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Sanderus



Inscrit le: 11 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Bruxelles

MessagePosté le: Ven Jan 11, 2013 8:47 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Pouah, faut voir à quel point ça impacte l'équipe d'AO cette fois-ci, surtout si ils doivent déménager ...
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Sanderus



Inscrit le: 11 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Bruxelles

MessagePosté le: Ven Jan 11, 2013 11:17 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Hey guys,

As many of you have read in the news, there are some corporate-level occurrences at Funcom right now. I need to make sure all the contents of the letter are still valid before I post it, because I don't want to say something and have it be wrong a few days later. So I need to re-verify a few things and post it next week.

However, what I can confirm right now is that the Server Merge patch (18.6) is scheduled for TestLive tentatively on Tuesday next week. And this is the first thing I needed to look into. So if anyone wants to help test the merge, feel free to record what items, etc are on your TestLive character before Tuesday and yell at us if after the TestLive patch anything is missing.

Cheers,
Ilaliya


Un peu de patience donc... Razz
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igor
Leader AO


Inscrit le: 24 Juin 2003
Localisation: Paris

MessagePosté le: Mer Jan 23, 2013 6:19 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

It had to be delayed due to the restructuring.

What's happening is this: There's monthly updates "due" for all three large-scale MMOs. Obviously, they all need to all address the corporate restructuring in some way. However, this means the three letters need to be coordinated and posted the same day (and really the same hour of that day), because we don't want customers of any project to have speculate based on information relevant to some other project. So if I posted my letter last week, for example, AoC and TSW players might spend the entire time until their game's letter is posted trying to "read into" what it means for that game. And nobody wants to have to hear information relevant to their project from some other project's producer... it would be taken as a discourtesy.

Because we are coordinating the three letters, and the restructuring process is ongoing, and all letters need to touch on the restructuring... it's taking longer than I would have liked. Supposedly it will be this Thursday, but I don't control this date so I'm not going to give any certainties.

Peut-être demain, peut-être pas .. Smile
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tijup



Inscrit le: 28 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Montreal

MessagePosté le: Mer Jan 23, 2013 7:17 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

j'en suis à me demander s'il va vraiment y avoir une suite a AO.
Depuis le temps qu il existe, il y a de moins en moins de joueurs. Ils vont avoir
du mal a justifier que des ressources continuent à travailler sur un
jeu qui est globalement mort ces denrières années. Un moteur graphique
qui est retardé de trimestre en trimestre, des deadlines qui ne semblent pas
respectées, des changements de direction trop fréquent, mon feeling est
qu'il risque d'y avoir un coup de hâche dans AO par manque de rentabilité.

Ils vont peut-etre continuer, mais avec une équipe encore plus réduite, ce
qui entrainerait des abandons de projet au seins d'AO, par manque de
temps et de ressources.

La seule chose qui pourrait sauver AO est que la direction en place souhaite
capitaliser sur le fait qu'il est l'un des plus vieux MMO encore joué, et qui
est encore développé activement. Il faudrait bien-sûr que la direction soit
convaincue qu'AO ai un avenir pour conserver une équipe de développement
complète.

J'espère que je me trompe, ca me ferait quelque chose que les serveurs
d'AO ferment, j'ai toujours considéré AO comme étant le plus trippant
des MMOs aux quels j'ai joué, spécialement à bas level (1-130)
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Sanderus



Inscrit le: 11 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Bruxelles

MessagePosté le: Ven Jan 25, 2013 1:06 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Update sur la restructuration:
Pour ceux qui ont pas envie de lire en gros à Montreal il n'y aura plus que des équipes qui bosseront sur des jeux tablettes, mobiles, etc
Les équipes pour AO, AoC et TSW, qui continueront à bosser sur ces 3 jeux, seront dans les bureaux de Caroline du nord où il n'y avait pour le moment que le services client, la gestion des comptes, le QA etc
Les bureaux de Beijing seront fermés durant cette année.

Ca va de nouveau faire un beau bordel le déménagement et forcément du retard... Et bien sûr les employés à Montreal qui vont encore devoir déménager etc
Reste à voir si ils vont tous rester dans l'équipe...



