The last 48+ hours have been a whirlwind for us on the admin side of the FrogTEK community; we reached out to and have been accepted by the Astocky Team (maintainers of ATLauncher) to host FrogTEK’s own mod pack through their launcher. This is an awesome step for us (if you want the tech explanation, it’s after the break). Since that acceptance, we have been scrambling to push our first development version out (don’t bother looking for it; it automatically shows up in the launcher of those accepted for the dev test at this time). We’ve also started establishing the base of a version tracker (on our side), as well as an issue tracker and wiki so the community can better interact with us and report issues. Tonight, this happened…
So, what does this all mean? It means we’re in the scramble to get to the home stretch; it’s in sight but we’re not there yet. The “FrogTEK dev” version will probably go through a few more iterations (we’ve found a few bugs) before we’re comfortable to open testing to some users (we have our volunteers picked, you will be notified). At that time we’ll start a small beta server to blow up. When we’re comfortable with how the pack performs there, we will announce our release date as well as when we’re going to do the creative spawn build rush (more details on how that will work when we get closer).
Now, what the new launcher means, in technical terms… it provides a direct administrative front end so we can edit the pack as well as upload mirrors of mods and change various settings of the pack. Previously, we had to message the pack maintainer on the FTB team in order to do this which added a significant lead team to any updates; we literally had to have updates done and ready 3 to 4 days in advance of their update cycle which gave us little time to test and find bugs before release. This has lead to longer waits between versions as well as dealing with bugs we could of had fixed faster but couldn’t. The new launcher allows us to fix issues with configs or bad mod versions almost instantly (as we found out earlier tonight), which means we can push updates on our schedule as well as more easily run a development branch of the pack for testing.
Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine, rainbows, and puppies. By moving away from the Feed The Beast community we no longer share their rather broad permission/license agreements with various mods, however, ATLauncher gives us a workaround by allowing us to ask the user to download the mod from the author’s link and then adding it in from there (a little bit of a pain, but allows us to use mods that even with FTB’s agreements we couldn’t get).
All in all, this is a big change that we’re working hard to make the most of by becoming more organized as well as opening up the information channels a bit more with you guys. Hopefully we can continue to grow and gain more members.