Playkey DevLog. Issue Nineteen

Well, hello there. Let’s start with a quick thank you. In previous issues, we’ve asked you to follow our blog and YouTube channel and to smash that clap button if you’re a Medium reader. You have our heartfelt thanks for doing just that — your feedback is what pushes us to keep exploring new heights.

And now, down to business. These past two weeks have seen us release several games for Desktop: Dota 2, Counter-Strike, and Warframe. We’re one half-step closer to our decentralized dream. With the Desktop option, the stream captures the entire, well, desktop, rather than pulling every individual game component separately. That means we don’t have to micromanage our centralized server park, focusing instead on a distributed operation resulting in an ecosystem of miners and gamers. You can read all about that in our whitepaper. Anyway, one pleasant side-effect of that move is stable gameplay even with the graphic settings cranked all the way up.

Vampyr isn’t available for Desktop yet, but it’s still fantastic.

Desktop versions sometimes come with a variety of bugs. The problem is that hundreds of real users are out there creating thousands of behavior scenarios, and we just can’t reproduce all of them in our test environment. As a result, the lion’s share of our time is spent working through those bugs in the live environment. But that doesn’t mean we can’t share jobs between teams so that everyone’s working in parallel.

We got to work on packet loss, as it’s a key quality factor. Players who lose too many packets have to deal with an incomplete, substandard video stream. To take care of that problem, we developed a distributed method for data transfer. It’s a mechanism that results in less packet loss when you’re playing at 33 FPS. One thing though: it’s still going through testing, so we’ll let you know when it’s released.

But what’s with all this navel-gazing? You’ve been asking questions that need answering, too. For example, a lot of you have been asking why you still can’t pay per minute with PKTs (currently is available only for Russian and CIS located users). Well? To use tokens, you deposit them into a Playkey account they are then debited from to pay for your subscription. Our initial architecture wasn’t designed to support deposits, a concept we tried first with accepting token payments to make sure it works. The fact that it passed with flying colors means that we’re all systems go for per-minute payment. We’re going to start with good, old-fashioned regular deposits, and then we’ll throw in PKT. Just give us a little time — we’ll have more details in upcoming issues.

A newcomer to Playkey: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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