I took another trip up to Austin last week to spend some time with Richard Garriott and Starr Long, two developers I’ve come to enjoy speaking with a great deal. I think blackdeserthelp.com / blackdeserthelp
we may touch one of my reasons for finding these visits particularly interesting in this article, actually. It really starts with what Starr calls “tech-debt.”
Despite working as a software engineer and developer for several years, it was a new term for me when Starr blackdeserthelp.com / blackdeserthelp
whipped it out of his verbal escritoire. Though, the concept of poor coding for the sake of getting something functional more quickly is hardly a foreign concept in my experience. It’s very common for a developer to need some critical component functional in order to prevent holding up other developers working on some related piece. A dev will make the decision to hack out a bit of code, knowing he’ll have to go back and clean up the earlier rough work later.
In this case, Shroud of the Avatar has moved from Unity4 to Unity5, and the tech-debt might be better termed “unrealized-potential.” Unity5 offers a host of visual and performance improvements beyond the previous version, many of which haven’t been fully taken advantage of yet. The problem is that each and every asset has to be touched in the course of doing this, and that’s where Starr’s drawing his term from when he says they have a bit of tech-debt to pay in this release.
The team rolled over to the new version of Unity back in Release 15. Amazingly, they managed to make everything work in the few short weeks they had, but now it’s time to go back through and start making use of some of the advantages. That’s not that there aren’t a few bugs that will be handled, though. For example, there were some performance issues in most urban areas that I visited in the last release, and then there’s the mysterious wall of uncomfortable moistness.