Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Experience Shadowrun with your friends and plenty of enemies in a true cross-platform game and determine the future of the 6th world!
Experience Shadowrun with your friends and plenty of enemies in an action strategy game and determine the future of the 6th world!
Experience Shadowrun with your friends and plenty of enemies in an action strategy game and determine the future of the 6th world!
6,003 backers pledged $558,863 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Photos

Cliffhanger July update

18 likes

Hoi Chummers,

we have been silent for a while here at Cliffhanger Central, as a consequence of the insolvency procedures involving Cliffhanger Software. We've had a lot on our hands and are still in the process of getting the Cliffhanger Games company into shape, with our main goal being the continuous maintaining and expanding of Shadowrun Chronicles.

For the last few weeks we had to go through a lot of administrative stuff, dealing with banks and trying to come to an agreement with our partners, who were understandably scared about the prospects of Cliffhanger Games also going down. Our equipment was seized and we lost access to our former office, which had us working on an alternative that would allow us to regroup, set up an external server, get our systems running again and get everyone remote access to them, in order to keep working. Things did not come to a stand still; we've went on preparing the next update with the Red Challenge and a bit of crit chance un-nerfing (as well as Mark improving crit chances), but with all our employees enjoying forced holidays and limited access to a joint server, things have not exactly been speeding along either. That being said we are testing the update build and should hopefully be ready to release it in two weeks, as we also have to fix the nasty grouping issue that has been popping up repeatedly.

We've also had meetings and talks with the remaining team to see who would be willing to keep going and how we could work together most effectively. Everyone has been working incredibly hard during the last months and the exhaustion and frustration over the turn of events hurt all of us personally and as a group. Our deliberations had us look back at the mistakes we made and formulate a plan to sustain our vision of an ideal company in a less than ideal world. The emerging vision has certainly energized the team and got the creative and collaborative juices flowing. Now we need to pour this into concrete terms and structures in order to bounce back with full force.

Our current plan is to release an add-on for Chronicles towards the end of October (once you are all done with the no doubt excellent SR:Hong Kong), and we are in the process of discussing and estimating the features and content for that. The rough plot fo the campaign part is done and greenlighted with Catalyst and now we need to detail things out a little more. The fate of Jane (determined by your decision at the end of the campaign) will play a large role in the story to come – currently a slight majority of people have decided to kill her, but with the next update we will make the choice and consequences clearer hopefully, so people how their decision will affect Jane, which may change that. Of course, the winner of our recent band contest will also influence the future of Bozeman (who vanished from the Market) and two more contests in July will determine the fate of a couple of more people such as our fearless reporter Alison Sanborn as the puzzle pieces come together for the fall of the megacorp. Yes, that one is still on and we are building up to it (albeit slowly).

Some more changes are going to be made to the way we operate - we want our players to take a more active role in beta testing (and get out of the frantic balancing patches) and will grant access to our staging servers again. If you are interested in joining this (everyone who had access to the "backer" beta version in the past will have so again) please send a mail to support with your email, steam account name and OS - we love to get feedback, especially from all you experienced players out there.

We are also done with the upgrade to Deluxe edition DLC, it is sitting in Steam's review cue and should hopefully see the light of day soon.

For the Kickstarter backers we already mentioned we would try to save as much of our physical rewards budget as we can for game development and some of you were gracious enough to be willing to forgo the physical rewards completely to support us. Thank you again for that! Thankfully, our friends at Catalyst have agreed to allow us to put up a number of their books in pdf format as a replacement for any physical swag we intended as rewards. We will send out details on this in the coming weeks, but basically you can swap your physical reward tier for a number of coupons of equal value and redeem those for pdfs. We know not everyone will go for this, so we will send out yet another survey about who would be willing to do so.

That is it for now – we will keep you updated as things continue to evolve, of course, but expect us to still be less responsive than we usually are for the next two weeks. There is just SO much stuff to set up and organize, that we are pressed for time.

see you in the shadows primetide

Hanging in there

42 Comments
23 likes

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Legend Runs Galore!

