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Old 01-06-2011, 05:14 AM
Lance Lance is offline
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Lightbulb Graal2001 is Moving Forward Again

First of all I'd like to say there's just something amazing about Graal2001 and its community. For the past few years, I've signed on Graal a couple of times each year to visit and check things out. I've also visited the forums sometimes, and it is impressive to see the sheer volume of people who have posted saying they come on Graal every few months to check on the project, or this is the only project that would bring them back to Graal, or otherwise reminiscing about the good old days.

That said, I'll skip straight to what you've been wanting to hear: Graal2001 is really going to come back! For the past week I have been working with a few fantastic people, at first get the server back to the incomplete state it was in when I left the project, and then to start moving forward. For this to be accomplished, the patchwork backup the GDT had put together for Skyld was nuked and replaced with a much more current (and complete) patchwork backup based on files Stefan provided as well as my own backups. From here we have been working around the clock to continue work that would have been done six years ago had we not been forced into a premature reopening. We are also working on integrating several new additions and improvements that were made from teams that came after, including many of Konidias's updated graphics.

We aren't going about things very haphazardly; we are extremely organized with several tools to facilitate planning and communication, and we are making good use of these tools. By now I'm sure you are wondering what some of our plans for the server are, so I'll get into that immediately.
  • Kingdoms: Kingdoms have always been a big part of Graal2001, but times have changed. I can guarantee that they will still be big, bold, and iconic. Our current projected kingdom count is 3.
  • Quests: We intend to ship with the quests you are all familiar with as well as a few new ones. Formerly-broken quests, such as Birdbird's pyramid quest, will be restored to full working order and available for all players upon release.
  • Events: Graal2001 was well-known for its events such as survivor, CTF, laser tag, etc. First we will continue to fix old events that were not working. In just the past week, for example, the Kingdoms event and Laser Tag have received a good bit of attention. We will also be adding tools to make hosting the events a bit less chaotic for Events Team members. There will also be some creative new events.
  • Items: The same familiar items and wheel-around-you item management will return, but with a much more robust system powering it. This will allow us to create new items without having to update a ridiculous number of graphics, scripts, and animations.
  • Money/Economy: Money on Graal2001 was always meaningful, and we intend to keep it that way. We will be tweaking the gralat yields of several jobs to ensure that no one job gives a disproportionately high amount of gralat for the time and focus investment of the player. We further intend to have more interesting things for players to spend their gralat on rather than just hats, dolls, bomy pets, and personal housing.
  • Jobs: Jobs are getting a lot of love. Instead of D-mashing, jobs will be more interesting and interactive. There will be new jobs available for players upon release.
  • Systems: We will continue to use the HP system. Tentatively a player's starting HP will be 100, with a possible 200 maximum after completing quests.
  • Overworld cleanup: There was a lot of stupid stuff in stupid places. We will be cleaning up the overworld to put things in a somewhat-more-sane arrangement. We will be removing a lot of empty/useless/unfinished stuff.
  • World/Environment: Many things will be receiving a refresh. There are still several areas that are nothing but a repeated single green grass tile. There are several paths whose tiles change from swamp to water to grass randomly a half-dozen times; that will be addressed. We want the world to feel alive around you. Also, the train is working.

More information about all of these categories will be forthcoming; this was only intended to be a quick summary. If any skilled developers, especially former Graal2001 staff, are interested in contributing, we would be happy to welcome you aboard. Contact me for more information.

Lastly, we will try to make several posts with progress-update information as well as teasers about new content. There will also be several testing events to get community feedback, make tweaks, etc. However, we will still reserve the right to surprise you all with some unannounced work.

Graal2001 is coming back. Tell your friends!
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:26 AM
RegretZ RegretZ is offline
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:33 AM
maximus_asinus maximus_asinus is offline
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I have mixed feelings and I feel wrong about dumping my thoughts into this thread, I just have to just so I can clear things up in my head.

I am going to be honest and put this bluntly; how is polishing a few systems and "cleaning up" the overworld going to do anything? The server has failed a number of times and I don't see how a spit shine is going to keep it from following the same path. The server needs a complete overhaul, from the engine to the paint job. Parts of the server are almost 10 years old and is not current with today's standards.

What are you going to be doing differently as a Manager this time around? Why was the server prematurely released, and what has changed that it won't happen again?

I love the server, I may not have been a key player in the server's community but I loved it just the same. I just don't want to see another failed project, each time that happens it sort of tarnishes the memories I had of the server.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:59 AM
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:13 AM
Lance Lance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus_asinus View Post
I have mixed feelings and I feel wrong about dumping my thoughts into this thread, I just have to just so I can clear things up in my head.
Don't worry about it; I'm sure a lot of people have similar questions!

