This month’s Spine focusses on user requests and the Spine level.
After some trouble with the 1.16 release last months due to some bugs and less time than expected for Spine due to the work on Tri6: Infinite and the console port of Elemental War we’re delayed on the languange independence of the database. But we used the time we had and worked on smaller improvements that have been requested/reported and started improving the Spine level to further extend its use in the future.
The first general improvement affects switching to the database. This was slow all the time as everytime one entered the database everything was loaded again. Now the database gets loaded just once and gets cached. It only updates when you switch the user, the language or restart Spine. Now you might miss an update, but as mods don’t change every hour that’s not an issue at all and the download itself still queries the correct data, so just a wrong version might be displayed in the UI.
Then there was an issue when updating a modification with big files, e.g. Odyssee. While the update started, the UI of Spine was frozen as the hashing of the existing file (to check whether it changed) ran in the main thread. That moved into the background, so now also for such updates you won’t have a blocked UI, which is especially good, as due to the new download system there is no dialog anymore showing that it was blocked.
The last one caused a lot of support in the last month as for some reason the D3D11 renderer downloads worked even worse than before 1.16. The problem is that the renderer is small in size, but contains plenty of files and each file is downloaded separately. Now we introduced a system that allows to download and unzip archives containing multiple files. That way we can download all the small files at once and then unpack them on the client. That’s not automatically in for the different mods, but we will update the downloads later today so you can use this new feature and the renderer downloads work again for everybody.
And then we started work on the Spine level. So far it’s mostly adding some more cases where you get experience for the level to honor people that e.g. complete mods with 100% of the achievements. In the future we might add some leaderboard where you can compare your Spine level to other Spine users and add some bonus stuff for the levels. But that’s something we have no concrete plan yet, we just got a lot of input from our survey we ran in January/February.
Spine 1.18.0 will hopefully then do its first steps towards language independence and also get some first improvements to the info pages as requested.
- Unlocking all achievements of a mod gives a bonus of 1000 XP for the Spine level
- Playing time now influences the Spine level
- Database now only gets reloaded when language or account is switched
- Zips now can be downloaded bundling a bunch of small files to increase download speed drastically
- Renderer can be used when launching via Steam now in admin mode
- Initial hashing now is done in background to not block GUI anymore
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