Mini-Anniversary

May 10 2012

It’s been two years since we launched this game. That makes today our birthday! We hope that the last year brought you lots of fun and excitement; at least as much as it did for us. Congratulations to everyone and, to mark this great event, all present gods just received 20 godpower charges at their disposal!

What’s a holiday without a new great feature? Behold: starting today, your hero will occasionally take special mini-quests – a series of very short (less than an hour) quests, which could be minor, yet profitable distractions from the hero’s main task. Since mini-quests are not of the prime importance, the hero can easily give them up, and gods can urge their heroes to drop these quests with the usual “cancel quest” god voice. However, the heroes who successfully finish a series of mini-quests are destined for special outcomes, including a brand new one – a duel-like fight with a boss-monster, resulting in an especially lucrative reward and a new game achievement!

Finally, spring is a good time for cleaning and it’s a great opportunity to remove some stale game content. We’ve opened up a new forum topic where everyone can post their personal list of their most disliked pieces texts. Hopefully, this will make Godville even better.

Thanks for staying with us! Happy Godville New Year!

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Technical problems

Apr 27 2012

Due to a hardware failure yesterday the game became unavailable. We’ve managed to fix the initial problem and restore access for most of the heroes, but due to an extremely unlucky streak of events (darn this random!), fixing it for the rest of the heroes turned out to be harder than we thought initially. We’re working hard and still expect to have this issue fixed over the next few hours. We’ll update this post once the problem is finally resolved.

Thank you for understanding.

UPD: All heroes should be reachable again. The issue has not been resolved completely yet, so we’re going to keep looking into it, as well as applying some counter measures to prevent this from happening in the future.

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Most Wanted

Mar 29 2012

The never ending influx of strong monsters is calling for some countermeasures! Authorities have come up with a new initiative for controlling the rising population of beasts – every day they will publish a reward for two WANTED monsters in the Godville Times newspaper. Everyone who hunts down one of these can claim their prize in the nearest town. In other newspaper news: the items listed in “Buy and Sell” section now can really be sold for much more than they are usually worth.

Some recent developments in the “rankings and measurements” area have brought us a brand new pantheon – the Pantheon of Survival! It ranks the most successful monster-slayers who also happen to have some decent survival skills. Rumor has it that these mystery boxes will be all the rage for their ability to remove death records…

A small, yet important change for arena duels – from now on, if you send your hero to the arena and he didn’t find an opponent, you can send him again after just one hour, instead of four hours like it was before.

A bunch of tech news: players on the Google Chrome browser can now receive nice popup notifications on various heroic events, similar to notifications in our mobile apps. The feature is disabled by default and can be enabled in the hero page settings. If you’re using Chrome (other browsers don’t support this yet) be sure to check it out.

The new version of our Android app has just been released (v3.2) and it features Google Cloud to Device messaging transport (C2DM) support for remote notifications. This should make hero status notifications work on some devices where they didn’t work before and improve battery life as well. C2DM is the new default (on supported devices). The old notification transport can still be enabled using the “Alternative Transport” option in the Notification Settings.

Finally, a few words on all those 502 errors we’ve been having recently. In our continuing glitch-fighting efforts, we’ve just pushed a big Godville-wide update that should make all things run a bit more smoothly. There could be some side effects, though, so if you manage to run into something that stopped working please report it here.

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Keeping in Touch

Feb 05 2012

Heroes have always liked to form into groups and socialize throughout Godville. The gods, however, were limited to “fast” but private messages, or very public but “slow” forum talks. The time has come to add one more tool to the divine communication toolbox – the Guild Council. It’s as fast as PMs and can be used by multiple people at the same time. As the name implies, this tool is tailored for guilds, and it should bring even more sense to being in a group and fire up some inter-guild communication. The Council has a simple permission system: all guild members can read messages; Followers can post; and starting from Cardinal rank the gods can jointly expel and impel infidels from their sacred meeting places (elders’ voices have higher priority). Guild Council is already available in the browser and in recent updates of Godville mobile apps (3.3 for iOS app and 3.0 for Android to be precise).

In other news. From now on the personal pages will display achievement progress plus a few more cool stats. The latest mobile apps got highly anticipated multi-line message input capability, and the iOS app now has a new and improved messaging UI. Some under-the-hood changes should have improved Remote Notifications and duel turn progress. Many bugs and other insects were smashed here and there, hopefully making the overall game experience better for everyone. Thanks to the never-sleeping ER, the game got yet another pack of awesome new content. And finally, some heroes are spreading rumors about newly discovered settlements not far from the capital…

Quite a good month for Godville, don’t you think?

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Analyzing the Guilds

Jan 06 2012

It’s good to start a new year with some good old updates! The time has come for guilds. There are quite a lot of them already in Godville, but browsing and navigating through them was not an easy task. Hopefully, not any more, as today we’re welcoming the new guild pages – a place to get the essential information on each and every guild listed in the Unity pantheon. The new guild pages are just one click away from the hero page and there are already mobile versions for the delight of iOS- and Android-owning deities.

By the way, did you know that a guild can make miracles and other influential deeds in towns to get some special bonuses from the grateful town folks for their members? Today Godville Times reporters have decided to set up a poll to determine the most influential guilds in the towns of Godville and publish the findings in the todays newly created newspaper column.

Happy guild browsing!

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Achievement Unlocked

Dec 23 2011

The holidays are coming, which means that it’s time to unwrap some presents!

