Reactions From a Beta Concert

How we made Consortya more stable for our upcoming concerts.

We had an awesome time hanging out at the Concert With Bunny Knutson last Friday, January 20th 2016. There were a couple of things that didn’t go as planned, and I wanted to take a little time to explain what happened and what we’re going to do to make it better.

1. Make It Possible for People to Download the Game Quickly
We noticed that most of the people wanted to download the game exactly at the start of the concert. GoDaddy claims that we have unlimited download bandwidth, but they started to really slow down once a few people wanted to download the multiple versions of our app that we provide (Mac OS 10.7+, Windows XP+ 32/64 bit). To make this better for everyone we are going to use a dedicated file host, Amazon S3. This is going to help as many people who want to download the game download it as quickly as possible.

2. Quadrupling our server’s performance
During the concert, our puny little test server decided that it had seen enough. We’ve been so busy making the experience as fun as possible for everyone, that we lost track of how much memory our server needed. We’ve quadrupled the power of our server which should mean that we can host at least 25 people at once. I hope that number is even higher (50+), but because the server crashed during the performance, we don’t really know how much server memory and CPU we need. We’re uploading audio from the artist, streaming that audio to everyone, and keeping up with all of the chat, light-shows, and dance moves of our awesome users.

3. React quickly by planning ahead of time for things to go wrong.
When the server crashed, I couldn’t get it going again quickly enough to reliably ask people to rejoin. This made me kind of sad because I wanted everyone to get to enjoy the show. But things happen. A couple of things that messed it up. I didn’t have the right server version number on the version that everyone downloaded. I also knew that since the server had already crashed, there wasn’t going to be enough memory for everyone to join again. I’m going to work this year to have multiple servers for people to connect to depending on what we need for the concert. I also want to react more quickly and let people know that when it goes down, we’ll keep everyone up to date via the comment section of the Facebook event.

4. Graphics should default to medium.
We want everyone’s laptops to keep up with the game. That is why we have three options Low, Medium, and High. When you run the game, it defaults to High, and you are even able to change it during the game. We even keep track of your framerate and ask you if you want us to automatically adjust your settings. This is great, but I think the settings should default to Medium so that people don’t have to think about it as much before they join.

Thank you for an amazing concert, and I hope to see you soon when we have our next show this upcoming Friday, February 5th, 2016. https://www.facebook.com/events/184128648612848/

Author: Andy M.

I’m the founder of Moonlight Games, LLC and the creator of Consortya.

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