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      WANTED: ROLEPLAY-ERS   09/04/18

      A new roleplay section has been added to the forum.  Jump back into Naerath in a whole new way!


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Dan last won the day on May 25

Dan had the most liked content!

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About Dan

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    Flamefrost's Founder

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  1. 2019 Status Update

    It will be character by character indeed; I am planning to introduce an in-game "character conversion facility" that will pop-up upon your first login.
  2. 2019 Status Update

    Hey @Cajunfried2016! All is well, thank you! Too much work,too little time, as always. Continuing to juggle a dozen of different things and jobs to keep things alive! What about yourself?
  3. 2019 Status Update

    Nope, we're still going to have a single realm as from our previous experience splitting players into two separate worlds is confusing and doesn't really work well. Old characters will be converted to the new format (preserving their levels etc.); how exactly that's going to happen I will explain closer to the launch.
  4. 2019 Status Update

    Welcome back! I do remember you among our first players indeed! I believe that all combat loading should improve greatly since I've removed pretty much all elements that required constant re-rendering on our servers and there's a very efficient caching system in place now coupled with a global content delivery network. So if you quit because of the loading times or freezes I would definitely recommend trying out the new version. Unfortunately though, as mentioned in my original post, at the moment I do not know when the release will happen. I've made some great progress in the last few weeks and feel very optimistic about the launch, but at the same time there's a large number of features that are still being rebuilt and I am nowhere near completion. I promise to message & email you personally though when I acquire any time estimates!
  5. 2019 Status Update

    Among other things, yes! Skills, character levels, inventory items, settlements structures & population, and other things you've worked hard for.
  6. Hi all, As you are reading this you are most likely wondering about "what's going on": with myself, Flamefrost and other things. Considering my increasingly rare appearances online it is only fair if some of you started thinking that Flamefrost is dead. So I've decided that it is equally fair that I provide you with an honest update and not keep anyone in the dark. Years 2018 and 2019 were an absolutely wild roller coaster ride for me and the Epic Dragon: we've seen both good times and bad, had a bunch of really happy moments and some outright depressing ones. Some of you know that we've attempted to rebuild "Domination: Earth" (our other mobile game) using the Unity engine and a team of 3rd party developers, which ultimately ended in a disaster and a huge financial loss, and we've had to shut down Flamefrost as we couldn't afford running it anymore. We've also lost the team that was supposed to rebuild Flamefrost, so everything returned back to my desk and the development stalled. However, things are slowly starting to get back to normal and I would like to officially state that Flamefrost is not dead. It will most likely never be the same and I do not know when, but it will be back. I have made a decision to revamp its graphics engine, make it a lot more lightweight and get rid of the aspects that demand the ludicrously expensive hardware for the servers. I have also re-purposed the Unity engine that we acquired for "Domination: Earth" and will use it as a new server-side rendering mechanism for our characters. This means some drastic changes to the game's content, character appearance will now be based around pre-configured models that do not change (equipping new items will no longer affect the visible 3D model) and it also means that every single one of our existing 3D characters will have to go: unfortunately, our old models are completely incompatible with Unity. Yep, this means that every single creature of the world will be remade. The good news is that our new characters will most likely be a bit prettier and "more HD" overall: as I do not have a 3D artist in my team anymore I have invested into some characters created by a 3rd party studio, so at this moment in time we already have a complete set of beautiful creatures that will repopulate the new world of Naerath. This also means that all playable races will change: existing veterans of Flamefrost will have to face a choice of either to be converted to one of the new races (without losing the accumulated progress) or start from scratch in a new(ish) world. Despite all these exciting developments there is still an enormous amount of work to do (it will take me weeks just to replace all of the existing combat NPCs of the world and that's the easiest part of development), so I honestly cannot foresee how long this will take, whether it's going to be months or even years. Because of that I just cannot ask you to stick around the forum any longer to wait for more news and I will email you personally instead once something changes (e.g. a release date becomes known). Our Facebook page will also be updated. So this is it! Please post if you have any questions (as I am still checking the forum ) and as always, I am really grateful for you being part of this community!
  7. Hey all, A small heads up: in the next few days our community (this forum) may become unavailable as I will be migrating all the software to a new server: we may have found a much more cost-effective way to host this and all the other websites (including "Domination: Earth"), so we are going to give it a go. Moving every single domain, database and setting to a brand new provider is going to be a lot of work, so it is hard to estimate how long this would take, but I'll do my best to reduce downtime to the minimum. If at some point you cannot access the website for more than a few hours please send me a message on our Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/flamefrostlegacy ).
  8. Merry Christmas, folks! It's unbelievable how fast the time flies, feels like only yesterday we've had an in-game Christmas event in Flamefrost... 2018 has been full of crazy surprises and it is sad that there won't be an in-game event this Christmas, but here's to getting back on track in 2019! * raises a stein * Thank you everyone for being part of our community and I really hope to see you next year!
  9. Proof Positive!!!

