By Jack Basford
Last updated: Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:30
Here's how we expect things to go over the next 24-48 hours.
- All races from 8pm GMT, August 25th up to the beginning of August 27th will be postponed to the next available calendar slot, opening a 24 hour window for us to deploy the new iGP.
- The game on iGPManager.com will be taken offline at 10pm GMT August 25th (tonight) and nobody will be able to play the game again until the new iGP is online
- Transferring all of the game data to new datacentres will be intiated around midnight, preparing everything for work to begin in earnest on the morning of the 26th.
- The entire day on the 26th of August will be spent deploying the update. We anticipate that the update may take up to 24 hours to deploy if we encounter any problems, but hope that it will be much less than this. Our target is to have the new game online by 7pm GMT, August 26th.
So, the best time to start checking if the new game is online will be on the evening to the night of the 26th (GMT). There won't be much point in looking long before this as it's not feasible that the update will be ready by then.
Will I need to re-create my team, account or league?
No. Your leagues, drivers, teams and as much as we can possibly transfer in to the new game will be transferred. You will not need to recreate your team or join a league again if you already have one.
To make the transfer easier, we will be clearing out some data, so make a note of the following if you want to keep any of it. The following will not be transferred to the new game:
- Lap-by-lap race data
- All mail older than 30 days (except archived mail, which will be kept regardless of age)
- All comments on leagues older than 30 days
- Commercial Director staff
Why does this new release take longer than regular updates?
You might be surprised to learn that it isn't because of the changes to the game. We could deploy the update in less time if we weren't doing a huge infrastructure change with it. But we're moving the entire service in to 'the cloud'. What's the cloud? Wikipedia can explain.
Moving everything in to the cloud solves many challenges presented by traditional server configurations. Also, if the service grows very quickly (likely when the apps are out) then the biggest advantage is that the servers can essentially upgrade themselves without causing any downtime to meet new levels of demand.
What happens after the launch?
The launch is only the beginning of a new platform and its development. Unlike traditional boxed games, due to our game being a web app we can develop new features without the need for you to do big downloads to get them. They can just be applied automatically, and the release process is seamless, at most a browser refresh.
The new platform also removes many of the technical challenges which the old platform presented. For you guys, that means no more Java or plugins required (the livery builder being the only exception, but we will convert it to WebGL as soon as possible). For us, it means one clean set of code to work with thanks to the total rewrite, instead of the two distinct versions of the old game (free/subscriber) and what had become 'spaghetti code' from years of patches. It also means less time spent providing support and explaining how to use the service, and more time spent developing it.
It is going to be much easier for us to do updates in future than it has been in the past. Our short-term focus will be getting the Android and iOS apps released. Once they are out, we expect to be able to focus our energy on providing updates and improvements. We've tried to future-proof the game as much as possible in this new release, using WebGL, no plugins, Cloud computing and soon cross-device support.