It’s been just over 4 years since SimpleMMO first hit the Google Play store. Since then, we’ve set our eyes on making SimpleMMO accessible across all different kinds of devices. After we released the current version of the Web App, our next goal was to make it available on iOS devices.
We are very happy to announce that SimpleMMO is now playable across all types of iOS devices (iPhone, iPod, and iPad) as well as silicon based macs.
As we have now entered 2022, we can sit back and take a look at what 2021 brought to us. We can laugh, we can cry, but most of all, we can reflect.
SimpleMMO managed to flourish and further improve itself following the immense spike in activity that hit us in the Spring of 2020. We went from around 80 downloads per day to almost 5,000 downloads per day in less than a week. The servers really struggled due to this. Our workload increased ten-fold and our sub-par early development code was becoming evidently more serious and dangerous in nature. We took this very seriously and a vast majority of the updates in 2021 were entire structural overhauls of existing features. Our primary goal, for the entire period, was to keep the game healthy and increase its overall lifespan.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it. I’ll also post each point in a chronological order (earliest first).
Travel Reimagined (January 2021)
This was the first major update to SimpleMMO in 2021 and it turned the travel system on its head. Before this change, players were limited to a maximum of 50 steps. This maximum could be increased by purchasing an upgrade in the diamond store. Once a player had used all of their steps, they then had to wait 5 minutes to get 5 more steps. Alternatively, they could pay for a refill in the diamond store or voluntarily watch advertisements.
The update we pushed out completely the way this works. We scrapped the limits entirely so that players can step indefinitely. We also changed the design of the page, significantly increased the rates for rarer items, and brought all sorts of quality-of-life additions to travelling. However, because of this change, we suffered a fairly significant financial hit. The diamond store refills were removed, and players no longer needed to watch ads in order to continue stepping. Our advertisement revenue plummeted 90%. Yes, 90%. It’s now so low that I often forget advertisements are in the game at all. At this point, all it does is serve as a stark reminder of the past wherein a player was limited by an entirely arbitrary value and only of the only ways to get past this value was to watch ads, wait, or pay diamonds.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom though. This update was perhaps the most significant one in the entire year of 2021. The daily active player count shot up 40% overnight and, most importantly, it did not fall. Ultimately, the change was worth it.
Tiered Leaderboards (January 2021)
Tiered leaderboards was introduced to allow players to compete with other players who are of similar level to them. We introduced a total of 8 tiers for each category and the tiers are dependent entirely on the players level. So, for example, a level 12 player will compete against a level 14 players where as a level 6,000 player will compete against a level 7,000 player.
This change was a nice addition to the game giving it a slight competitive edge to its players and a neat little way of obtaining diamonds entirely through playing the game. It’s not perfect and we are aware of it, but it does its job.
Player Interactions (January 2021)
A common piece of feedback we received was that players wanted more reason to interact with other players in the game. After all, the community and the social areas are perhaps the largest reason why people play the game for long periods. Players come for the simplicity, but stay for the community.
This update allowed players to gain points when interacting with other players. The more points a player has, the higher the interaction level and each interaction level has a number of different benefits. For example, if player X reaches an interaction level of 3 with player Y, then they will be able to hug a them instead of waving at them.
Diamond Awards (January 2021)
One of the most common complaints we received was that diamonds were far to difficult to achieve via regular gameplay and we completely agreed. At the very early period of the games development, diamonds were typically only achieved by buying them or finding them as loot (which was incredibly rare at that point). Over time, we introduced more and more features to allow players to obtain diamonds through regular gameplay. This update brought the largest and easiest way for a player to obtain diamonds without spending a dime.
Essentially, when a player completes a specific task, usually a task that requires some form of perseverance, then are given an “award”. Awards have been in SimpleMMO since almost the very start of the game but they had no value to them other than bragging rights. This update changed that. We assigned almost every award in-game with a diamond value and when a player managed to achieve that award, they will be credited with X amount of diamonds. X is usually dependent on how difficult the award is to achieve. We introduced around 2,000+ diamonds that could be achieved solely via gameplay. This increases to 2,500+ diamonds if you include awards that are associated with diamonds themselves. This significantly gave free-to-play players a helping hand in progressing their character.
