April 2nd 2021 - Gala Games
Adam Price, Michael McCarthy, and Jason Brink
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Adam Price: AP
Michael McCarthy: MMC
Jason Brink: JB
AMA Transcript by Tarrega#1942
Some minor edits have been made for clarity.
Bold: Question or Topic to be Discussed
[Timecode link] Speaker: Answer
[5:25] JB: Well, what would you guys like to start out with? I figure that we probably owe the community a bit of an explanation for the whole Town Star situation. Do you guys want to talk about that?
MMC: I personally will blame Adam Price.
[5:49] AP: The chief faceplant officer right here. I’ll take the first question in the Town Star channel, which was asked before we even started streaming; “What is Town Star faceplant bonus round?” and that is our way of making it up to you guys. Town Star had a bit of a catastrophic issue this week that was not recoverable. What it was essentially boiled down to a bug with managing the data. I as the CTO will get into some technical bits that are probably too detailed but maybe there are some engineers in the crowd that want to know those details. We use, as our primary database for Town Star, a technology called Redis. Part of using Redis is its key value store and because Town Star resets every week, it is on us to go through and delete all the data every week. That’s actually a pretty significant process. We call it the pre-wipe or the wipe event at the end of the game. Essentially what happens is it crawls through the entire database and deletes everything for every game that needs to be reset. What we were finding is that as we grow, as we scale, as we’ve gotten larger, that pre-wipe process takes about an hour, believe it or not. That’s how big the Town Star game has become. We’ve messed with the timing so things are ready to be reset on time. Essentially, what happened is that the logic with that went wrong. Pre-wipe fired in the middle of the game, so certain data points went missing; that’s why you guys saw it immediately. You could see towns on the map and then you would click on the towns and it would act like a free space and you could place your town there. That’s because the data that indicated that town spot was taken was missing. So we looked at the data pretty thoroughly; we took the game offline basically immediately to stop the hemorrhaging so we wouldn’t get more and more corrupt data. It was essentially unrecoverable as we dug into the data. So that was the issue. At first we were thinking that maybe some rogue actor had infiltrated the system and deleted some-
[8:03] MMC: That would have been more exciting.
AP: It certainly would have been cool, and you know I could have forged the data to make it look like that happened. Anyway, what did we do? The solution was a couple points. We knew that the pre-wipe problem had been causing more and more issues as time progressed. We knew that we scaled, it was going to be a compounded issue. What we did is essentially now every game is its own instance of the database. Everything is separate; there’s no way to have cross deletion of data- there’s no cross contamination of the free game or the weekly game or any game for that matter. That makes it so we don’t have to scan through the entire database and delete specific data. That’s good to solve this bug but the other facet of that, which is a big benefit for the game, is that Redis is a single core database, meaning it only uses one CPU. By splitting it out into multiple instances, we’re going to get significantly higher throughput because every game is on its own instance. Despite (the differences between) free and weekly (everybody takes the weekly game seriously and the free game as a sandbox for messing around or for the more casual players) the free game is actually very busy.
Having them on different cores, on different instances is going to be a big performance throughput increase as well. So that’s what happened.
[9:33] MMC: And there’s some better asset streaming tech that’s coming online soon that will make load times a lot faster for you guys as well. We’re also going to be delivering, pretty soon, an extreme low poly version of the game so people with lower end systems can have a much higher frame rate, especially at the elder town level. We’re constantly trying to improve the tech and improve the framerate for everybody, which I think is kind of fun and cool.
[10:11] AP: Yea I’m actually really excited about that streaming tech because, while we’re going to apply it to the this new low poly version, it’s like an approach we haven’t explored yet, and it has pretty significant impacts given that we’re going to expand Town Star with every release. It’s going to have more data, it’s going to have more assets, it’s going to have more media files to download, and streaming is going to be the way to deliver all of that in the long term.
[10:42] MMC: Also too, and I think everyone is tuned in today, we are going to be developing skins for Town Star. Let’s just make that ad hoc announcement right now Mr. Brink. How do you feel about that?
[10:57] JB: You can do it man, but we have a really important question first. This is really important. Sandy Bottom Records in our Youtube wants to know what the cat’s name is.