The first one is Achievements! They were already available for some time to our iOS players, but starting today they will be everywhere – iOS, Android, on the Web and even on our Facebook app. Some of them were already awarded while others will be unlocked over time, so make sure to check out your hero’s personal page once in a while. Achievements vary in difficulty and rank so there’s going to be something interesting even for seasoned players.

Some tech news: recently, both our iOS and Android apps have been updated with lots of new goodness (Facebook friend invites, achievements, pull-to-refresh, swipes, etc). In the meantime, the superhero page now preserves the Remote Control state between page refreshes, which can be useful in duels.

Meanwhile, some new fancy stuff has been discovered by Godville’s scientists. New activatable artifacts can smelt golden bricks, kill monsters, friend other heroes and even accumulate charges. Even Godville invites can now be activated, so you won’t have to worry about heroes selling them. And the holiday spirit has lured hordes of Santa Claws and other fabled creatures to enrich the surroundings with their presents and gifts, so watch over your heroes, as they may find lots of interesting things!

Happy holidays!

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Black Friday Special

Nov 25 2011

For the first time ever, a special holiday offer – get twice as many charges for the same price!

This offer is valid until 28/11 11:59PM (PST). Hurry up, and don’t forget that you can also gift charges to your friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ideabox 2.0

Nov 14 2011

As many of you have noticed, the Ideabox has gone through some changes over the last couple of weeks as we have introduced “dupe” and “flag” buttons, to provide authors with better feedback.

That was just the beginning. Today we’re adding a brand new feature to the Ideabox – the Enhancement Room. It is a special place for proven Godville community members to tweak and enhance the most promising content submissions that have passed through the first round of voting. Hopefully, further careful reviews and the ability to tweak ideas into a ready-to-add form will shorten the review queue and speed up the whole process for both players and authors!

An exhaustive description of the new feature can be found here. Hopefully, this update will bring more awesome content into the game more quickly, to the joy of both players and authors.

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Just Imagine it

Oct 15 2011

After a quite long pause, we’re excited to get back to you with a bunch of good news! Please welcome our brand new feature – friendly, just-for-fun duel fights with friends and their heroes! These new fights take place entirely in the imagination of the heroes, so they won’t leave any trace (no teleportation, health restore, changes in stats, equipment or inventory, no effect on pantheon rankings or desire for in-field skirmishes). To invite a friend for a sparring fight just send him a challenge using your Remote Control (read more in the FAQ). Don’t have enough friends to check out this awesome new feature? Well, everyone has just received 5 invites, so go ahead and challenge a friend to a duel!

The new dueling feature is already available on the superhero page and in the recently updated iOS and Android (update to Amazon AppStore is still going through the review process) apps. In order to reduce confusion and let everyone know that the old hero page is not the best way to go, today the old page got its final feature – a deprecation banner and an updated link in the top menu. Fear not, the page should work just as it worked before, but it’s unlikely to receive any of the new features (e.g. Third Eye or Challenge Friend).

In other news, there were lots of small, yet important changes made over the last couple of weeks that we wanted to let you know about:
  • the game has just been updated with a lot of new content
  • monster death rattles are now much more diverse
  • “earthly news” submissions have been moved into their own section in the ideabox
  • all personal pages have gained a bunch of godwiki links
  • to make duel endings more straightforward, the tie outcome for both arena and skirmish duels has been changed, so that it will no longer affect the win/loss ratio and gladiatorship pantheon position
  • it’s now possible to buy charges for other players in the browser version of the game.
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A note about yesterday’s downtime

Sep 07 2011

Lots of you may have experienced problems when checking your heroes yesterday, as GV servers were not available or were returning error messages. First of all, we’re sorry that happened, and we want to let you know about the situation and what we plan to do in order to prevent it from happening again.

Our hosting provider informed us that due to some excavation work, a fiber optic cable that connects our datacenter (and 4 others) to the Internet had been cut, which caused everything to work really really slowly or sometimes not work at all. We tried to mitigate the issue by tuning up the servers, but that wasn’t enough to work around the underlying connectivity issue completely. After approximately 8 hours, the underlying connectivity issue was fixed by our hosting provider, which resolved the issues in accessing our servers.

Unfortunately it’s almost impossible to manually restore or rollback all the bad things that happened to your heroes while they were wandering around without supervision from their gods, but here’s what we’re going to do to prevent it in the future:
  • tune up timeouts in our mobile apps to better handle situations like this
  • fix some newly found bugs in our Android app related to error messages when servers are not available (some of them were already fixed in v2.5 available in Android Market, but this version is still going through the Amazon Appstore review process and not yet available to those who downloaded the app from the Amazon Appstore)
  • provision for additional server capacity to handle even more requests
Here are some tips for our players:
  • follow us on twitter @godvillegame to get the latest updates, especially at times when our site is not accessible
  • if you’re using our Android app and for some reason you were logged out of your account, but had never set a password: please try to login with your godname and an empty password
  • be aware that due to Amazon’s review process, app updates to Amazon Appstore are very likely to reach you several weeks later than the same update in Android Market

UPD

During yesterday’s non-stop endless patching & tuning session, we accidentally messed up one of the servers, which eventually backfired causing some of the accessibility issues observed today. As of now, this problem is resolved and everything should work fine. And to prevent this happening again, we promise to try get some sleep and be more careful even when our inbox is flooding and things are on fire.

If you don’t use twitter, here is the good old-fashioned RSS feed for blog posts.

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