Hi everyone,

I know a number of you have asked about beta 21. Many of you have
noticed that the Mysteries of the Ancients home page says beta 21 on
the website, but there is no download available. Well, here is the
reason why.

Anyone who has been programming for any length of time knows that 25%
of the time is actually spent on writing/designing the software and
the other 75% is spent on debugging or trying to fix it. I must
confess that I am no exception to the rule. In particular Mysteries of
the Ancients is no exception either, and  I’ve got a hard lesson in if
it isn’t broke don’t try to fix it. Reason being after a month of
trying to fix Mysteries of the Ancients beta 20 I’ve come to realize
what I have on my hands is a big problem. Oh, it can be fixed but how
I plan to resolve the problem is likely to set us back somewhat in the

Basically, what happened is when I started work on beta 19 I modified
Mysteries of the Ancients so it would compile and run on the
cross-platform engine. Along the way I fixed a number of bugs present
in beta 18, but of course people weren’t too happy about FMOD Ex for
audio. So I thought, "no big deal. I’ll just change everything back,
recompile, and it will work just fine." Wrong!

Sometime after I edited the MOTA beta 19 source code, recompiled it
with the Windows G3D engine the game has never worked quite right ever
since. The game crashes when you alt+tab away from the window, torches
burn out after 25 seconds or so, levers reset before they are suppose
to, Angela sometimes instantly dies after getting attacked by a Harpy,
and all sorts of unusual bugs like that. I’ve fixed or addressed some
of the bugs, but not all of them. After a month of trying to correct
them one by one I’ve given up trying on the current version. I’ve
concluded while the bugs might be fixable there might be a simpler but
slightly less desirable alternative to the problem which I will
explain below.

As many of you know I use a Linux computer for much of my day to day
work. One of the programming tools I have installed is called
subversion. What subversion does for a developer like myself is I can
checkin or backup changes to an ongoing project and it will catalog
and store every single version of the source code being worked on. So
if I want to return to an older release it is easy as logging into
subversion and telling it I want to checkout the 0.18 source code and
it will download the 0.18 source code to my project directory. This
makes it a simple matter for a developer to roll back to a prior
release if necessary. In this case I think it is more than necessary.

So what I plan to do is delete the beta 20/21 source code and checkout
0.18, beta 18, from subversion since I know that version wasn’t nearly
as buggy as beta 20. Once I checkout the beta 18 source code from
subversion I can attempt to patch it with some of the changes, but as
I’ve forgotten what exactly I fixed in beta 19 and beta 20 some old
bugs may return in beta 21. Plus some features such as speech
interrupt were added later and won’t be available to you until I go
back in and add that support to Mysteries of the Ancients. Basically,
as I said earlier this will set us back on our development schedule,
but I think this is a necessary measure as it is the only way I can
think of to correct some of these bugs that simply were not present in
beta 18 and earlier. So here is the plan.

I’m going to checkout beta 18 this afternoon, work on a patch to bring
beta 18 more or less up to current, and release that as beta 21. Once
we test that, find any bugs that need fixed, features that need to be
put back in, etc I’ll release an update, beta 22, to resolve any left
over issues in trying to upgrade beta 18 to current. It could take a
couple of weeks to really get everything back up to speed so to speak,
but I think the problem is fixable. It will just take a little time
and patients on everyone’s part.


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