[11:09] MMC: Full disclosure, I am at my friend’s house. That cat’s name is Smokey. She was a recovered barn cat and is missing some lengths of her tail but she is just a sweet pea.
[11:24] JB: Ok, so continue on with the other less important non-cat related news. You were talking about doing skins in Town Star.
[11:32] MMC: Well, we need to do a poll with the community, and I don’t know, have we had a chance to do that?
[11:38] JB: We haven’t done the poll yet but nobody wants-
[11:45] MMC: We need to do a poll with the community because we’re going to release skins for Town Star, so if you’ve ever wanted your entire town to look like, you know, traditional Chinese architecture or Egyptian… We were talking about medieval but someone came up with the brilliant suggestion that, “Man, you guys should just do a Mirandus skin for Town Star,” which I think would be crazy cool and fun.
[12:11] JB: Whose suggestion was that?
[12:15] MMC: You know, Jason Brink? I’m going to credit you with that one.
[12:20] JB: Thank you, thank you! It was, it was. I just want to play with Mirandus stuff.
[12:28] AP: I put a reaction on it that said “That was a good idea!” so I take partial credit for it.
[12:33] MMC: So it was pretty much your idea then Mr. Price.
Yea guys, so we really want you to be able to skin your entire town and have it look completely different. We think that’s kind of fun. I feel like you guys have been asking for that for a bit. It’s just an art swap. I like skins a lot because decorative items are fun and cool but they’re going to just take up space on your board, which I think would be fun at first, but really we’re just making your town less successful by having something look pretty but have no function. I don’t want to get too in depth until we have the persistent game ready to go, and I think skins are a nice way to go to make the existing objects look different. I’m hoping you guys do too, but we need your feedback and I think we’re going to launch some polls to see what skin you would want first. I’m definitely thinking a Mirandus skin would be a lot of fun so we’re looking for your feedback on that.
To bring it all full circle, what are we doing now and when is the game going to be live again and what does the tournament look like this week and I think it’s kind of fun. Price, do you want to talk more about that?
[13:54] AP: Yea I guess that was actually the initial question; what is the Town Star faceplant bonus round? That’s our way, our mea culpa as Eric likes to say, of saying “We’re going to run a 48 hour game and get us back on schedule!” We lost the data, so we’re starting from scratch. We’re going to double all of the rewards; it’s going to run from tonight at 9PM Pacific to the usual game-end time and we’re going to double all of the rewards. That’s our way of being like “Okay, we’re back in it and this won’t happen again.” Wait, I didn’t say that. This probably won’t happen again. You’ll notice that the game still says beta when it’s launched. Wait, it does say that, right?
[14:43] MMC: You know… I’ll tell you what I love about this. A lot of our players have communicated with us that they want different timeframes for the competition. Not everyone has all week, morning, and night to throw into the game. I’m kind of excited just to run a 2-day competition. All of this is feeding into our major tech initiative to get you the ability to make your own servers. I think some people are going to want to run two day servers, one day servers, an 8 hour server, for example.
I think this will be really fun. We’ll double the rewards and it will be 48 hours. Everyone that’s here and listening, you’re going to be there right when the game starts, which is kind of exciting.
If it faceplants, Mr Price, is there any triple extra bonus round?
[15:42] AP: You know what, if it does faceplant again, we’ll triple it. Commitment made.
MMC: Wow, that’s exciting!
JB: You know there are now people that are going to make a concerted effort to faceplant it right? You know that’s how that works, right?
[15:58] MMC: Everyone is going to try to faceplant the game now. Yea, sorry the game went down for a few days, guys. We really pride ourselves on doing refactors and keeping our code as clean as possible but this stuff happens, especially when you’re scaling. There are an unbelievable number of people playing the game today, and for those of you who were here a year ago, my gosh, how different does that map look every time the game spins up? It’s a lot of fun but there are some growing pains and we like to keep the game live no matter what so we’ve learned some lessons. It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to do that. I guess what I’m hoping to communicate to you guys is that if something like this happens again, you can count on there being a big huge mega bonus round for us to make up for it. I hope that it works out.