Raleigh, USA – January 25th, 2012 – Funcom, a world leading independent developer and publisher of online games, today provided an update on the Company’s previously announced restructuring process. The restructuring is an important step in the long-planned implementation of the Company’s strategy of building smaller, high quality online games such as the upcoming LEGO® Minifigures game while at the same time continuing to support, service and expand its three successfully launched massively multiplayer games ‘The Secret World’, ‘Age of Conan’ and ‘Anarchy Online’.

Funcom announced last year that following the release of ‘The Secret World – which is the Company’s largest MMO project to date – that the Company would implement a strategy of developing smaller, high quality online games with more limited budgets and shorter production timelines. This would allow the Company to spread its investments and work on more games simultaneously. It has also been important for Funcom to make sure that the new strategy incorporates the continued support of the Company’s existing online games, which are all a vital part of its legacy as well as its future business.

As part of the restructuring Funcom is establishing a joint, centralized live team at its studio in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose primary responsibility will be expanding and enhancing the Company’s three live games and making sure the thriving community of loyal players receive the support they have come to expect after years of successful live operation. The centralized live team consists of many of the talented people that worked on those games previously, and it is Funcom’s ambition that each game will benefit from having a shared pool of skill, competence and creativity that makes up this highly experienced group of developers in the centralized, joint team in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The team in Montreal will work on currently unannounced projects for the tablet and mobile platforms, as well as continuing to improve and enhance Funcom’s own industry-leading Dreamworld technology.

The Dreamworld technology powers many of Funcom’s massively multiplayer online games, such as ‘The Secret World’ which was re-launched successfully in December to a buy-to-play business model. The move resulted in a 30% increase in overall sales and an increase in server activity of more than 400% as a result of many players returning to the myths and legends themed online game. The centralized live team will continue to build upon this success in the months to come.

“The live team in Raleigh, North Carolina, has up until today only housed our billing/tools, community, customer service, operations and quality assurance teams,” says Funcom CEO Ole Schreiner. “By bringing the developers on our live games to Raleigh it allows us to build a stronger, more unified team that can service and support our online games as they work to expand these worlds and create new experiences for the players who inhabit them. This will also allow us to have the team staying in Montreal focus exclusively on their new responsibilities of developing for tablets and mobile devices as well as working on new tech.”

The restructuring process includes a reduction in headcount at the Montreal studio among those who have not been relocated to Raleigh to be part of the centralized live team or who are not part of the new team which will be working with mobile, tablet and technology. As a natural result of the completion of the development on ‘The Secret World’, the Beijing studio, which primary responsibility was delivering art and animation to that project, will be closed down this year and the live team in Raleigh will be equipped with resources to produce visual assets for upcoming updates to the three live games. There has also been a staff reduction at the Raleigh studio in certain departments.

The restructuring process is still ongoing and Funcom will update the market on concrete numbers when the process has been finalized.
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Sanderus



Inscrit le: 11 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Bruxelles

MessagePosté le: Ven Jan 25, 2013 1:09 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Monthly Development Update -- January 25th 2013

I'm sure you all have read the news about the restructuring, so I'll put things as plainly and straight-forwardly as possible to clear up any confusion or speculation. I also apologize for the delay on this month's letter, but it was necessary due to the announced restructuring process.

The fact is Funcom will be consolidating offices, and as a result production on all of the three large-scale MMOs will be moved to our existing office in Raleigh, North Carolina. The move means that the developers will be in the same studio with the customer service and billing teams which previously have been external to us. This means less red-tape when resources are required from a different department (and one currently located in a different office), so some categories of delays on feature delivery should be completely eliminated.

As part of the restructuring there will be one Live Team in the NC offices which will support the three MMOs. And as one chapter will close on AO's development, a new one will open. The new Live Team will include coders, designers, and artists from all the games. There are a lot of developers at Funcom across all projects who also happen to be extremely passionate AO players (and will be on the shared Live Team), so AO should be able to get the attention it deserves. And this is one of the rationales for having a shared pool of developers -- that developers can more easily shift between projects.

Obviously, not everyone is going to Raleigh. The move isn't immediate, and people will continue working in Montreal for up to a couple of months. Our immediate focus will be finishing as much of what we started as possible to make a seamless transition to the new Live Team. Before the move, we will release 18.6 to Live (Server Migration), and plan to get the New Player Experience to TestLive.

