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Thread: REQ Normalization of Revision Numbers

  1. #1
    Registered SquidLord's Avatar
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    Lightbulb REQ Normalization of Revision Numbers

    I know this is going to sound like a really strange request, given what everyone else's asking for in the thread – but could we get normalization of revision and release numbers between the (effectively) three digit releases that are spoken about in threads and the much longer version.subversion.sub-sub-version that we see on the screen in the game code itself.

    As a programmer, I understand how meaningful the specific sub-sub-sub-sub-release can be when it comes to hunting down an error in the code in the development library. Juggling multiple branches of that stuff is not fun and it isn't easy. I get that.

    What we need, however – and certainly before we go to Steam and open Early Access there – is to make sure that the external messaging and the external communications about release versions all say the same thing, and when we talk about versions that we all talk about the same thing. Otherwise it's going to get very, very, very difficult to have meaningful conversations with people who don't have the same technical insights that some of us do. (I recognize that a lot of those conversations are going to happen anyway, because humans are stupid creatures, but we don't have to help them.)

    If it were up to me, I would actually probably standardize on the much longer version string, because when someone reports a bug – and they will report bugs – it will be immediately obvious what version they're talking about. To make it easier, I would suggest that each release have a "codename" attached to it which describes one of the major features or changes within as well. So, for example, the release intended for the first widespread Steam access might be referred to as "1.0.69.432.2 Hot Water A". Longform version number so that we know the code base, "Hot Water" so that both you as the developer and we as the community have an easy way to refer to a given update, and A just in case a patch has to be re-pushed because of a bug, or a technical glitch, or a file that didn't get updated right – just as a safety check. (The alphanumeric at the end could be viewed as entirely optional.)

    Something like this will make it a lot easier to talk about specific patches and builds for everyone going forward. And all the terminology needs to match in all the places where builds could be talked about, from the splash screen, to the corner of the app, to release notes, to external public messaging (like new news articles and the like which talk about builds)… The whole 9 yards.

    Just a thought.

  2. #2
    Newer Member Hrusdik's Avatar
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    Codename based releases are a really nice touch.
    However, there is tons of games having medium to big releases every X month (LOL, KSP, Rust, R6 Siege ...) and it is OK for them to call it just "build 55336" or "Update 2.2".

    Personally, as a fellow developper, I think it would be cool to have some code names for releases

  3. #3
    ISI Staff Staff Michael Juliano's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've already had a thought about this. The first release on Steam (and the concurrent non-steam release) will have a new revision scheme, and the update numbering will match. I'll give some thought to codenames.
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  4. #4
    Registered SquidLord's Avatar
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    Think of it simultaneously as a world-building exercise and a good mnemonic scheme.

    Coming up with whatever the big thing is in the major revisions should be easy. That covers releases of one every month or two pretty easily.

    If you decide you want to do weeklies (which is what I think of as "fast release schedule" in today's market; a release every month or two reads more as "the least you can do if you want folks to take you seriously as a developer anymore"), then you just think of that as the experimental branch building up to the larger "stable" release, and they'd get named as "b-[stableName]-[releaseDate]", which gives you a nice denotational prefix, a preview of the intended big thing in the in the next big stable version, and a date. Everything both devs and consumers need to know to stay aware.

    (Project Management is a Hell of a drug. I suggest everyone reading this stay far away from anyone who works in project management or has degrees toward that end. I'm sure Michael has had to deal with the like before, and feels the inchoate sadness that knowing that kind brings.)

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