[16:56] AP: I was just going to mention that the thing that started the idea of this AMA is that I mentioned our scale this morning on our team call. McCarthy just talked about scale. Town Star is a significantly busy web application. I’ve pulled some metrics as we were digging into the data for what caused the faceplant and everything. Town Star in API traffic alone in data in and out (not assets, not downloads of the files or anything like that) in a single day transacts 34 GB of data. It has around 5 million requests a day so it is a healthy baby boy at this point. I just wanted to throw some numbers your way as far as what it’s getting to. I would have to do the map on the Gala platform itself but it is significantly more because you don’t sit on the Gala platform and click through it all day, obsessing about eerie little detail, but some of you guys do sit there and no-life Townstar.
[17:59] JB: Apparently, you haven’t seen people when node rewards are getting ready to drop. They do sit there and click through the platform until they drop.
AP: For an hour.
JB: For an hour, unless something goes wrong and then it’s two hours.
[18:12] I want to deal with a question really quickly from Relief.
Relief says, in the Discord (Anyone who’s listening who’s not in the Discord can join by going to galagames.chat)
[18:27] Relief: “Personally, I’d rather you spent the time working on Mirandus than making eye candy for Town Star.”
[18:33] JB: Those two things are not mutually exclusive. The Mirandus team is totally separate from the Town Star team.
[18:43] MMC: They’re separate teams, guys. There is no cross pollination there. We’re running at extremely exciting stuff. Price and I talk about this a little bit; there are some benefits to moving people between projects sometimes because it keeps them frosty and smart and all of those things, but that is not what we’re doing at all with Mirandus and Town Star at this time, so you don't have to worry about that. It’s not an either/or situation. Town Star and Mirandus are both moving forward at full speed and we’re hiring like crazy. We’re scaling both of those teams and they both will be delivered super-mega freaking awesome, so that’s that.
[19:38] JB: Awesome. So, Price, I want to dig into a few things with you a little bit if that’s ok.
[19:46] JB: What would you say is the biggest challenge for architecting something on the server side for something like Town Star?
[22:06] JB Yeah, for sure. The amount of memes that hit our channels was a little bit amusing.
[22:17] JB: Lawrence on Youtube is like “The eggheads are talking!”
[22:25] MMC: This is always a question for the community, but I think I’m projecting a little bit here when I say this, and the community can check me if I’m wrong, but when I first got into the games industry, just hearing how the sausage is made from all of the senior level people that were there at the company to me was the most amazing and wonderful and fascinating thing. I don’t like shit watered down and I’m hoping you guys still appreciate hearing about the nuts and bolts. I know some of it might be a little sleepy to some of you guys but damn I don’t want to get in the pattern of serving you guys up some sort of mega-crafted message. I’d rather you just hear it from us and hear what we’re doing and what we’re thinking and how it’s all going. I hope that’s still cool with you guys. It’s a tone we’re certainly hoping to keep.
[23:33] JB: One of the questions, and this is a request that a lot of people have asked about, is about creating some sort of API endpoint for in-game data so that people can create their own scoreboards and things like that. Is that something that could be done in the future? I’m sure that there's going to be a few people giving me thumbs up for that.
[23:53] AP: You know, Amer has talked to me a couple of times; I know he pulls out and aggregates that data pretty frequently and he always tells me it’s like “I’ve gotta log back in- I’ve gotta stay authenticated- I’ve gotta do all this,” and so I have explored this; I’ve set up the express middle where the public API key acts as I’ve got most of it in and working and then the faceplant happened, so it is coming. It’s something I’m working on in the background that will be in the game some day. It is not a super significant amount of engineering effort so look for that- not next week but soon after.
[24:44] MMC: We love that idea. We’re going after it.
[24:51] JB: Sandy Bottom Records says “You had me at balance loaders.”
[24:56] JB: Somebody’s asking about the creation of a tutorial. Now, this is something that we’ve discussed in the past, McCarthy, about how you really want people to experience going into the game and going through the process of figuring it out. Is that still something that you feel strongly about or are more involved tutorials something that may happen in the future?
[25:30] JB: This is the part where he says “Thinking,” and then gets really quiet for about 5 minutes.
[25:36] AP: It’s a great question but it’s also very hard to answer. I feel for him.
