The past few months had been a blur. Sorry that it's actually been this long since the last journal entry! Time really flew without me noticing...
Jumping back to May, I was away for a trip to Italy, where me and Derlaine travelled through Italy, starting with Rome to visit the magnificent ruins, followed by Vatican City and their countless statues. After that we relaxed at the country side of Tuscany, where we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and I proposed to Derlaine. Our next stop was Florance where we got to finally see the statue of David. The last stop was the beautiful city of Venice, where we got to experience the gondola and admire the luxorious Doge Palace.
Upon returning to California we resumed focus on three main things - server migration and support for Gaia games.
Currently Gaia is powered through hundreds of servers with even more virtual server instances running. The important factor here is that all these servers are getting old, and that is a big problem. Imagine if any machine have a one out of a thousand chance of going down, we would have a broken server every 3 days. On top of that, the cost of renting space to operate hundreds of servers is really expensive. The path for us to take is to migrate all of Gaia's services over to cloud based services. Yes, Gaia is moving up to the clouds.
Gaia has a dazzling amount of services that support every feature on Gaia. A set of servers handle offline tasks such as achievements, some servers would handle notifications, others caches data, enable search, or store data permanently. Gaia Towns use a set of servers whiel zOMG uses another group. Everythign run on their own technologies and different ways to setup. We need to prepare and setup identical services in the cloud based servers, then come another big challange which is to migrate the terrabytes of avatar data from our proprietory storage system to the cloud based drive system. When all the side systems are migrated and complete, then we need to make sure that the actual database which store vital information such as everyone's inventory can be migrated and moved over to the new system seamlessly.
This whole project is huge in scope, and we don't expect to be fully tested and ready until September. Majority of the work is for our IT engineer, with me providing engineering help. But lucky for me this doesn't require my full attention.
The work on the mobile version of inventory and avatar management continues. Codemonkey is close to finishing the avatar dressup portion, then after that we will start working on Towns 3. This will be a sizable project in itself.
With some resources available, we started working on a few mobile games with teams from Gaia members as well as friends who are working on games on their own. Many members in Gaia HQ had been waiting for a chance to play around with new ideas, so the intorduction to new projects were a much welcomed event. The games are in development still, but we should have something in a month or so.
Lastly, there's been a lot of coding beside the main focus. Here are some of the stuff that's been worked on:
You can now favorite Runway avatars from the Runway museum
security upgrade for all payment servers (TLS 1.2 stuff)
Page jump function added for avatar builder
Speed up marketplace search, added caching for search results
Removed mysterious 2 second pause during login
Fixed second offer page
Marketplace and inventory now shows item created date
Fixed new items not showing up in store
Added achievement bonus for conventioneer pin code
Fixed inventory search for new items
Fixed daily treat