Diamond Market (February 2021)
Before this update, it was common for players to sell diamonds to other players for X amount of gold. The diamonds were then gifted to the other player once the gold was sent. We figured that this process could be made easier for everyone involved. That is where the “Diamond Market” comes in. The diamond market allows a player to sell their diamonds to other players for gold directly in the game without relying on the faith of the other player. It’s a win-win situation as sellers find it easier to sell their diamonds and also players find it easier to acquire diamonds using strictly in-game gold too.
Rebrand (April 2021)
After many, many attempts at finding a new logo for SimpleMMO, we finally found one that was both beautiful and effective at pulling in new players.
Guilds were a clunky, giant, spaghetti-coded mess. Honestly, I hated working on the guilds. It was awful and I preferred just to stay away from them. However, the problem was that guilds were such a big part of the game and a huge reason why people tuned in daily. Something had to be done so I just decided to “f*ck it” and rewrite the entire thing. I blogged about the new features extensively in a blog post titled “SimpleMMO v9.0 – Guilds, guilds, guild!“. The underlying foundations of the guilds were ripped out and replaced with shiny new toys…. almost. Honestly, it’s not perfect. The foundations are only as sound as the ground it’s built upon, and in this case, the ground is a bit wobbly (I’ll perhaps get into that in another blog post). However, despite that, the rewrite made it significantly easier for me to work with which allowed me to extend the guilds further. We added guild power levels, raids, tasks, custom backgrounds and icons, activity logs, and much more. If you want a full list, you can always go back and read the blog post.
New Daily Rewards (April 2021)
“Daily rewards are shit”. That was a common complaint. “Daily rewards were shit” would be more accurate if said today (I hope). Basically, before the update, the daily rewards provided a player with a random item from the game. Except, the chances of finding a random item that was worth any value was significantly low.
We changed the way the daily rewards work by attributing each day out of 30 with a dedicated item or reward. Each day progressively gets better and better until they reach the 30th day. After that, it resets back to 0 again. Previously, only items could be obtained through the daily reward. Now, diamonds can also be obtained too. We can add this to our “easily obtainable diamonds” list that seems to be growing.
New Web App (June 2021)
“What?! Another Web App?! The Web App was released in 2020 and you’re telling me there is a new Web App?!?”.
You’re god damn right I am.
The old web app was a mess (are you noticing a trend here?). Basically, without getting into to much detail, the “old” Web App started around early Spring of 2020 and it was expected to take around 6 to 8 months to finish (maybe even longer!). However, we hit April/May and are suddenly, but fortunately hit, with a huge spike in players. Because of this, the Web App was quickly rushed out the door to accommodate these players almost 3 to 5 months earlier than anticipated. It lacked several features but it done the job. However, it was a bit incredibly ugly (I don’t mean structurally, I mean it was literally ugly to look at). I wasn’t pleased with how it turned out.
Afraid that I was slowly turning into Dr. Frankenstein, I decided that I needed to bring this monster to the 21st century in hopes of rectifying my sins.
In comes Web App 2.0. I built the entire thing on TailwindCSS and, oh boy, I am glad I did. It saved me perhaps hundreds of hours in development time. It looks and feels modern. It’s snappier too. It’s still not perfect but I’m happy with the state that it is in now.
Would I have still released the old Web App early knowing that I overhauled the entire thing? Yes – absolutely. There was a perfectly valid reason why I pushed out the Web App early and that was to keep the new players around by making the game as accessible as possible. Despite, ultimately, the entire thing coming to an early death, it helped pave the path that Web App v2.0 walks on today.
Quest Point Change (July 2021)
In July, we slashed the refill time in half from 10 minutes to 5 minutes per quest point. This means that players now only need to wait half the time to perform a quest again if they have ran out.