[25:51] MMC: I’ll hit you with my high level thoughts about this stuff and then I’ll tell you where I think we’ve kind of landed with Town Star. As a designer, your aspiration is that the game is intuitive enough or at least interesting enough to tap on that when you come into it, you can tap around to learn and play. You’re seeing something happening in the simulation that kind of makes sense to you. The game loads, the farmer walks out of his house. He picks up a crop, he takes it to a silo. You can kind of watch the simulation. The game board is unlocked. We allow you to tap around and do whatever you want. We try to guide you to a few places to let you know “Here’s where you sell, here’s where you can buy more stuff, and here’s the leaderboard,” the three components of the game. I really like that. I hate it when I’m in other games and I can’t tap through anything and they’re guiding me through something and I’m trying to tap through paragraph long dialogues. They won’t let me scroll the board around. I like it as the game designer when you get a chance to tap around, play, and learn. I think there’s a couple of things we’re doing poorly in Town Star that we need to explain better. One of them is that you can reset your town at any time, and I think it’s ok. I think people start Town Star and are like “Oh crap, I screwed this up and I sold some gas and now I’m in this bad spot and now what do I do? I guess this game is too tough for me.” We actually encourage you resetting your town. Just try. If it doesn’t go well, you’ve learned some lessons and every time you play, you get smarter and smarter and smarter. That’s really the hope of it. My first thing is I want to encourage people when they’re first starting to learn, tap around, and take that knowledge and just say “Man, well this town didn’t go right but now I really see how farmers work, and I really see how this works and that works, and if I could just tap a reset button, I could try this all again.” I really want to figure out a better way to encourage people to just get rid of their town. You start, you play, “Ah, that one didn’t work out right.” Well, start again! I like that idea a little more than I like holding your hands and keeping you on rails and explaining everything the game has to offer. I’m hoping it’s fun for people and I guess the players that have been here for a while- I’m hoping it’s fun for them to learn some of the intricacies of the game. Town Star looks so simple when you first start and the more you get into it and the more you play, besides how do you min/max your town build and what is the perfect location, you start learning that “If I place a wind turbine near a building, it blocks the wind and my wind turbine doesn’t work very well,” or planting certain crops near the ocean makes them grow slower. I’m hoping there’s kind of this fun feedback and learning about what’s happening on the gameboard that players enjoy instead of having your hand held and having the entire thing explained to you and not giving you any control or freedom to tap around. I really want to encourage people, when they start to play the game, that it’s not a failure to start a new town. It’s part of the fun process. You tried? “Oh gosh, I really learned some lessons. Boop! Tap.” Right now you have to pick a new location in the world but I’d like to get a reset world in. You’ve learned some great lessons- tap, boop. Keep your same locations and just reset your town. I think I’d rather steer the ship more towards that direction. There are some milestones you hit as a player that I think are also the reward for kicking butt and learning and figuring stuff out. I think when games have no challenge, there is no reward. As a Town Star player myself, you tune the game a certain way and all the players out there can probably attest to this, you remember that first time that you “Oh yea, I made gas. I wasn’t worried about gas anymore. I know exactly how to get my gas machine running, my refineries, and my oil pumps.” I’m hoping there’s milestones in the game that people can aspire to. If you tutorialize the crap out of it or you make the game too easy, there’s just no reward and accomplishment. I don’t think our game is too hardcore. I’m hoping it’s enjoyable and I want to encourage players, especially when they’re first starting, to not feel bad about painting your town into a corner that lets you not be successful. That’s just a moment where you’ve learned some lessons. Tap,start over, and keep going. Build on that knowledge base.
[31:18] JB: This concept was actually NFT Comic’s. @NFTComics on Twitter actually made an animated NFT of exactly this, where you see a Town Star starting place and then a silo pops down, and a fountain pops down, and then a tractor pops down, and all of a sudden, the money goes down to zero and it has to be reset.
[31:48] AP: It’s so well drawn. It’s very well drawn.
JB: They did such a good job. I actually just dropped it in the chat there. They did such a good job. This is the second one that they’ve done. I really dig it.
