“Alpha Andromeda” was the second version of the client, released on April 15th. With the help of Malkin (of Malkin’s Little Creatures Blog) and Pilla, we warped norns like crazy between each other, finding plenty of new bugs to squash.
Meanwhile, Civvi (of Civilian Life) channeled her warp-enthusiasm into crafting us this gorgeous artwork:
We decided as mascot for Albian Warp, she would be a portal-blue tinted Chichi– a descendant of Warpy (the mascot for the Warp Week celebrations of days past). We named her Meili, after a Norse god of safe travel. She’s become quite the inspiration when the coding gets tough!
And the coding got pretty tough at this point. One of the biggest challenges of this project for me was having to rewrite the Who’s Wanted Registers. Previously handled with NET: commands, the WWR was a mechanic that kept track of users as they went online and offline and sent messages to the agents that needed to know that information. It was quite a frustrating piece of code to write from scratch and still doesn’t function perfectly but, it was enormously satisfying the first time I got a notification that a friend had come online.
Having (mostly) functioning Who’s Wanted Registers meant portals were a lot more accurate too, lighting up when the people they were connected to went online, and blinking out when they weren’t.
More testers hanging out in the discord began to take notice at this point, and Mea and Verm joined in on the testing and bug-searching party! It was great to see that contacts list start to fill up.
We ran into a frustrating problem at this point– the Albian Warp client was being treated as a virus by AVG and other programs. This seems to be an unfortunate side effect of programs compiled with PyInstaller, as this issue details. Thankfully our testers were able to work around it and join in the portal-y chaos!
Civvi and Riakodoadam also joined in the testing party later on, and ham5ter released a threaded version of the Alpha Andromeda client. A later restructured version of the client actually removed outgoing creatures from the My Creatures folder occasionally, so we didn’t have to clear it out as often. With all the interest, we finally put together a simple “How to get started” guide on the github-hosted project Wiki. We left worlds running with portals open and were excited to see what we came back to. It was starting to feel more and more like the actual warp!1