Quote:
I am going to be honest and put this bluntly; how is polishing a few systems and "cleaning up" the overworld going to do anything? The server has failed a number of times and I don't see how a spit shine is going to keep it from following the same path. The server needs a complete overhaul, from the engine to the paint job. Parts of the server are almost 10 years old and is not current with today's standards.
There is a lot of overhauling going on behind the scenes (it's not just polishing systems and cleaning up stuff), but talking about it gets boring. Lots of things are being made more robust, and we are approaching every job, event, quest, locale, etc. and figuring out what's good, what's bad, and what (if anything) we need to change. We're also adding quite a bit of new content, so you can look forward to that too.

Quote:
What are you going to be doing differently as a Manager this time around? Why was the server prematurely released, and what has changed that it won't happen again?
The server was prematurely released because S&S decided it should be out at a certain unreasonable deadline. Said deadline gave our small team nowhere near enough time to even fix everything we currently had (we had recently switched to a gmap and the new scripting engine, and a lot of stuff had to be fixed up to work at all), let alone worry much about new stuff. Consequently, our last release featured only a tiny amount of what we had planned. We didn't even have proper kingdoms, we were missing several jobs, there was no job balancing, and many events or areas just plain didn't work. We didn't even have time for enough testing of what we did have. Further, gmaps for classic servers were still relatively new and untested, so there were a lot of bugs that we could not fix but had to work around, and work around we did at the cost of dozens and dozens of man-hours. I've been happy to discover that most of those issues have even been fixed in the last six years! But to make our release attempt even worse, the scheduled date was a bad personal time for me, as I had little free time to dedicate to overseeing the server and putting out content releases. It was the perfect recipe for failure, and I should have said "No, I'm sorry, we can't do it by that date if we want to do it right." Ultimately the lack of time was the main drive behind me quitting just a week after release or so; I didn't want to slow down the server's progress. Oh, irony. I have a lot more time now, which is why I've been able to accomplish quite a bit in just the past week, and even further why I decided that I'll stick around and make sure things move in the right direction.

Quote:
I love the server, I may not have been a key player in the server's community but I loved it just the same. I just don't want to see another failed project, each time that happens it sort of tarnishes the memories I had of the server.
Nobody wants to see that. That's why we're going to do it right.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:25 AM
maximus_asinus maximus_asinus is offline
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Originally Posted by Lance View Post
Oh, irony. I have a lot more time now, which is why I've been able to accomplish quite a bit in just the past week, and even further why I decided that I'll stick around and make sure things move in the right direction.
This is what I like to hear, I'm hoping this stays true moving forward. If anyone can restore the server, I think you can. And it helps that you do not have S&S breathing down your neck since they have the iPhone Graal to distract them. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:39 AM
Lance Lance is offline
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Originally Posted by maximus_asinus View Post
This is what I like to hear, I'm hoping this stays true moving forward. If anyone can restore the server, I think you can. And it helps that you do not have S&S breathing down your neck since they have the iPhone Graal to distract them. I wish you the best of luck.
Thank you!
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:53 AM
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Good luck with getting it going again Lance. I miss playing G2K1 so I'm looking forward to seeing it up and running again.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:06 AM
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Good luck with everything, Lance. I'd love to play g2k1 again. Unfortunately, I really don't think Graal has the general player base necessary to spare enough players to make g2k1 half as good as we remember it.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:12 AM
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Graal2K1 iphone. I would love to lead a kingdom of 300 peons >:]

im excited to hear this news tseng i hope it works out.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:46 AM
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Have you thought about making a 'Lite' version and releasing it for the iPhone at the same time as your PC release? Hopefully the release is on the 2nd of Feb too, that'd be funny.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:22 AM
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Good luck with everything, Lance. I'd love to play g2k1 again. Unfortunately, I really don't think Graal has the general player base necessary to spare enough players to make g2k1 half as good as we remember it.
You do realize that people still come back to graal just looking for signs of life from this server right? People that would play it given the chance just to see Manny running around the buildings at unstickme. People who rolled bread dough for hours, just to buy a fishing rod (and bait), and then hate fishing, and go back to rolling dough. Graal 2k1 won't have to worry about players coming to play. The only thing the server would need is the name on the server list and old bees would come flocking, and if everything worked properly there wouldn't really be a problem.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:29 AM
Lance Lance is offline
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Have you thought about making a 'Lite' version and releasing it for the iPhone at the same time as your PC release? Hopefully the release is on the 2nd of Feb too, that'd be funny.
Sure! Buy me an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and I'll get right on that.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:39 AM
Lance Lance is offline
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You do realize that people still come back to graal just looking for signs of life from this server right? People that would play it given the chance just to see Manny running around the buildings at unstickme. People who rolled bread dough for hours, just to buy a fishing rod (and bait), and then hate fishing, and go back to rolling dough. Graal 2k1 won't have to worry about players coming to play. The only thing the server would need is the name on the server list and old bees would come flocking, and if everything worked properly there wouldn't really be a problem.
Here is some hot, hot Manny action to satisfy you for now!
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:45 AM
Crono Crono is offline
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gl bro
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