[32:02] MMC: I love it guys. I think that there’s this chasm right now in gaming where games are supposed to be super easy. You can play a super easy game, but you don’t walk away with anything. You don’t feel proud of anything. You have nothing to think about or share with your friends. You don’t want a game to be so hard it’s unplayable, but you want it to be fun, intuitive, and an enjoyable experience to continue to learn and I would much rather march down that path than explaining every aspect of the game or a lot of the game to new players.
[32:52] JB: Yeah, I agree. I think that gaming has changed a lot. There was a period in my life for about five or six years where I didn’t really play games too much, and then I came back and started playing a game and it felt like everything had changed. Everything was super easy with little pointers that told you exactly where to go. I didn’t like that change; I liked having to figure it out and struggle through it.
[33:29] JB: They want a suit skin with skyscrapers and farmers dressed like lawyers in suits. I like it.
[33:43] MMC: That’s cool! Yeah, we need to run a poll, guys. It does take us some time to spin up these assets and make sure the tech is there. There’s a lot of UI involved. “How do I change my building to look differently?” We’re kind of trying to figure out all of that stuff. I need to start running pretty quickly at what the first skin is going to be, so I need your help on that. Let’s choose something that’s super fun and awesome for people, but a modern skin with suits and ties, that’s really funny. I think that would be cool.
JB: I like it.
[34:26] JB: Now, in the past we’ve discussed a persistent, decorative world. I’m just asking questions that I have because, woah there are a lot of questions on Youtube.
[34:44] JB: Why does Adam and Michael have epic beards but that Jason guy doesn’t? This is a very good question.
AP: Excellent question.
[34:52] JB: So there’s actually a little story here, and that is that my beard is the worst, most terrible embarrassing looking miserable thing you have ever seen. My little brother used to call me-
MMC: No, Jason, it’s the most terrible thing that you’ve ever seen. I think that we all would like the opportunity to see how bad your beard is.
[35:14] No, it’s so bad. It’s so bad. My little brother used to call me “Clear Beard” because I am so blonde that it’s just this glowing nimbus and it’s terrible. It’s terrible, so that, Jefferey- oh, I just realized who you are.
[35:39] MMC: Jason, is there some opportunity to do some sort of “Get Brink a Beard NFT” or something? If enough of these are sold, you will commit to growing out your awful beard for like three months.
[35:56] JB: Ok, here’s the deal. I will only do this if it is really, really worth it. We will do an NFT. We sill sell this and the proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Foundation in memory of my father. If enough is sold- I think if we send $100,000 to the Alzheimer’s Foundation, I will grow a beard for three months.
[36:28] MMC: We’re going to need six for 100K. We’re going to need 6 months of clear nimbus beard, and I’ll make it clear to the community too that I too will try to grow a beard.
AP: Yea, I’ll keep it.
[36:43] JB: See, the funny thing about- about… No trim too? Oh God… This is… Here we go. Here we go.
[36:54] AP: No trim is like you’re eating it. It’s bad.
MMC: You’ve got to trim, man. You don’t want to suck on it- that’s just… A well groomed beard, you know, Jason- I just wonder if you’re selling yourself short.
JB: It has been a while since I’ve tried.
[37:11] MMC: I think we need an NFT for Brink to do it and then we need an NFT for “Okay man, you win, stop.”
[37:20] JB: “Stop, just stop,” and I’ll be like “No, this is mine now. I’m here. I’m here.”
[37:27] JB: “I do have to say, though, on the topic of beards… “Make this happen,” nice. On the topic of beards, Price is never allowed to shave, ever, because-
[37:40] AP: I scared you that one day I showed up clean shaven.
JB: Dude, I was like “Who is this child that has been allowed?” because you have the side-part and you’re completely baby-faced. It’s so adorable.
[37:52] AP: I’m older than you- we just established I’m older than you.
[37:56] MMC: I think this means that this- there’s a name for this in psychology. Diversion or something? We’ve forgotten about Brink’s beard and now we’re talking about…
[38:08] JB: Yea, yea. Let’s see.
[38:16] MMC: I mean, the fact that you call it a nimbus beard is the only reason that I am super excited about it, okay?
[38:22] JB: It really is, it’s terrible, but I’ll do it. I’ll do it. If we do a 100 grand donation to the Alzheimer’s foundation…
[38:32] MMC: …to the Alzheimer’s Foundation gets you six months of nimbus beard.
