As always, I’ll start my R4 retrospective with some totally unrelated blathering that I’ll then tie into my thoughts on R4! Nine pregnant women can’t have a baby in one month. This is something that people around here have heard me say many times over the past year. It’s a truism in its literal meaning but also something that all project managers should keep in mind as well. The project manager meaning is that there are many things that just can’t be rushed by throwing more and more bodies at the problems. This has been a mantra for Starr, Richard, and myself as we focus on making the best and biggest game possible for the budget. So for the past year, we’ve been making sure not to try and throw bodies at problems due to the inevitable problem of diminishing returns. The good news is that we’re now slowly ramping up as we become more confident in systems thanks to these public releases! So R4 for me was an absolute blur because my wife and I proved that one pregnant woman can have a baby in 9 months and that patience always pays off as we welcomed our first child, Maxine, a healthy little girl into the world. I can now confirm that having a newborn is a lot like being a lead engineer in game development. You don’t get to sleep much, it’s a LOT of work, but it’s super satisfying and you see visual progress on pretty much a daily basis if you pay attention closely. Overall I would give R4 a B+. I think due to some last moment reworking of a few things, combat was a bit rougher than expected, and we introduced a few server issues that required some patching. The new scenes we added varied greatly in polish, but overall showed lots of potential. Performance was mostly positive, but still a mixed bag as the mean frame rate was up over 10fps from R3. But our memory use was also up enough that it blocked some people. I think the biggest shock to us were the reactions to the overworld map were either super positive or super negative. We were actually really happy with the look of the map simulating the cloth map that some players will receive, but I think we stumbled due to its very static nature and not doing a better job of tying it into the game scenes for better immersion. We’ll continue to evaluate options on this and see if we can make some more fans with a better execution and polish for R5. Time for some stats! The number of players was up again, this time to over 8000 with around 80% returning players and 20% new players. Also as expected, total play time was way up with more than half of the players having a single session longer than an hour in length. Also, 87.5% of the people who played on the first day, came back for at least one more day and just over 40% logged in each and every day of the session. Total number of play sessions was up as well, but unfortunately that appears to be due to some crashing issues from some memory leaks that snuck in, but overall mean playtime continues to climb each release. In terms of country of origin, the order stayed the same with the US making up about 55%. Germany, Canada, UK, NULL, Australia, France, Sweden, Italy, and Finland filled out the rest of the top 10 in descending order. This release also included the first release of a Linux and Mac patcher. In terms of operating systems, 66% used Windows 7.x - 64 bit, 25% used Windows 8 - 64 bit, 3% were on a 32 bit version of Windows, 4% were on Mac, and 2% were on Linux with Linux 3.11 Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit being the most popular of over 40 Linux flavors. Thanks again for all the help and patience with the release 4 weekend. We continue to be humbled by the amount of support and maturity that the vast majority of the players demonstrate while we continue our little experiment in changing how games are developed. See you guys online and in R5!