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This is the new development checkpoint. For the time being, we will be conducting this page on a trial basis. We shall endeavor to post regular updates as to the progress of the next Empiriana release directly by the development staff.

7/3/99:

The network connection to the Empiriana servers is experiencing severe connection problems, resulting in excessive circuit unavailability since 6:40AM this morning. @Work, our connection provider is aware of the problems, and has an open ticket on the issue. The problem is suspected to be a faulty router interface on the @Work side or a dedicated circuit fault and @Work is working to correct the fault as quickly as possible. We realize that this holiday weekend is an inopportune time for this problem to occur and apologize for any inconvenience. All active accounts will be credited with 1 week of credit for the interruption. We expect the problem to be corrected this afternoon. We thank you for your patience.

5/21/99:

More new artwork.

5/18/99:

Another new piece of artwork still in development.

5/17/99:

Below is a new piece of art for Empiriana, created in the last few days by our new artistic resources. This image is still a Work in progress, but should serve to demonstrate style.

5/13/99:

It's been a while since we've had the chance to update the development page here, and no doubt there are many who are wondering about the current status of the next release of Empiriana. We've recently been involved with a number of changes to our operations, including the migration of our account billing system to a newer more sophisticated and robust system. We are in the final phases of this migration and expect that it will be a few more days before the system is on-line and functioning 100%. The new system will provide users with much improved control over their accounts and will process orders/changes in a much improved manner. It will also include a number of new areas on our web site to aid users in managing their accounts. We expect that the new system will eliminate most if not all of the problems we have had in the past with account processing and management.

Another change, or rather addition to our operations has been the negotiation of strategic relationships that will enable Empiriana to grow into the product we originally envisioned. Among the new resources these relationships bring, are areas such as promotion, creative content, and most importantly, artistic resources. Part of these new relationships will be making available experienced artists to the Empiriana development effort. This has been one of our weakest areas in the past, and with these new resources, players will see a significant improvement in both the quantity and quality of graphics in the game. One of the items near the top of the list is the long overdue facemaker system. We have been drafting design documents outlining our objectives for this, and we know that our customers will be very pleased with the results. The past month has been extremely busy here at Irealms as we have been working on these new developments, but the results will be well worth the delay. They will enable us to create an Empiriana more consistent with our original visions and help us to deliver the product our customers desire. None of these arrangements alter the ownership, rights, creative control, or operation of Empiriana. Empiriana will still be operated and owned by Infinite Realms. The exact deployment of future Empiriana features has not been finalized, but most likely will take the form of some significant updates over the next 5 months, followed by the release of Empiriana 2 at some point thereafter.

Build 1.993 is still very close to completion, and the final map tally weighs in at 42 maps. 1.993 will still include all the features that we have developed and have been announced here in the development update pages, as well as some we haven't mentioned at all. We very much appreciate all of your patience as we work through these growing pains, but our outlook on the future of Empiriana remains very bright. We are very excited about what we are now able to do, and very much look forward to sharing the results of these efforts with our customers in the form of delivering the game all of you seek.

We shall be announcing additional positive developments akin to these in the future as more details are finalized, and will do our best to keep our customers appraised of our progress.

Thank you again for all of your patience and support, we shall strive to make the wait, well worth the while.

3/22/99:

Internal network and server hardware and software upgrades now complete. Work resumes on build 1.993. Due to unforeseen delays in the completion of the internal upgrades, release of build 1.993 delayed until approximately April 2, 1999.

3/16/99:

Work commences on a series of internal network and server hardware and software upgrades. Upgrades will impact the progress of development of build 1.993. The upgrades are required to both upgrade capacity and performance, as well as preventative measures for adequate fault tolerance.

3/12/99:

Work continues on build 1.993. New features for interactive cutscenes added and tested. New features allow cutscenes to have defined behavior to respond to mouse clicks over specific items in a cutscene and other user input and for graphic components of the scene to change as a result of the action. Previously cutscene interactivity was limited to the player 'bumping' the active scene which resulted in limited dynamics for quests. A screen shot of one of the new interactive scenes is depicted below in the screen shots section of this page. Numerous other improvements result from these new features. Previously there were circumstances that would erase the display of a cut scene in certain locations, such as fountains when returning to the dungeon or several other circumstances. The handling of specialized graphics has been supplemented with new hooks in the dungeon engine, which enable a more elegant approach to implementing these game locations in our custom development tools. This results in a greatly reduced development time, more consistent operation, and more compelling content.

Also added is a ticker notification system for messages other than logon/logoff notices. This will be used for several different things such as announcements, notifications and a new quest notification system. This quest notification system will announce the completion of certain quest milestones such as the defeat of certain 'boss' monsters or the completion of certain major quest series to all players online via the ticker. Testing of the quest notification system is complete, notices are presently being retrofitted to certain milestone accomplishments already in the game.