JB: Six months of nimbus beard.
[38:41] AP: Is this when you say, “Go Gala Horde”?
JB: Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. I have a tool for this now. I have a tool. Are you ready?
AP: Do it.
[38:53] JB: FOR THE HOOOORDE!
[39:00] MMC: Six months though, dude.
JB: My wife is going to hate me, you know that, right?
MMC: I thought she might, I thought she might.
JB: She’s going to be like “What is this? This is the worst idea ever.”
AP: It’s for a good cause. She’ll love it.
[39:16] JB: Okay, let’s answer some questions!
AP: Oh, right!
JB: Let’s talk about something else. Okay guys, what Town Star questions do ya got?
[39:35] MMC: For everyone that has not been here for the entirety of this meeting, let us remind everyone that the game starts in twenty-three minutes, and the rewards are doubled. It’s going to start at 9 PM Pacific Standard Time and end at its usual time on Sunday night. The rewards are double and it’s a 48 hour game, which I think is absolutely fun.
AP: Two times!
[40:04] MMC: The rewards are going to triple if there’s another faceplant.
AP: It comes out of Jason’s wallet, so…
JB: Wait, why me? I didn’t… I’m not the one who made broken things!
AP: It’s real.
JB: Hashtag real.
[40:28] JB: Do trees affect shade and windmills?
MMC: Great question, trees originally did, but I wanted everyone’s start maps to be similar and there are so many trees in the forest location that when I tuned wood to make it harder, if you added that in with trying to get to your first real craftable, which is likely flour when you’re growing wheat or things of that nature, it’s just the radial effect of shade cast by the trees was too brutal. We also don’t have a concept of shade-state or when blockage stays in growth cycles. If I could make the tree block a little wind when it’s grown but not when it’s chopped down, that might be a possibility but we don’t really have that in place right now. I just turned it off for the trees. I know it makes sense for them to make shade but I turned it off.
[41:45] AP: Michael, should cactus not cast shade?
MMC: Cactus should not cast shade. They do not cast significant shade.
AP: But it does!
MMC: So does a stick, but cactuses are not an “Oh damn, it’s so shady over here by this cactus.” It’s not a, you know… Come on, man.
[42:07] JB: So wait, does that mean cactus cast shade in game?
AP: I literally just looked it up. It’s one square.
JB: One square, okay. We should probably nerf that.
MMC: Alright, let’s do it.
AP. I added a 0 after the 1. Pushing it.
MMC: If cactus are casting 1 shade and trees are not then I can own up to that failure and I will fix it.
[42:31] JB: Someone wants to know if, due to that terrible, terrible, embarrassing failure, do we want to have a one-time top 200 players game?
AP: Yea, there was a question: Is double “Top 200” or is double “Top 100” times two?
[43:18] JB: No! Someone is in for the entire donation for beard growing. Well!
MMC: Alright, there you have it! You thought you were going to escape, Brink! It’s nimbus time!
JB: It’s nimbus time, oh Jesus. Come on.
MMC: Six months of sweet nimbus.
[43:42] JB: Okay, back to this 200 question!
MMC: The distribution isn’t going to change on that front. It's just going to be whatever you got normally is 2x.
JB: Ok, well you’ll have to mess up worse in order to get the 200.
JB: (From a user) “Find other things wrong! Tell McCarthy!”
[44:09] JB: Really, really guys? This is a thing that we have to do?
MMC: I guess it just depends on how you feel about charity, Brink.
JB: Ok, fine. Fine. I’ll do it. I said I would do it. I will do it.
[44:26] MMC: Remember, I do think there is that moment where the community can just say “Please Mr. Brink, just get rid of the nimbus. Just please get rid of the nimbus.” So there can be a recall poll. I think that has to go to the node owners.
JB: The node owners? Oh good lord. Okay.
[44:53] MMC: Can we science this? Doesn’t beard hair grow ¼ an inch a month or something?
JB: It should grow faster than that shouldn’t it? It should grow more than ¼ inch a month.
MMC: We’re going to need to science your nimbus.
JB: This is the worst idea that anyone has ever had.
MMC: I don’t know where it came from.
