A quick update

published 28 Aug 2014

And so another month has passed. I probably don’t have as much to tell you as usual since I have been super-busy in real life, but it is all for a good cause! I have been working towards improving my working environment – and also allowing for expanding the osu! team – by renting a small office. This takes quite a bit of paperwork in Japan (especially as a foreigner) so it was quite a celebration for me to actually succeed in this.

Still in the process of moving stuff and getting well setup, but afterwards I should be able to livestream a whole heap more. We actually have a live camera of the office which you can view here. Keep in mind it will only be set to public at some times. I’ll likely tweet about it if we’re doing something interesting.

As for things on the osu! front:

  • The new update system is completed and mostly live. You can switch to it from the existing test build by clicking the little popup at the main menu.
  • Due to this system going live, the old test build is now officially decommissioned (even though you can still use it for the time being).
  • With this new system brings the ability to publish multiple update streams, including experimental ones (like an OpenGl only build which may be the future of osu!) for testing purposes. Look out for these in the near future!
  • I also managed to get osu! to “install” and update from a single executable, removing the need for the “osume.exe” updater. The result is quite magical!
  • Smoogipoo is beginning the rather huge rewrite of osu!mania to fix all the small issues that exist in the current implementation. He has made good progress on the key binding system and is working on skinning currently. The end result will be a new editor, a better working play mode and an overall better experience.
  • The new osu! website has gone through another iteration and is being designed actively. All I can say for now is that it looks amazing; if you saw the “old” new design then this one is just going to blow your mind!
  • I’ve spent a lot of my time fighting issues with infrastructure issues that are mostly not my fault and very hard to resolve. Things are still pretty stable, so I’d say I’m doing a good job even though you will never hear about it ;).
  • We have begun restructuring the team to resemble how the modding environment will be further down the line. This should hugely streamline the ranking process even before the complete new system is implemented.
  • The osu!idol karaoke contest is running again this year. Huge interest in this, so hurry if you want to take part in it!
  • I’m making good progress on restoring the osu!store and a stock of tablets. Expect to see availability again in early November, all going well. At least in time for the holiday season!
  • RBRat3 made a cool 3D version of the new osu! logo.
  • I learned that osu! can help with hearing loss.
  • Thanks to Rev3Games for an enjoyable trip along the history of the iNiS tapping series and the transition to osu!.

For those that missed it, I also answered quite a few questions in my previous post. Feel free to post more questions there if you have anything sensible to ask!

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ask me things

published 15 Aug 2014

I have an aversion to ask.fm, but I do know a lot of people out there have a lot of things they would like to ask. I plan on doing an AMA on reddit some day, but until then I’d like to leave this post here to gather questions in the comments which people would like answers to. I will post follow-up entries here answering the top-voted questions (or any I feel deserve an answer).

You’re welcome to ask any questions with no scope limits.

  • I will not answer questions that are stupid.
  • I will not answer questions from anonymous or invalid email addresses.
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A Quick Update

published 01 Aug 2014

What has happened in the last two months?

  • Had an amazing time at Japan Expo, meeting a huge number of French players and hopefully introducing as many new ones!
  • Gave an updated talk about the history of osu!, along with Q&A and live play in dual language (French and English). Watch it here!
  • I answered even more questions on episode 8 of osu!talk. Thanks to ztrot for having me on the show!
  • I received some open source mini-keyboard controllers for osu! from some chinese users. You can already make them yourself, but I also hope at some point we can offer these for sale at a low price.
  • osu! saw more development activity over the last month from people who aren’t me than ever before. This is very exciting to see, and makes me a little more confident that the osu! codebase isn’t in as bad a state as I perceive it to be!
  • Progress is being made towards an open source osu!. Piece by piece I am separating git repositories of various components so they can be released separately from each other as required.
  • We hit 200k likes on facebook. Hooray!
  • I completely rehauled the banning system behind the scenes to allow for more automation, as it was getting out-of-hand for us to handle manually. The results are promisingly good (or bad, in a sad way).
  • Work continues on a new update/release system which will allow for multiple release streams to exist. Users will be able to switch between stable/beta/cutting-edge. This will also allow for mgiration to dotnet40 while keeping a compatibility branch on dotnet20 while people migrate across.
  • A new game intro is in the works, including a long-overdue theme song. You may also notice that sound effects have been improved. This is all already live on test build but won’t be available on public for a while.
  • Download and update mirrors are centrally managed and traffic is automatically shifted as servers become available/unavailable. DNS changes are also automated via the Cloudflare API when server issues are detected, reducing downtime to only a couple of minutes.
  • I have been a bit busy with boring stuff like restructuring the way osu! is run as a business to make sure I can keep up with the ever-increasing workload. Trying to get more hands on board to get new features out to you guys faster than ever.
  • Huge kudos to Tom94 for taking my lead and rehaulling most of the song select code. The result is a more performant and slicker song select screen than ever before. And it’s only going to get better from here!
  • My sister made me an osu! stamp!
  • Someone used my design documents to make their own version of the osu!arcade unit!
  • We are running another fanart contest aiming to create a bunch of stickers, which may be used around the place in the future (both digitally and physically)!
  • Someone made a programming problem based on CtB.
  • People continue to be dishonest and unbelievably abusive.