    Yup, to Perth! All details in this thread That is awesome; didn't realize we have Australians in Flamefrost! Are you from the west coast too by any chance?
  10. Proof Positive!!!

    Affirmative! Yeah, still learning the "Australian language" with all the thongs on people's feet and barbies in the garden... but it is very much English indeed!
  11. Lol! Fair enough! As ridiculous as it sounds, probably weather! I just realized that as a solar-powered person (I am practically a lizard) I'm getting extremely depressed in Norwich at times, where it's grey, rainy and miserable most of the year: Summer is super-short (and it's usually a Wednesday), there's never any snow for Christmas and I keep having to explain to my son why we can't (and I don't want to) go outside for a walk. So yeah, maybe it's my manifestation of the midlife crisis, but I've decided that if we aren't getting snow for Christmas I want to change my life and at least be closer to a nice beach. I actually feel a lot more productive too now having seen the bright blue sky for more than 7 days in a row. Yep! I tried launching a browser-based version, but the majority of desktop devices have no GPS chips so the game gets pretty pointless and boring (as your "current location" never changes ).
  12. Thanks for your feedback, Weyah! As always, it is very inspiring for me personally! I also have to apologize for disappearing in the last month+; I didn't get a chance to post about it yet, but there's been a major change of circumstances in my life: my family and I moved to Western Australia (Perth), which was insanely difficult in all aspects (also far from over!) and disruptive for development. Not only I had very little time to do anything but pack and move all my stuff 15,000km away (me pushing 5 suitcases through the airport was quite a sight), I've also had zero internet connection until this morning (posting on this forum is literally the 2nd thing I did after announcing that I am alive to all the relatives). Despite the fact that there's still a lot of moving to do I already have a chair and a desk, so I'm planning to return to game development very soon. There is a huge backlog of tasks for "Domination: Earth", but I will do my best to dedicate some time to Flamefrost as well. I also want to say a huge "thank you!" to all of you again for your continuous support and patience, it's incredibly motivating to have you guys around!
  13. Not everything, but I've been struggling with this particular dilemma for quite some time! This could work, but we have to remember that weapons are also part of the set! I.e. a recognizable wizard outfit with a classic staff of some sort changing into a more legendary version of the same class makes sense, but it may look a bit more confusing if originally you wore a robe and a staff, and your looks changed into a full plate + sword & shield after equipping some heavy armour (despite the fact that you still have a staff item equipped as a primary weapon). This would also mean that all classes look exactly the same, just the race & gender remain as the unique distinguishing features. The armour sets will make all classes visually equal.
  14. We did both, actually! Everything you ever encountered did get cached locally (which is why subsequent loadings were faster and sometimes even instant), but that wasn't enough; new combinations were still encountered on a regular basis and there are strict limits on disk space your browser's cache may consume. Erasing server-side cache is only going to make things slightly worse, as with billions of cached sprites that we had it would mean a much more frequent re-rendering of things; too few models are actually "unused" (unused things don't get cached in the first place ). Reducing the number of individual models isn't going to help completely; unfortunately, even a few dozen basic components produce millions of combinations that can't be all cached in the client! And anything that has the word "custom" in it makes the situation much worse, i.e. if we allow players to customize appearance of an item our billions of sprites transform into a number with crazy amount of zeroes. So the only viable solution is to reduce the number of "whole 3D sets" and eliminate the ability to combine items. I believe what you're suggesting is close to what I had in mind. So far the solution I'm leaning towards is to have 5 character visualisation "tiers" per class (and per gender / race too, of course), one per item "quality", e.g.: - Incantatrix (Junk) - Incantatrix (Common) - Incantatrix (Uncommon) - Incantatrix (Rare) - Incantatrix (Legendary) Equipping a sword or a crossbow won't change the way you look, but equipping all items of a particular quality will. On