JB: I don’t know either. How did this even happen? Oh yea, I know how it happened. Never mind. That Jeffrey E guy! You’re going to get it man. I’m never sending you food again.
AP: I know who Jeffrey E is!
JB: Yea, you do know who Jeffrey E is! You do! There it is.
MMC: Guys, Michael McCarthy’s phone is at 8%
AP: It’s plenty.
JB: We’ve got it. We only have another 15 minutes, man.
[45:55] JB: How about some fruit trees? They want fruit trees!
MMC: Fruit trees… I want to start running polls across a lot of different vectors, guys. What is the next batch of content you want? We can get it out there. We can get it up and start tuning it. We’re bringing on some new systems designers and people that are going to help us. We’ve heard that grapes are radically overtuned, which we did a little bit on purpose to get you into the content. Our ultimate goal with the design of the game is to have a constant argument about “What is the best way to win?” That will mean we’ve tuned the game appropriately. For the elder players to be just absolutely arguing about what’s better, you know? Orcs or humans in Warcraft 2? It’s orcs, unless someone is an amazing human player- icestorm was quite powerful. We want to create a conversation, especially with our elder and senior level players about what the best strategy to win is. We don’t want to do fruit trees- we would want to do fruit pies or something that can span and touch all of the existing systems a little bit- add new stuff to the game and make something challenging to grow. Grow and craft- so that’s always a better win if it spans the entire system. Let us know; we just need to run a lot of polls, guys. We can take it in any direction you want. You’ve been here and have supported us and we love you guys. I’d be super stoked to get in a bunch of new content that you guys are excited about.
[48:17] AP: Can I call us out on another thing that Amer mentioned? Water towers...
MMC: ...are hot diaper?
AP: Basically useless.
MMC: Yea, I had big aspirations for water towers, but we just have not figured out a good way to tune those into the game. Are they still in the store? I thought we removed them from the store?
AP: They’re still in there.
MMC: I can mea culpa to that. I think we should make it so the game next week does not have water towers. They’re so cool- they look so good in the town- they made sense at some point.
You know what we could do? Here’s another question for the community. We could make water towers like a well. If you own one, it’s not a storage unit, it’s an extremely fast well that doesn’t care about wind and would be incredibly expensive but would be something like one of our high-end fountain NFTs. We could do that- it could have a radial effect. I don’t know. It’s a question for the community. Jason, take a show of hands on this: In the next game, would you want the water tower to be an incredibly fast well that does not have a radial effect? Radial effects are tough for us to tune in, but we could just make it that it’s expensive but water is available there quite frequently. That’s an easy change that we could make. If people want to see that, let me know. We could make that change this weekend or Monday.
[50:13] JB: A lot of people like the fast well.
MMC: Ok. So, water tower as a fast well for the game next week.
JB: Yeah. We’ll monitor that poll for a little bit.
[50:27] JB: Quick answer to Paul: This background is some concept art from an as yet unannounced Project X. Keep watching for that.
AP: So mysterious.
MMC: We have so many. You guys are going to be stoked. There is so much stuff coming to the Gala network. It’s exciting.
[51:00] JB: So, Computer Tech Services Inc proposes, for this sort of thing, to make the vote on the node. The reason that we don’t do game related votes via the node is because the nodes themselves are for ecosystem issues, not specific games. Game developers always have to do what game developers need to do to make the games amazing. That’s how the games themselves work. That’s a really important point.
[51:34] MMC: There’s also a lot of people running nodes that aren’t necessarily playing the games. That’s a possibility. They are supporting the Gala network by helping us build that out, which is awesome, but if you’re a node owner, there is a distribution of items that you get when we mint things. So, I think if you ask the node owners “Are you guys on board with us creating some new items for a game?” They’re always going to say “Heck yeah, that sounds like a good idea!” because they might get one of those distributed items. That’s the power of owning a node, which is pretty awesome.
[52:12] JB: I want to jump in really quick and minorly correct you there. For operating a node. You get nothing for owning a node- you have to operate a node. It’s very, very important.
MMC: For game related issues, people that are playing the game of Town Star day in, day out, they’re the best people, honestly, to talk to about content extensions and what we should do with the game itself. I think Jason’s beard could go to a node vote. That’s ecosystem related.
