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Blogs about nanos, the company, the team and behind the scenes. Totally not gluten-free.

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Just Cause 3 Multiplayer 1.1: current state and why we're taking so long

It’s a long time ago that we have talked about the previously announced 1.1 update in a blog entry. It’s a long time ago that you have received information on its development status, on when the update is going to come out and on why we communicate and work the way we currently do. Let’s address the biggest question first: Why is this all taking so long? Well. As many of you know, Just Cause 3 Multiplayer is a hobby project which, despite nanos being a company, is done without payment in our free time. Everyone of us, whether in management or development, is looking to invest as much time as possible into our projects. Sadly there are also times where neither of us is able to invest as much time as they want to, for example due to job reasons. This was exactly the case: Alex, our lead developer, was, quickly after the announcement of 1.1, unexpectedly and indefinitely more involved in his job - this meant it was not possible to finish 1.1 on time. Since we did not know when he had the capacity to fully come back we decided on putting the release date on “soon”. Nowadays we know that this was a clear mistake, which even turned into a kind of running gag for the community. Many of you have noticed that our team is not that small and that we should have enough resources for a speedy development of Just Cause 3 Multiplayer. That may be the case on first sight, but in reality it’s a different story. There are only 3 developers working on JC3:MP, namely Alex, Jan and Aaron. The latter two had to pause due to job reasons shortly after the 1.0 release on Steam, which meant that Alex was the only one left. This would not have been a problem if he hadn’t run into the same issue shortly after. Not a good situation, for both us and you- Many of you also raised the question why we are not shifting away resources from other projects, such as the Framework or nanos world, to Just Cause 3 Multiplayer. There are two simple reasons: Every project at nanos, whether its publicly announced or not, are internally fully independent - something that we want to keep that way. This means: If there are issues in one project it should not and will not affect any other project. This is important for us since we want to guarantee a constant workflow in as many projects at possible. This is also so each team can specialize on each project, ensuring highest quality standards. Development would be halted for a period of time anyways, even if she shifted resources. Developers working on other projects neither know the code and resources of Just Cause 3, nor the codebase of our multiplayer modification. Learning to work with it would take a serious amount of time which can be used more effectively elsewhere - since the development-take-over would anyhow be just temporary till Alex fully comes back. Another reason on why it takes so long is the size of the update: Despite the many new features we have announced the whole client has been rewritten, including a brand new main menu. This leads to the next question...   Why are you rewriting the client anyways? Legitimate question, which we can answer by looking at our core values. If we find a way on how to make our code more clear, performant and stable we use that as a chance to improve on our product. For some this might be vanity, but we think it is necessary for maintaining a quality standard you deserve. For the end-user it is pretty clear that a rewrite is the right choice: Better performance, more stability and, in the future, faster updates. We managed to prove that already with the server-code and we are confident to do so with the client as well. Another important fact is that our code is based on an idea starting in the years 2013 and 2014. The base was created for our former project, GTA:MP. In the beginning of JC3:MP we ported it over, so it could be used with Just Cause 3. Nevertheless, the code had a lot of features and code prepared, which could not be used or was simply deemed irrelevant over the following months of development. This meant that in the end our code was feature rich, but messy: Something we fixed in the server and are currently doing in the client. At this point we want to show you how our main menu will look like in the future. We could already gather a lot of feedback and improved on our previous preview:   Okay, nice. But what are the other features the update will include? Some of you already know it, but the most requested feature will be finally available - so let’s talk about it again: Tethering!With 1.1 it will be possible to link objects, vehicles or players to each other. You can find some videos on that on our social media channels and on our previous blogs. Other features include.   Option to use different skins (bye bye, army of Ricos Placing objects in the world Even more nice Scripting API functions enabling server to do more nice things WebGL support for WebUI Controller Support for our Main UI Updated node and cef to their respective latest versions Probably some more I can't think of right now (This was alex)   Nice! So how far you with the update and when can we finally enjoy it? A question we are receiving multiple times every day and which we could never clearly answer. So let’s finally clear it up: SOON   Jokes aside, let’s talk facts: The new base is looking good already. There is a new render backend for CEF which means improved performance. Thanks to the great CEF community we were able to include a patch which makes it possible to bypass the CPU when rendering resulting in the possibility of using WebGL and further reducing input latency. Looking at the game itself we have finished our new API which we use to communicate internally with the JC3 base game. At the moment all 1.0 features are working, including some new ones. The new API was realised with less layers between our code and JC3 which results in less points of failure and improved performance. We also no longer need to write a wrapper for each feature, which mostly took us time to work on the feature itself. Tethering is looking really good so far despite some issues with physics and vehicles. We hope to resolve that really quickly. We have already implemented some new API functions but we have not reached the limit: More are soon to come. The scripting API is most of the time the easiest part to expand because we only need some lines of code to link internal functions with the API. That means it’s usually the last thing we do. At the moment we are really working on ironing out bugs before we give a first version out to our broader testing team. There are still some features for 1.1 that need some more time or do not function correctly - e.g. problems with skins (wingsuit causing crashes) and with objects (still moveable after spawning, therefor desyncing). There is still some work let to do, bugs to iron out and crashes to fix. Overall we are very near, after extensive internal testing, on releasing a beta. At the moment we are aiming for a beta release for interested users somewhere in August - provided that there not any major issues occuring. *gg* The last thing to say: We are very sorry on how everything went till now. Our intention was certainly not to put you off with “soon” for a very long time. Our intention was to inform you on progress as soon as we knew development was going forward and to then release regular updates as we used to in the past. I really hope that I could give you a big and deep insight into the current situation. I hope we could make clear why the patch has been delayed and that work is resuming at a normal pace again. If you have any questions about 1.1 please post them directly into this thread - I am glad to give you all the answers you may need. I still have to announce that there will be no further blog updates on 1.1 till the public preview version since we do not want to interrupt the flow of information in case of another unexpected job related development halt.   Greetz, your Community Manager aka. master of the pugs