12 likes

This week is filled with Legend Runs galore, kicking off with another appearance by Jordan Weisman and following up with exciting opportunities!

Here is our schedule and if you are a VIP backer, you can always apply for a place in one of the runner teams! The schedule is subject to change depending on the availability of the individuals, of course. Any streamers out there are invited to stream the runs (and let us know about it!)

May 14th
4 pm PDT/7 pm EDT/May 15th, 1 am CEST - Join Jordan Weisman, creator of Shadowrun and Shadowrun Returns
5 pm PDT/8 pm EDT/May 15th, 2 am CEST – Meet Shadowrun writers Kevin aka Red, Robyn aka Winterhawk and Dylan Stangel for a run and APPEAR AS A CHARACTER in one of their fiction pieces! (They select the character they think the most interesting!)

May 15th
10 am PDT/1 pm EDT/7 pm CEST – Join Raben AAS – renowned Shadowrun artist and editor of Novapulse - for a German speaking run (other lingos welcome :))
3 pm PDT/6 pm EDT/May 16th, 2 am CEST – Meet authors Amy Veeres (who knows about the future of nanites!), Malik Toms (Shadowrun Returns Anthology) and Olivier Gagnon (Montreal 2074, Data Trails and more!)

As always VIP backers can reserve a place by sending us a mail to support@cliffhanger-productions.com 

See you in the Shadows!
- Primetide

Frag the lag and Legend Run with Jordan Weisman

29 likes

Today is the day! We have finally fragged the lag issue it seems when we patch today (3 pm CEST). We don’t want to jinx it, there may still be gremlins lurking around, but we seem to be back to normal. So, today, with our hopefully last lag related server patch, you will find your well-deserved apology gifts on your inventory:

  • 3 Flamethrowers (so you can flame enemies and think of us)
  • 1 additional character slot
  • 2 new Bioware augmentations (Zero Essence, usable for awakened characters as well)

Many people have given us good advice on how to handle the issues and told us what they suspected the culprits were. As it turns out, we had three main issues and tragically two of them have very little to do with our team’s ability to code and code well. It is both more tragic and more comical tale (that is if it hadn’t affected our rating s and sales so massively. Maybe one day, looking back, we can laugh without bitterness about it).

The first issue was not enough optimization in certain areas – as described previously, the game had been working so brilliantly from a technical and performance standpoint, that we did not dedicate too much resources to it. We knew we needed to do more optimization, but it did not seem to be a big concern. If it hadn’t been for the other two things, we might have been right.

Issue two was one of our middleware licenses actually putting the break on our servers once a certain number of concurrent users were active (which we were not aware of). Above that number it would slow down throughput, so all our other services (which kept listening to certain commands or pushing things to the client) slowed down with it. As some of them were serialized, meaning they were acting like a chain, they were actually really waiting for something to happen from the previous link of the chain, multiplying the effect of the license slowing down the speed at which commands were coming and going and putting other services like load balancing and thread management into overdrive, crashing CPU. Our servers overheated with waiting and managing that slowness, absurdly enough. This was fixed easily enough once discovered but it took us a few days to identify this weird behavior and the culprit.

The third and most tragic (or comic, depending on how you look at it) point has to do with the letter D. As in “enableD=garbage collector”. While we optimized the garbage collector (which cleans up “leftovers” on the server, so they don’t clog memory) and following some of the suggestions we got from our code-slinging community members, it did not seem to do the trick. We dug deeper and deeper into garbage collector settings but to no avail – each time the game would just use up the memory available and despite further optimization efforts this did not change considerably. The reason was finally found to be a missing “D” in the config file, which read “enable=garbage collector” instead of enabled. Of course we had looked at every line of this configuration file what must have been a hundred times, but you know how the brain tends to just create the word it expects to see, especially when you did not have more than two hours of sleep for days fighting a lag that was killing your game? This was one of the cases (and enable and enabled are not that far apart). Once we found it, we hit ourselves over the head repeatedly with blunt objects.

All three issues combined killed us in a most unfortunate way. Now with those resolved we actually have 10.000 concurrent players in our mass test and the servers don’t even get warmed up about that. We are cautiously optimistic we are ready to declare the lag fragged for good! Now we can get back to actually improving gameplay and adding end-game missions and rewards!