JB: I don’t know that we need to do that.
MMC: You know what Jason, you’re right. We’ve already made a commitment on this call today. There’s no need for a vote.
JB: It’s going to happen. It is what it is. We’re still doing the NFT though. We’re going to try to hit 200 here, guys.
MMC: You know what? I’d like to see an NFT of your beard shot in the same lighting every 30 days on this 6 month journey.
JB: You just want to humiliate me, don’t you?
MMC: No, I want to see the nimbus form in the stratosphere, or whatever sphere it’s in.
JB: It’s like a little bit of god light that shines out of my beard.
[54:31] JB: Any plans to have racing games on the network?
Actually, we don’t! We don’t have a racing game in the works right now. That’s one of the few things we don’t actually have right now.
MMC: We’re actually talking to someone who has built some pretty awesome multiplayer technology. Their backend is really solid. I think you could see a racing game this year. I’d really like that. I think that would be a ton of fun.
JB: I am so bad at racing games.
(User posts a photoshop of Jason with a beard)
[55:15] AP: Look at what John T just did to you my man. He’s done you dirty.
JB: That’s terrible! That’s absolutely terrible.
AP: Better than the real nimbus though.
MMC: I can’t see it but tell me somebody photoshopped a nimbus cloud.
JB: They made it black. It’s not black! It’s clear. I am not joking when I say clear. You can see through it. It’s terrible.
MMC: Are you committing to a higher value that would make you dye it?
JB: I’ll probably dye it just for fun because why wouldn’t I at that point in time? Although, my hair does not dye well at all. I tried once- a girl made me do it. Never again. I ended up with orange hair. It was terrible- the worst orange.
[56:20] JB: Are there any games currently out in the pipeline?
What do you think, guys? Are there any games? Have you heard of any games?
AP: I don’t know of any. Wait, what?
JB: Wait, games? What?
AP: The website is Gala dot GAME, right?
JB: Games. Dot games, yeah.
AP: It was a joke.
JB: Oh, it was a joke. Ohhhh. Very good. That’s very good.
MMC: What was the question? That sounded like a more serious question.
JB: The question was “Are there any games in the pipeline?” and, yes. So many.
JB: John says there’s a shortage of blonde transparent beards online. Yeah, ther’s a reason for that, guys.
AP: They’re terrible.
JB: Not everybody has a community of wonderful friends who will throw money just to humiliate and cure Alzheimers. I do appreciate that.
MMC: It’s probably an uncommon search on Google to be honest.
JB: It probably is, but seriously, it’s -
MMC: Weird, transparent beards.
[57:35] AP: He clarified that question, by the way; He wants to know if games that are already out could be put on the platform.
MMC: Yeah, we’ve talked about that, guys. We’ve actually talked with several development studios about that exact same thing. It is very difficult to wedge blockchain into a game that is fully developed, and not from a technology standpoint. That’s kind of easy. The best games that I think you’re going to be seeing coming out this year on our platform are ones that the design team has really thought about how to leverage the blockchain. It’s not impossible that you could take an existing game and slam some player-ownership into it but it’s never going to be quite as amazing or cool as one designed from the ground up, or even caught halfway in development that can do some design twists to support it.
JB: I like that video Diesel Doc. That’s awesome.
[59:38] JB: Why does Town Star get stuck at 60% when loading?
MMC: That’s not a joke; that’s a very common problem. We’ve talked about it a lot and I think we’ve gotten to a good place with it, recently. Price, can you speak to them?
AP: Zero was just messaging me about that and I was able to reproduce it so we’ll be able to dig into that next week and fix that.
MMC: Asset streaming is going to help a ton too. Since we’re a web based game, when you tap and load that game, not everything is cached all the time. The game has to be sent to you when you load it- a lot of the scenarios where you tap to play, you’re getting the entirety of the game. Streaming assets is going to be huge. We think it’s going to cut that size in half and your load time in half, and I wonder if that will help resolve some of the issues.
AP: It won’t hurt!
MMC: If it hangs at 60 and you tap the refresh button and then it loads, I hate that too. We’re on it, guys. We’re trying to make it as best we can.