3/8/99:

Work continues on build 1.993. Current plan calls for release of 14 new maps, with provisions for 3 more if time allows, continuing from both the Spillway and Subterfuge series, into the Pinnacle and beyond. 1.993 will include new weapons for all classes, both hand to hand and ranged. Also being added are new engine tweaks to allow a much higher degree of interactivity in quest plots, by enabling the player to interact with objects in the 3d-view in the dungeon travel screen. Also added will be a set of new enemies in battle, including new monster behavior and artifacts in battle such as fountains which imbue special benefits for limited duration in battle. The current plan calls for just over 30 specially designed set battles, including new styles to battle not seen before. One screen capture of a new battle is shown below. Development is currently on schedule for a release on or around March 19, 1999.

3/6/99:

Version 1.992 released March 5 1999. Dungeon expansion pushed back to 1.993 so as to not delay release of new parlor type game Dungeon Bones within Empiriana which successfully completed testing this week. Development or the next release continues and is expected to release on or around March 19, 1999. New dungeon areas presently in testing, further dungeon to be completed and released for testing. New engine features in development for both battle and dungeon travel. Further details on the specifics on version 1.993 will be announced here as more features and content are released for, and pass testing.

2/24/99:

Development or the next release is underway and expected to release on or around March 5,1999. Development plan for this release primarily includes new dungeon content, extents to be determined. Further minor revisions to new features added in v1.991 will also be included. Numerous dungeon fixups also completed and will be included.

2/16/99:

Release is complete. Today the build will undergo it's final preflight and distribution packaging. Release expected this afternoon to evening. Main server software has already been updated and some components have already been released for distribution via the autoupdater. Remaining components and client executable to be posted for distribution by evening time PST.

This release will not lock out prior versions so as to maintain a temporary fallback solution for any customers that may encounter compatibility issues with the new color model and graphics engine. The next release due shortly following this one, will contain dungeon modifications and will include a previous version lock out.

2/13/99:

Release is expected within 36 hours. The Gauntlet and Trapping Hunt have been stubbed for release after the Net Escapes gathering in Las Vegas due to support staffing shortages during this event.

All reported crash scenarios repaired and resolution verified through testing. Numerous adjustments to colors and placement have also been performed. All other known bugs in the new features have been resolved. Revised implementation of numerous quest events to eliminate potential problems for players participating in parties. Also postponed by one build is the major battle screen graphics update (minor update in place), the addition of logon/logoff announcement ticker in the equipment screen, and the shopping popups.

A few other minor features have been added as well, including a scrolling list of maps in the full screen map. Also expanded that comment limits by a factor of 4 for those players who have reached the maximum number of map comments.

1/28/99:

Feature list for next release locked, no additional tasks will be added to next release. Draft feature list for next release under construction, Completed modification of views of other players invoked by clicking on the player's arrow in the dungeon view. Instead of just "Charter or Guest Member" notices, player views also includes, class, race, level, name, slogan, and birthday. Support for guild display on player view also added but not enabled, in preparation for formal integrated guild support. Trapping Hunt (hunt #6) continuing in implementation. Adjusted text colors. Players see their own speech in a lighter color of their class color, revised dungeon message colors, revised color of messages received when tabbed out of program, revised various other text colors as well. Completed addition of key system for private message groups in preparation of release of guild support. This will allow the addition of privately moderated message groups, for special interests such as a individual guild posting areas.

Tasks yet to be completed prior to next release: resolution of transparency bugs with a specific set of video cards, revision of scroll bar graphics, Arena transparency bug - sprites appear green, modify stat bars on Dungeon travel screen to accommodate a numeric read out for Health and ME, complete final testing of msg boards, complete final battle placements for Gauntlet, complete testing of Gauntlet, Complete remaining issues for Trapping Hunt, resolve crash in Inn Rooms resulting from 16bit color migration, add shopping popup graphics revision, add ticker display to battle screen and equipment screen, complete integration of new 16bit graphics to battle screen.

1/13/99:

Awaiting vendor information regarding outstanding color model conflicts with specific video hardware. Completed addition of dungeon Ticker scroller login/logout notification system. Released for testing and speed settings appraisal. Hunt #6 undergoing implementation. "The Gauntlet" undergoing final battle difficulty selection.

1/12/99:

At present the current development tasks are focused on resolving a few outstanding problems with the 16-bit graphics engine and certain models of video cards which result in improper color processing of some screen graphics components.

 

 

NEXT RELEASE ETA: Estimated to be on or around April 2,1999

 

Thank you for visiting our web site.
We hope that you find what you are looking for!

 

Screen shot of one of the new active cut scenes for 1.993.
Cutscenes are interactive and react to mouse clicks. In this scene clicking on levers and buttons activates the specific lever or button.

 

Screen shot of one of the new set fights for 1.993.
What's in the crates? You'll have to wait and see.


 

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