Dennis S.

Dennis S.

 

nanos - the year 2017

The year 2017 was a very special year for us. This year we have successfully released our first Steam App, namely Just Cause 3 Multiplayer, together with our partners at Square Enix. Since then we have reached over 170.000 downloads and have announced our very first game. Let's recap everything which has happened last year and afterwards let's look into the future: To make it clear, we are definitely not finished with what we're doing.  JC3:MP - Beta Release After our "administrative issues" of the 20th December 2016 (about which we still can't talk, sorry pals) we were finally able to release our first Just Cause 3 Multiplayer beta on the 6th of January 2017. Despite initial performance issues we were initially able to maintain a high player- and download count, which resulted at the end of our Beta at around 160.000 unique downloads.
Overall we are happy about the success of the Beta: Thanks to the great amount of crash dumps, which we could gather with your help, we were able to polish the modification, improve performance by a lot and make it overall more stable. Also, thanks to the many suggestions we received from you, we were not only able to add a lot of new features but also learned a lot for future projects. For us as the team behind nanos the 6th January was a really important day. It was one of the biggest milestones in our recent history, which we celebrated after a year of hard work.  
nanos team party After the first public beta and about a year of hard work we decided to celebrate together: More precisely, we did that between the 20th and 22nd January at our lead developers, Alex 'meow' Güttler, home in Norther Germany. This was the very first meeting of our whole team, which meant people from all around Europe (Wales, England, Austria and Germany) came together and met for the first time in reality. This weekend was of course not only used for partying, but also for planning our next steps and improving parts of our code base. It was also used for a bit of live-communication with the community. For me this was one of the highlights of the past year, because I could meet many of my team colleagues in private for the very first time - and of course also for the great memories of our launch party  We are planning another meeting this March, hopefully again with all team members (including the many new ones). Some impressions right from Alex's place:   London This year Malte and me went to London for 3 times to visit our friends at Square Enix and the Just Cause team to talk about potential plans, discuss about problems and to socialize together. The visit of the Square Enix office and the meetings held there was really special for us as "beginners" in the gaming-business. We want to thank all of the great people there for their hospitality and certainly hope to see you guys again soon!

Despite product meetings, smaller live streams and gaming sessions, we were also enjoying some visits to restaurants and bars with our friends from Square Enix. We could also use our time in London to meet some of you guys from the community, namely YouTuber Superrebel and the creator of our Trailer, Mp3Charlie. Below you can find some impressions:   JC3:MP - Steam release After about one and a half years of work something happened on the 20th July 2017: Square Enix made it possible to release our very first app on Steam, which was one of the biggest milestones on our way to make multiplayer development and development of the technologies behind them to our real job. After working on 4 different modifications within 6 years the Steam release of JC3:MP was THE highlight for us all in the year of 2017. This was a big step, which really meant a lot to us. Now, about 5 months later, we can already thank you for about 170.000 downloads over Steam. We were also able to get a lot of feedback from you guys to further improve our modification. Of course, we are not finished with the development of JC3:MP. We are aiming to treat you with great things in the year 2018 - starting with our 1.1 release, which will include the long awaited tethering. The future Let's focus on what's coming up next: This November we gave you a sneak peak on our very own game -nanos world- which is a project we will continue to work on in 2018. Besides the nanos world developments blogs, which will start very soon, we will most likely release our very first version of the technology behind our projects: the nanos multiplayer framework. In addition to that we have already planned some community related events and ways on how the community can work together with us on what's coming next. So stay tuned.

To conclude: 2017 was a very great and exciting year for us, despite some ups and downs. We have achieved quite a lot and experienced many things, which is why I want to thank all of you for your support, for your criticism, your honest opinion and all the moments we shared together: You helped us to push Nanos forward, regardless whether you were a fanboy or a harsh critic. You kept us motivated to keep pursuing what we do. To sum it up: A big thank you to all of you. We hope we can share a lot of moments with you together next year.

We wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas, a great start into the new year and overall a lot of luck for 2018. Let's rock the next year, together! 

Dennis S.

Dennis S.

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