I’m sure I’ve missed quite a bit here, but until next time. Follow me on twitter for more regular updates!

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a quick update

published 26 May 2014

I have so much I want to post about, but no time to do so. Let’s continue with quick updates because it’s much better than nothing at all!

  • I’ve decided to focus on open-sourcing the whole of osu! as soon as possible. This means that my previous post mentioning needing new team members is temporarily on hold while I restructure things. Moving forward by cleaning up internals, and releasing some side-projects ahead of time.
  • 16 person multiplayer is coming in an update over the next week. Yay!
  • Tablet orders are going out at a rate of around 50-60 a day. Still plenty in stock, but I’m limiting how many are available each day due to the speed we can ship at.
  • The new store is live in all its glory! I have done my best to make it accessible on all devices down to smartphones. Tablets, stickers and plushies are available, with more products coming soon! Excite.
  • Work continues on the new site. I am focusing on the development of this myself, in an attempt to get beatmap modding into a better state ASAP.
  • The osu! site now uses an image proxy for profile user pages and forum posts. This means it is now 100% SSL traffic, which should make your browser a lot happier (no more broken lock icons in your URL bar). It also means people can’t snoop on you accessing their profiles, and should speed things up a fair bit.
  • Images which are being proxied are also being lazy-loaded. This should reduce the bandwidth you waste on the site by a whole heap. Lazy-loading is done in a way such that it shouldn’t affect your normal browsing experience.
  • I moved the complete admin team to Slack for internal communication. It has been the biggest breakthrough in ages as far as I’m concerned. Managed to get everthing integrated in once place, allowing us to handle support tickets, in-game reports, even reply to forum threads without touching the forum itself! It’s 100% linked to bancho and allows us to moderate from smartphones and receive push notifications without a cumbersome IRC client running on low-powered hardware.
  • Catch the Beat World Cup is currently running and we are streaming it each weekend on the osu!live channel. Make sure to tune in! It’s a lot of fun to watch even if you aren’t a CtB player.
  • This amusing conversation happened.
  • A teacher started using osu! in his classroom. Curious stuff.
  • I may be making a guest appearance at a large upcoming convention!

I need to make an important post about my intentions when it comes to open-sourcing osu!, so look forward to that in the coming weeks. A lot of people seem confused and worried about the implications, but you shouldn’t be. I will not fail you!

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a quick update

published 01 May 2014

I’m very aware that I haven’t been posting much here. It mainly boils down to the fact that as long as I have things to do that are directly contributing value to osu!, I avoid spending my time writing. I have a few posts written up in a semi-complete state, but haven’t had a chance to finalise them yet. Don’t go away; I will make things happen eventually.

So what has happened over the last four months?

  • I’ve been working on expanding the osu! team. If you think you have what it takes (highly motivated, ambitious, fast-learning) then get in touch.
  • Second batch of tablets arrived this week, and I have been busy busy writing up a web store from scratch to handle the sales. Coming this weekend at latest.
  • Moved the new osu! website to run completely on hhvm. Have been sinking a lot of time into this to ensure it is a strong framework ready to handle rapid expansion in the future.
  • Working on getting many more products to the coming osu!store, including plushies, stickers, better quality t-shirts and more!
  • Setup continuous integration for osu! client builds. I can now create new test/public builds without having a dev environment on my local PC, which is pretty amazing.
  • Moved all storage to Amazon S3. Any of osu!’s infrastructure can now be deployed within a few minutes without having to worry about locally stored content. This is pretty huge!
  • Refreshed the server which bancho runs on to allow for future expansion.
  • Further automated server monitoring and response to better handle issues that previously required manual intervention.

For those wondering about osu!stream (see my last post), I haven’t been able to post an update as the issues are still on-going and I don’t believe it is in my interest to release details until I reach some kind of resolution. Apologies to those who have been waiting to hear more.

I have been pretty busy in real-life, travelling back to Australia land to attend (and handle videography) for a wedding, renewing visas and bringing the books up-to-date to file my tax return. Things should be a bit calmer over the next six months, so expect more soon.

I’ll try and throw some update posts like this to keep you guys in the loop of what I am up to.

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