So Minecraft beta 1.6 came out today. Four times, in fact. What a fun day this has been!
After staying up all night to prepare for the patch (which was scheduled to come early morning) and make sure this update goes as smooth as possible, it hits about 10am my time and instantly the whole team are ready to go and working together over Skype to get this done as quickly as humanly possible. It took us 2 (!) hours later, in which time Mojang released 2 more (minor) updates, but we finally had a 1.6 compatible build ready to go. Everything went better than we could have imagined!
And then we went to test it. Oh joy. None of our test servers were strong enough to let us all join the same server. And trust me, these aren't cheap VPS' with 500mb of ram. What the hell could be making it go so slow?! We spent about an hour trying to figure out where the bottleneck is, with a few small theories but none remotely coming close to fully explaining the 100% CPU. We were all too tired and too worn out to find this, but we couldn't test without it. Tricky situation.
We decided to push what we had of the update live, and let the community try dev-test it for us. We usually don't do this so early, we like to at least know that the basics work before letting other people look at it, but we didn't have much of a choice.
And then minutes later, a wild patch appears! Patch uses CPU fix. It's not very effective! Enemy server feints.
Seems Mojang, too, couldn't find the problem so easily. They managed to release a 1.6.4 a little while after, which seems to have fixed the issue, but at a cost of ruining chunk updates. It's still very hard to play and test with, but it's certainly a start.
Overall, I think this update went well on our end. 2 hours is a record time, and this was no small update either. The Mojang concept of Multiworld isn't compatible with our own concept of Multiworld, but I'm fairly sure I've managed to hit it with a hammer enough so that you can't tell the difference anymore. We'll see in time. There's still some nasty bugs left with multiworld though which I'm working on right now, but it's very hard to test with delayed chunk updating.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a few days of sleep to catch up on.