Magic Online Development Update Q2 2011

Posted in Feature on July 5, 2011

By Wizards of the Coast

The New Phyrexia release broke Magic Online’s concurrent user and activity records, continuing a pattern that began with the Magic 2010 release. The Stacked Digital Object and Collation Update project is code complete (a month ahead of schedule) and will ship in early Q3. Multiplayer support became official in Magic Online as of the Commander release on June 29. The new client project is progressing rapidly. The Magic Studio has done a great job advancing set releases, infrastructure and feature projects simultaneously this year.

New Client
The new client project completed major development operations a few weeks back and we are now in a very busy phase of testing the client, identifying bugs and polish issues, and fixing them. We have augmented our strong internal QA team with external QA resources to complete the full gambit of testing, from platform compatibility to full system load testing. The WPF platform is thus far proving to be much easier to debug and maintain than the current DirectX client.

Infrastructure Update
The team that worked the Stacked Digital Objects and Collation Update project kicked some butt and finished a month ahead of schedule. The three items they tackled in this bundle will significantly raise the system’s user capacity, and keep us well ahead of all the user base growth that we expect. We have also completed dev work on a significant update to all our Linux based server applications that will further raise the bar and ensure continued system stability. Next up for infrastructure development is an upgrade to our eCom services and the famous DOBS server, including a long overdue upgrade to our PayPal services that will ship later this year.

Q2 Maintenance
The Live Team has done a great job updating the system’s internal tools and logging, as well as shipping some important fixes behind the curtains. The quality of the card sets has continued to be really good, and the response of the team to the few system issues that arose during the quarter was quick and effective. The 3 issues that unfortunately affected the system during the second week of the New Phyrexia release were not at all related, despite their proximity. The one incident that was an actual application issue within our system has been addressed. We have seen a number of issues with our network provider relating to maintenance on their greater network, and have been working closely with them to ensure that we don’t see service disruptions for our users going forward.

2011 Magic Online Development Plan
  • Deliver Quality Card Set Releases - Ongoing
  • Alternate Entries - Shipped January 2011
  • New WPF Client - In progress, on schedule
  • Digital Object Storage and Collation update - In testing, ahead of schedule
  • Multiplayer Support – Shipped June 29
  • Leagues – Awaiting design updates and the completion of our current infrastructure and feature projects

A quick note congratulating all the folks in the Magic Studio that worked tirelessly along with our partners to get Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 shipped on multiple platforms on June 15. It wasn’t an easy thing to pull off, and the game looks and plays great. The studio has been a very busy place this year, and it is just plain fun to ship great games and great card sets. The Magic Studio Web Team also continues to put out tons of great content for all the Magic products, paper and digital. They also contributed mightily to the success of the Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 release.

Gordon Culp
Director - Game Systems Design
Magic: the Gathering Digital Studio
Wizards of the Coast, LLC

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