I'll give you a state of the "big 3" initiatives we've worked on for the last year:


Server Migration

This is out on TestLive now, and we're pushing for the Live date as soon as all the issues are sorted out. Want to thank everyone in the community for helping us with the dry-runs on TestLive.


New Player Experience

This is close to done. As I mentioned, we plan get it to TestLive before production moves to the Durham offices, because it's a whole new playfield, there is a lot of content, and it seriously and vastly improves the beginning of the game. It's not just for new players, it's for new characters. It also has some of the necessary groundwork for the profession changes.


Engine

I've been playing this internally, as I've mentioned before. Playing the new client hadn't been possible until I started posting screenshots -- I refuse to post screenshots that aren't from a build I am running on my "manager" machine which doesn't have Visual Studio or any tools installed. Macrosun and Vhab have done a tremendous job over the last year to make the engine a reality -- we were just matching the Dreamworld mesh grass to the different ground tiles when the studio news was announced. Unfortunately, the engine exists in our 18.7 branch, so it requires 18.7 to be patched before you guys can play it. This will not be able to happen over the next couple of months given the restructuring process, so what happens with the new engine and the timeframe will depend on the priorities of that team.


The details of the restructuring are still being hammered out, and this will impact the production schedule. This means I can't talk about what's next after the NPE gets to TestLive, since that's the furthest milestone we'll be able to hit before the new Live Team is up and running in the new location. But I will be spending the next couple of months working on the transition, and when we know more I will keep the AO community in the loop.

Sincerely,
Ilaliya
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tijup



Inscrit le: 28 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Montreal

MessagePosté le: Ven Jan 25, 2013 5:01 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Je suis peut-etre un peu trop pessimiste, mais une phrase me fait tiquer:

so what happens with the new engine and the timeframe will depend on the priorities of that team.

_ Ca sent le gros délais pour le nouvel engine.
_ Le "That team" me fait penser qu'il ne va peut-être pas suivre l'équipe en Caroline du nord.

Par contre, ils vont être dans un coin ou il y a énormément de compagnie
informatique, et de datacenter. Le centre de recherche d'IBM est la par
exemple.
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Sanderus



Inscrit le: 11 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Bruxelles

MessagePosté le: Ven Jan 25, 2013 5:39 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

En tout cas Means, Kintaii et Lindelu doivent se féliciter de ne pas être resté. Rolling Eyes

Je suis pas super optimiste pour l'avenir d'AO non plus vu ce qu'on en sait jusqu'à présent... On aura le merge si tout va bien, la NPE sur test toujours si tout va bien, le nouveau moteur c'est mal parti et ne parlons même pas du rebalance. Rolling Eyes

Il est évident que si il n'y a plus qu'une équipe pour les 3 jeux, TSW aura la priorité...
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Sanderus



Inscrit le: 11 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Bruxelles

MessagePosté le: Ven Jan 25, 2013 11:20 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Posts d'Ilaliya en plus:

Citation:
Part of the restructuring is to address some long-standing bureaucratic inefficiencies within the company, especially pertaining to cross-team communication. If I didn't have to be conscious of PR and the fact anything I say now might make the gaming press who are trying to read (into) the tea-leaves, I could use the word "Byzantine."

Whether or not the restructuring actually alleviates these issues isn't up to me, but it's at least encouraging the existing structure is recognized as being non-optimal.


Citation:
There has been a ton of progress on the server merge and the new player experience, and the engine until we learned about the restructuring internally. After we got the information, we had to shuffle priorities. Because you want every feature to be at a good "pausing point" so it can be picked up again with minimal hassle after the move.

For us, this means we need to push hard on the server merge so it happens before the move, and we need to get the NPE to testlive because moving studios is always disruptive to production and the NPE is going to need to be on testlive for awhile, because there is so much content there. Meanwhile, the engine is already playable internally (like, actually playable), and we're not going to have time to reach the next "pausing point" (external beta) before the move anyway. All the move did was increase the internal priority of the NPE vs the engine.