Please spread the good news and let your friends and Steam or Metacritic ratings know, so we can try and get the game off the ground again.

Thank you all for your patience and support in this really rough patch of our life as a developer.

Legend Run with Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman

To start the new era of an actually lag free Shadowrun Chronicles we are happy to have none other than Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman with us today on Friday 8th of May for the Legend Run and available in global chat at 3 pm PST, 6pm EST or Midnight CEST. VIP backers please send a mail to office(at)cliffhanger-productions(dot)com with your character and account name if you want to be invited to a run with Jordan. Streaming is encouraged!

Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more

24 likes

 Hoi chummers,

Many of you have been first hand witness to the frantic post-launch struggle of Shadowrun Chronicles as we patched time and time again only to still end up with a lag when playing. Now to the players this looks like we are constantly running against the same wall until our heads bleed and have only managed to make small dents in said wall. From the inside however, it is a completely different story and we wanted to give you an inside perspective on what is going on.

In the last 6 days we have applied an increasingly large number of fixes and changes, from optimizing garbage collection, sequential threading to deep-copy of data to wrenching open our middleware, which actually contributed to our issue in slightly invisible ways (think of middleware as an engine under a hood, so you don’t always see what is going on exactly but you can hear the engine stuttering). Each of the changes and fixes was profiled and supposed to bring a good amount of improvements – and it did – we are winning the battle against lags millisecond by millisecond, but it is a war of attrition. This is exacerbated by the amount of time we spend in lag and new players getting bad impressions while our Steam review ratings plummet.

Now we have a simple but cruel choice: Do it properly and test a solution for days while our game rots away in lag-land or pushing a fix online with a minimal period of testing, which however results in a bit of profiling and a sanity check if the game explodes immediately or shortly after starting the servers - tempered by a judgement call by our coders of “how dangerous it is versus how likely to fix our problem”.

So we send out an annoyingly high amount of patches and updates with annoyingly small effect and are basically really field testing things on the live servers, which we all know we should not do, but then we are between a rock and a hard place. This is why online games always launch as beta…

All this time, our brave coders fight invisible foes such as a maximum user cap in a license that then puts the brakes on certain parts of the performance and carry the burden of working above and beyond the call of duty while being rained with derision by angry customers. The rest of the team watched in agony and frustration as we could not do anything to help and all other things took a back seat to solving the problem while our sales and our users patience dwindles away. Imagine the morale in the team! And still we worked at night, with the community team taking the brunt of the damage while taking turns to be there 24/7.

I want to personally thank them and the remaining team for enduring and persevering. You guys and gals are the finest team I have had the privilege to work with. Even though we fragged this up you have been exemplary in every aspect.

So what now? Well, yesterday’s update resolved a lot of issues (reducing frequency and of lags), but foresee-ably opened others exploding our servers after around 3 hours of operations. Today we rolled out two server updates – the second one of them dealing with the infamous garbage collector and settings. As this pushed CPU load to a baseline of around 30% and lag spikes appearing again, we reverted the changes…only to see lag creep in 2 hours into operations. So now we relaunch servers every two hours…because this is the only option we have.

Tonight we have finally accepted that “hoping this will be the fix that really does it” is simply wishful thinking. We have run out of silver bullets and we will focus on making the frequent server restarts automated and manageable, creating schedules and having automated in game announcements preferably everyone can see, so everyone can live more comfortably in the emergency state. This should create some air for us to breathe and look at our data and find new options to improve performance.

As a personal note, many of you – even those who have been critical of the game – have been incredibly supportive and understanding in the past days. Helping us, explaining things to others and cheering us on, honoring the work and dedication we have put in. This literally is what has got us through this week (other than coffee and sheer stubbornness) and we are deeply grateful for that. So let’s see what the next days may bring and keep our fingers crossed.

Oh and Legend Run Event No.3 with none other but Jordan Wiseman himself happens on Friday 3 pm PST or Midnight CEST! Lag or no lag!

See you in the shadows Primetide