State of the Zancrunio Game

Updates from the developer of Zancrunio, Joshua Hoffmann, about the state of the game!
All times are in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone.

June 6, 2021 7:00 PM
As I mentioned in my previous blog entry: Over the past week, I made some updates to the Zancrunio game server that are compatible with the existing Beta 5 game client that's in the Windows Store right now (and has been for the past three years!). These updates will ONLY be in effect when you play in online mode: There's more updates I wish I could deploy right now, but those will require the upcoming Beta 6 game client. If I could update the game client right now, I would. However, game client updates to the Windows Store require submitting them to Microsoft and waiting for their approval. It doesn't make sense for me to make a submission to Microsoft every single time I make a small update to the client. That's why the Beta 6 client will have support for receiving some kinds of data updates from the game server like additions/changes to maps, items, abilities, and monster cubes. Once I've finished developing that, then I'll submit the Beta 6 client to Microsoft for their approval, and I'll let you all know how that goes! - Josh Hoffmann

June 6, 2021 6:00 PM
Hello friends! I am resuming development of Zancrunio!

It's been a long time! Over three years! I released Beta 5 of this game way back in May 2018. Since then, a number of factors prevented me from performing further development. I won't go into details about those factors right now; maybe later.

So for the past three years, Beta 5 of Zancrunio has remained available unchanged in the Windows Store! I've kept the server (for online mode) up on the Virtual Private Server (VPS) for all this time! And even on the rare occasions that it goes down, or if your Internet connection is down, you can still play it in offline mode.

Within the past week, I have resumed development of Zancrunio! I'm working on the Beta 6 game client which will have some new features! Once it's ready, I'll submit it to Microsoft for approval, and they do take some time to approve it. (All games in the Windows Store and updates to them have to be tested and approved by Microsoft.)

I've finished developing a few features already, but I'd like to get more done before I submit it to Microsoft. It doesn't make sense for me to do a little bit, and then have to wait however many days for Microsoft to approve it. I might decide during that wait to make further changes, but then I'd have to wait for Microsoft to approve what I already sent them first before I give them another submission!

So the biggest feature for the Beta 6 game client is that it'll be possible for me to make simple additions/changes for more parts of the game in the game server.

For example, suppose I just want to add one new item in the game. Or maybe I want to move a wall in the game world.

With the existing Beta 5 client, I'd have to update the client, submit it to Microsoft for approval, and then wait for them to approve it! All just to add one item or move one wall!

With the Beta 6 client, I'll be able to deploy such simple changes to the server, as I can always update the server instantly. When the Beta 6 client connects to the server, then the server will send those changes over to the client!

Microsoft has reasons that they test and verify all updated game clients that I submit to the Windows Store. They make sure these updates follow a long list of rules. This is so that when users download and use apps from the Windows Store, that they can be confident that the apps are secure, safe, don't use profanity, etc.

I feel that giving the Zancrunio game server the ability to send certain kinds of updates to the game client does not undermine Microsoft's mission. These "server-to-client" updates will be limited to things like map updates, item and ability updates, monster updates, and quest updates. The server-to-client updates CANNOT actually supply executable game code; they can only supply data. The major updates to the client will continue to require Microsoft's approval, as they should.

Nevertheless, if Microsoft feels like this server-to-client update capability violates their rules, then I will pull back and make adjustments. Adjusting the cost of a potion from 20 coins to 15 coins shouldn't require a submission to Microsoft, if that's the only thing I want to update.

Anyway, I'll have more to say about the upcoming new features themselves in a later blog post. I'll also mention that I've already made some small updates to the game server over the past week that are compatible with the existing Beta 5 game client that's in the Windows Store right now. I'll talk about that in an upcoming blog post.

I should mention that I deleted the Zancrunio forums that were here over the past three years. For three years, I wasn't paying attention and cleaning up all the spam posts. So the forum database got so big that the provider of this web site disabled that database. So the forums stopped working. I figured it would be best to just get rid of them for now. I'll look into reintroducing forums or something similar when the time is right.

So I'm happy that I've found a way to come back to developing Zancrunio. I look forward to making Zancrunio a better and more fun game! If you haven't played Zancrunio yet, go to the Windows Store and get it; it's totally free! Until next time! - Josh Hoffmann

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Copyright 2018 - 2021 by Joshua Hoffmann