09:39
And yeah, we found that our local group, our internal testing group, kind of drifted to a tabletop, mostly just because we didn't want to stand up and had limited space. But I think it's a really cool system. If you want to see it, like—well, you will not see it—but if you want to hear it in action, you can go to tabletop.garden and check out The Great Molasses Flood mini campaign that we did, or you can watch Melissa run it by going to the...

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:10:19
Our YouTube channel has it. It is "Still Waters Run Deep".

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:10:26
Yes. That was hosted on our friend Jim Ryan's channel.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:10:32
Yep. That was a lot of fun. There were—stuff emerged in the course of that game.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:10:38
Oh, yeah. There's beautiful reveals that just kind of came organically out of play.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:10:47
So, yeah, our YouTube channel has that playlist. Yeah, it's a good system. There's a lot of different ways to play it. And I recommend Tabletop Garden regardless of the system.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:11:05
And if you want to pick up Rosette Diceless, or any of our other for sale games, you might be able to get a sale coming up in the next couple months.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:11:18
Yeah. So since this is ostensibly a bi-monthly podcast, you won't hear from us again until July. So that is deep, deep in the summer sale season, the first of which we kind of have firm dates on, is the Steam Summer Sale. So that would cover The Majesty of Colors and Ossuary that will both be discounted there. Yeah. And then itch.io will have sales in that season. Humble might as well. We don't have dates for those.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:11:57

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:11:58
And if we have them in an email somewhere, they're probably not public, so.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:12:03
But they usually, they tend to do things around the same time as Steam. So you can kind of, that end of June start of July timeframe is likely to have a bunch of video game sales. 

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:12:16
Yeah. And then on the Rosette Diceless front: DriveThruRPG has their Christmas in July sale, late July, somewhere around the 25th, as would make sense. So that would be both Rosette Diceless books discounted there. And if you're interested in something that's even lighter in terms of roleplaying systems, there's a little one page sheet roleplaying system that's free called Awaiting the End. And you can get that from DriveThruRPG as well as our site. That's a doozy of a game.

Gregory Avery-Weir 00:12:55
It's a story about being a bunch of people trapped in a place awaiting a doom and telling a story to each other of how each of you got there. It's sort of got a sort of a Fiasco feel. If you've played the game Fiasco, there's like a, there's a drafting stage where you figure out what the situation is and then you go around and tell stories and roll dice to see when you end up in the place.

Melissa Avery-Weir 00:13:20
Yep. So summer sales coming up. Keep your ear out. We'll have posts up on cohost and Twitter and, you know, our various streams that we do and will hopefully resume soon once my life gets better. Greg has been doing them. And you can find all of our stuff: games, writing, et cetera, over at futureproofgames.com. We're over on cohost as FPG. You can submit asks and, you know, comment on our stuff or whatever. Follow us for stream news. And we're on YouTube as Future Proof Games. You can hit us up with any questions or comments over on our blog or various social media places. Our theme music is Juparo by Broke for Free, which is used with permission.