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Life President
Oct 27, 2003
Some rare news! Good to see Allan is still interested.

Battrick Development
By BT-allanfc on 09/12/2013, under General Information.

It’s about time (beyond time!) that I gave you all an update on the development of Battrick – where we are, how we got here and where we’re going.
As you all probably know back in June 2012, I asked BT-Jargon (Gary) to undertake a rewrite of the entire site in php. There were a number of reasons behind this, but the most important for me was that it would take the site to the next stage of its evolution, and most importantly make the accessible for any developer to pick up and be able to work on.

In April of this year, Gary informed me that due to family commitments he would not be able to complete the rewrite work. This was disappointing not only in that the site was not going to get to the state that I needed it to get to, but also in that the time that was spent on the work was completely lost to the game. That notwithstanding, I completely understand that family needs to come first and I thank him for the time that he has devoted to Battrick over the years. It is much appreciated by myself and I know by all of you as well.

The Battrick site has been coded by myself, Gary, Raptornex and a couple of others over the years in a rather haphazard way – by my direction entirely. This meant that it will take a considerable amount of time for someone to get on top of what is happening in the code and why. It is by no means best practice and would be a nightmare to give over to anybody. To compound matters, it is written in classic ASP, an old language that has much fewer developers available to work on it.

When I first started Battrick, I could basically make a modest living out of Battrick alongside a few other jobs to top things up. Now I have a family I have to support, and I knew some time ago that Battrick in its current state would certainly not be able to do that. That is why I took the decision to hire Gary to do the rewrite. It was a substantial investment from me in the game and in its future. Not only a financial investment, but in terms of time lost to game development.

The master plan was that whilst Gary was doing the re-write that would allow me to work for other clients and build up my own business so that when the re-write was complete I could then afford to have Battrick pay for someone else to work on and run it. The best laid plans and all that...

In doing this, I committed my time to working for another company for the best part of this year, hence my lack of time and commitment to Battrick this year. However, my time has now freed up for a period and I can now start to really concentrate on the issues that need addressing within the game.

I am currently working on a redesign of the site so that it no longer will look like a throwback to the mid noughties. The front end of the site has pretty much stayed the same since we launched. I have a vision to freshen this up and make the game a more modern and satisfying experience for the user.

I am also looking at new hosts and hardware for the game. We have been experiencing issues with the hardware for a long time now and sadly its only ever going to get worse. I hope to have some more concrete news on this in the next few weeks.

Finally, there is the backend. Although I do have more time to commit to the game now, I do not have enough to start the re-write process again. Employing Gary had the huge advantage that he was familiar with the code already and would have a massive head start on employing anyone else to do it, so unless I manage to obtain some considerable investment then it will continue to be a case of maintaining the current code base and improving that as much as possible.

Battrick is still a large part of my plans going forward and I hope to be able to re-establish your trust in my ability to take the game forwards.

Thanks to you all for your commitment and patience.