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igor
Leader AO


Inscrit le: 24 Juin 2003
Localisation: Paris

MessagePosté le: Sam Jan 26, 2013 10:15 am    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

L'équipe de développement de la technologie Dreamworld reste au canada c'est assez bizarre.
Pour le moteur, je dirai "wait and see", mais en effet ca sera suivant le planning de l'équipe live et je ne pense pas qu'AO passe en priorité.
Après ils n'ont pas annoncé non plus qu'ils arrêtaient le dev du nouveau moteur et les employés sont forcément pessimistes dans ce genre d'épreuve.
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Sanderus



Inscrit le: 11 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Bruxelles

MessagePosté le: Dim Jan 27, 2013 11:24 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

On sait déjà que Vhab ne restera pas dans l'équipe, il aurait pu mais il n'a pas envie de déménager. C'est dommage il avait un peu repris le rôle de Kintaii sur le forum.
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Sanderus



Inscrit le: 11 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Bruxelles

MessagePosté le: Lun Fév 04, 2013 9:12 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Prochaine newsletter... quand il y aura du nouveau. Razz

Ilaliya a écrit:
I started an update letter and it wasn't very long, considering this one was posted a little over a week ago. So I'm not going to stretch "working on the NPE," "fixing bugs on server merge" and "internally deploying new patch" (what we've been doing in the last week) into a full page letter.

Instead, I'll just do the next update when we have something useful to announce to you guys. Monthly Updates across the projects need to be synched up anyway, as we are transitioning to the new Live Team. The next update will also include what that plan is.

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Sanderus



Inscrit le: 11 Aoû 2003
Localisation: Bruxelles

MessagePosté le: Mar Fév 26, 2013 9:14 am    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Monthly Development Update -- February 26th 2013

Hey guys,

Funcom is finishing up the ongoing restructuring process, and as you may read in the press release, Joel Bylos is the new Creative Director for all of Funcom’s triple-A MMOs, including Anarchy Online.

I have worked with Joel since 2008 when I joined Funcom, and I cannot think of a more fantastic person for this job. The AO team will continue to work on the engine, which will still go out with 18.7.x (it’s currently being beta’d internally). And just a reminder, because it's in 18.7 that it's technically impossible for us to let you guys play it until 18.7 hits testlive, or you manage to get inside the Montreal internal network

Speaking of the engine, the team just finished the system for grass. How it works is we now automatically associate each existing grass ground tile with a 3d grass mesh, and then the code places the grass on that ground. So dark green grass ground tile gets grass mesh #5 and light green grass ground tile gets grass mesh #8, and so forth. Which means grass is now automatically appearing where it should.

Here is a quick fraps we did of the grass working in the new engine. You can see the different ground-tiles have been automatically assigned different grass meshes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej2_VvvGTRQ&hd=1

We just did a live build of the Server Migration patch yesterday, so that should be coming out imminently assuming QA doesn’t find anything horribly broken. I want to thank you guys for reporting the naming issues, they have all been added to the test case. So this means if you poked me or another Funcom employee on the forums about a name situation being incorrect, they’re getting automatically checked. In all cases, it was a matter of the name resolution script not working technically. Once the Operations Team sorted out the technical issues, the reported naming problems disappeared. We decided not to do another wipe/merge on TestLive so the fixes only appear to characters who logged in post-fix, but we are still able to test them internally.

Genele has been working on the New Player Experience (also 18.7), and it’s next in line after the Server Migration. Right now we’re just cleaning up some remaining bits (mostly on the art side) so that it’s ready for Test Live.

However, also due to the restructuring process sometime in the near future I will no longer be working for Funcom. As such this will be my last Monthly Development Update, but I will continue to work behind-the-scenes for a little while helping the transition over to Joel. He will be taking over the updates starting next month as part of that transition.

You have been a fantastic community (most active community ever!), and whenever I read message boards and see the word "confirmed" it will bring a smile to my face. While I obviously couldn't agree with all of the posters all of time, your passion and dedication to AO is beyond inspiring. I plan to continue working in the game industry, so hopefully I will see some of you on a different forum sometime in the future, writing updates from wherever I happen to be.

Farewell,
Ilaliya


Bleh plus d'Ilaliya non plus. Sad
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igor
Leader AO


Inscrit le: 24 Juin 2003
Localisation: Paris

MessagePosté le: Mar Fév 26, 2013 1:22 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

On s'en doutait un peu, par contre super sympa les effets pour l'herbe.
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