Sun, 05 July 2020, 03:41:34 GMT
Miscellaneous Information

Well, its finished, season 1. It may look basic in places, but we think you'll enjoy it, or at least we hope you enjoy playing as much as we've enjoyed creating it. Ok, we've play tested it, but we've probably missed something so if you encounter a problem or something doesn't seem quite right, then please use 'Bugs and Suggestions' section of The Nebula to report it.

We would like to hear your comments about the game (good points, bad points, things you think need changing, things you'd like to see in the game etc.) as while you're busy playing season 1, we're busy working on the next season. So guys and gals please post your comments in the relevant section on The Nebula and we may well include your ideas in next seasons game (please remember though that our development schedule is such that its not always practical or even possible to include an idea in the next season, and in some cases, it may never be included quite simply because we know where we want The Outer Reaches to be in say two years time and some ideas/features etc. may not tie in with the bigger picture that we are trying to achieve).

If there's anything you'd like to know about the game, then please feel free to ask questions via The Nebula. We will do our best to answer all questions quickly, but we may be bogged down with work so please don't take offence if it takes us a couple of days or possibly longer.

Enjoy... Spirit and AthenaOfDelphi

Technical Information

For the techies among you who will undoubtedly at some point ask lots of pointed questions about what we used to develop The Outer Reaches and what everything runs on, heres a little tech fix

The Outer Reaches consists of four key components. The system database, lock server, ticker and the game web server. Lets cover the only one that wasn't written in house first... we use MySQL Max and the InnoDB storage engine for the system database. Why MySQL? Because its free and fast. Why InnoDB? Because it supports transactions and is fast.

Moving onto the software thats been created in-house... the lock server... written with Kylix 3 Pro and running on RedHat Linux, the lock server provides a central facility accessible to every component of the system that can be used to provide record locking services and other synchronisation services. Its primary purpose is to ensure that records in the database are not being updated by two systems at the same time, but it also provides other services used to synchronise and control the rest of the system.

The next component, the ticker has been designed to be expandable... If for example it reaches a point where the ticker is taking 45 minutes to process the universe, the system can be expanded by adding a slave machine. The ticker detects this new machine, establishes how many processors it has and then balances the tick workload across the various processors in the ticker cluster. By adopting this approach we can maintain reasonable tick processing times as the game universe expands. The ticker services were written using Delphi 5 Enterprise and they run on Windows 2000 Server.

The fourth and final component is the only one you (the players) see. We don't run IIS or Apache, we use our own software (The Outer Reaches Site Engine - ORSEV2. See Outer Reaches Studios for more information about ORSEV2), written with Delphi 5 Enterprise, ORSEV2 has its own Integrated Development Environment that is used to pre-build the memory based file system used by the server software. It combines the flexibility of Delphi Web Script II with the power and speed of compiled Delphi to provide a powerful dynamic content generation system.

That just about wraps up the quick overview of the technology behind The Outer Reaches. If you'd like to know more, then please post your questions via The Nebula and we'll try and answer them.

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