Summary - Q2 closes out with two major updates code complete and being prepared for release to production. The client redesign project continues to hit its milestones and our vendor has begun to construct the production version of the duel scene (game table). The system has continued to perform well and the user and activity numbers continue to grow at a healthy clip.
Infrastructure Updates - The new trade processing service has been running in the public beta and has been extensively load tested. In addition to improving the performance of trade transactions, this module also has removed the escrow state machine from the system architecture. We expect to launch this in the relatively quiet period leading up to M11’s release. This major update’s benefits to the system unfortunately will likely be invisible to users, as transactions will simply resolve more quickly and efficiently, and the system will be much less vulnerable to queues of server requests backing up and creating delayed responses to client requests.
Our other long term development project, which will bring a single managed client connection to the system is also code complete and being tested and prepared for deployment. We have high hopes that this work will eliminate some of the frustrating problems that occur when individual connections to draft or game servers are lost for any reason. While we can’t control user connections between their PC and our data center, the client will not have to constantly create and manage new connections to a variety of ports to connect to games and drafts. This work will benefit both the existing and upcoming clients.
New Client - The new client design project is also proceeding to schedule. Our vendor has begun development work on the first phase of the new client. The design team is closing in on completion of the layout and behavior specs for all game critical scenes. We will continue to conduct usability studies and work to improve and refine the new UI.
Maintenance/Bugs - We have also completed and shipped a round of game rules engine bug fixes for Multiplayer formats. We still need to do server side work to support the ability for users to own games and control the seating of players. With the increasing relevance of multiplayer formats in the paper world, we will be tackling this task sooner than later. But we need to ship and stabilize the single managed connection first.
The system continues to perform well in the face of constantly increased user counts and user activity.
The next quarterly review will talk to what services we will build next. In general, we will continue to move transient state out of the database and into services so that the system can support the continued growth in users and activities. At the same time, we will be reducing the impact of data growth on the system, which in many cases is tied to transient state being stored.
Director – Game Systems Design
Magic: the Gathering Digital Studio
Wizards of the Coast, LLC