top of that we can indeed introduce an extra tier unlocked via platinum shop for the sake of uniqueness. I don't think we can promise more than that, as even the basic setup in this manner means 192 fully animated character models (2 genders x 4 races x 4 classes x 6 tiers), which is a crazy amount of work (perhaps I'd even exclude the "Junk" level!). Multiply that by the number of animations, multiplied by 8 directions and you can see why our sprites take up so much space. The alternative is, of course, to off-load model rendering into the client and introduce a 3D graphics engine, but I might as well build a new game from scratch as it will take years to implement! P.S. For the techies among us, I did consider WebGL and HTML5 rendering capabilities, but unfortunately browser-based 3D rendering is still in a very raw state and miles away from usable in a MMO. Your browser will die during any form of a medium-scale battle with multiple characters and spell effects on the screen. Plus all textures and lighting effects would be fairly basic and moderately ugly! So our only two options are either "fewer character variations" or "build a 3D graphics engine based Flamefrost"!
  15. Thanks, @Weyah! Your feedback is very inspiring (as always! ) and I keep mentioning that players like yourself are one of the reasons I worked on FFL for so long; very little in this project is and was about money (although it would be nice to stop worrying about server costs, of course ). It is the long-term hardware cost that is the problem! I'm not worried about one-off designing costs as I know a number of good people who can do it for a very reasonable price. However, the bottleneck lies in the following two aspects: 1) Storage and network traffic. As you know, we have roughly 8 equipment slots where you can put an item that will affect your character's appearance (e.g. you equip a sword and you now see a sword). Once a new item is equipped the 3D model is rendered (from all angles and for all animations) and cached on disk, which creates hundreds of tiny images. However, once you equip anything else (e.g. a helmet) this process is repeated, as otherwise you'd still see the old character wearing that same sword and no helmet. In the end, due to the sheer number of equipment combinations the amount of images cached and transferred across to your browsers becomes astronomical; on the last day of FFL's operation we've consumed 4TB of cloud space with player character cache alone (and that still didn't include all possible combinations!). And that translates into approx. $500 per month (and growing) to store and even more to transfer all the materials (i.e. every time a player downloads that character for preview, exploration mode or tactical battles it's considered paid traffic). Because of that number it's also impossible to introduce any form of player-side caching, i.e. I can't make a game client that you download once and never see the combat loading message again, as the game client with all the pre-downloaded materials would weigh more than 4TB on your local hard drive (probably not something you can download easily on any device!). 2) CPU for real-time rendering. Once again, because of the almost infinite number of possible equipment combinations I cannot pre-render all existing characters in advance, as not only it would take roughly a year of uninterrupted rendering, but I would also need to do it again as soon as a new item or character is introduced. Not ideal! Which is why all in-game sprites are built on-demand and on the fly, whenever you enter combat and there is no cache record associated with the current equipment set already (remember the orange loading message in combat saying that "you'll only see this once"? Yup, that's it - it means you've stumbled upon a brand new combination of items that haven't been cached yet, so our server is busy creating all relevant images). Rendering multiple characters in parallel from all angles quickly enough requires powerful CPUs; it would be unacceptable to have 9 players sit in a queue for half an hour because player #10 is still being rendered. So purely because we have that ability to see equipped items in combat (both exploration and tactical), as well as inside the travel mode's preview/inspect, the monthly cost of running FFL approaches thousands of dollars. But just to avoid misunderstandings: it's not the item preview itself that is bad, it's the ability to see every item individually in conjunction with all other items on your character's model. If you always saw the same character model regardless of the equipped items both issues #1 and #2 would not exist and FFL would be fairly inexpensive to maintain. So yes, the brainstorm continues!