Since early 2018, we have had a plan in place to help “even out” the playing field between paying players and free players in regards to quests and this change helps tighten that gap. I plan on making a separate blog post explaining this conundrum and how the solution is not as easy as one would expect.
Player to Player Trading (September 2021)
If a player wanted to trade with another player, they had to first send the item and wait for the other player to send the other items. It was a system entirely reliant on faith and, because of this, it was the perfect system for scammers. A player could take the items and then run away without returning anything back. Of course, this is against the rules and the offender would’ve been punished, but this caused extra leg work for the SMMO team.
Direct player-to-player trading allows players to trade items and gold directly between each other. Each participant in the trade can then review the trade and accept/deny it. This helps avoid the scam caused by people running away before they send the agreed item.
Entire Design Overhaul (October 2021)
This update is a heavy contender for “largest update ever” which is currently held by the Web App update in June. Basically, I went through the entire game, scrapped out the old designs (literally CTRL+A and DEL) and refreshed them all with a new look. This was a significant change for the game because we not only overhauled the design, but the underlying code that the front-end relies upon. For you techie folk, the old version of the app was built using Vanilla CSS + jQuery. I changed everything to TailwindCSS + Alpine.js. This is the same stack we use for the Web App. I had to rewrite a lot of modules because of this as the game was built in August 2017 and it included a lot of legacy and redundant code. It was a boring, tedious job but it has perhaps been the most important because it now allows us to seamlessly work on both the Web App and Android App (and soon the iOS app!) in unison.
Since the dawn of SimpleMMO, the chat system was built using a SSE (server-sent events) implementation. While this was ideal for a small-scale game, this became somewhat of a huge issue when more and more players started to play.
Because of this, we updated the chat to support web sockets instead. This allows us to run a real-time chat feature in the game in a similar vein as the likes of Discord and Messenger.
However, the new chat is still fairly new and there are still a few lingering bugs hanging around the place but we will soon have those squished.
Realtime PMs (December 2021)
The inbox system was old and antiquated. It felt like it was pulled directly out of a legacy PBBG from 2004. There was no real-time messaging involved. It was essentially a very simpler form of sending emails to each other.
With the addition of the new chat experience, we decided to move over the PMs to the chat system too. Now players can communicate to each other in real time and not feel like they should be using IE8 while doing so.
Russian Translation (December 2021)
Привет Россия! In December we introduced the first part of many. We plan to translate the entire game (or as much as we can) into Russian. However, this will be completed and pushed out in many different phases throughout the next few years. Due to the game being text-based, there is a huge amount of text that needs covering so this is a long process.
I thought I should list some changes that weren’t big or significant enough for its own heading but they were perhaps important enough to at least acknowledge.
Upgraded showcase – this update allowed players to showcase both avatars and items on their profile. (February 2021)
PvP Changes – We upped the PvP limit to level 200 and auto forced safe-mode for everyone who reaches this level with a free opt-out. Despite the disgruntlement from some PvP heavy hitters, this change has shown to be a significant step in increasing the overall positive attitude towards the game. This limit was introduced because it was the most significant complaint by a long shot. We probably received an email or 1-star review regarding this at least once every 2 weeks, if not more. As soon as we addressed this, the complaints stopped entirely and, perhaps not so coincidentally, our Google Play rating went up from 4.4 to 4.6 within just a few weeks following this change.
Potions – while underutilised at the moment, potions allow players to temporarily increase a given stat or effect on their profile. (February 2021)
Value modifiers – value modifiers are small game-wide events that increase the rewards given in a particular area. For example, we can enable a small event that increases all EXP gained from NPCs by 50% for 24 hours. (Sometime during Summer 2021)
Improved player onboarding – we updated the tutorials and tightened down the gameplay for lower levelled players. However, this is still very much a work in progress. (October 2021)
New event features – the last winter holidays event brought in new additions to the game including multiple stat increases, and auto-store materials when gathering. (December 2021)
Who doesn’t love some stats, huh? Let’s compare the game now compared to the numbers posted in “How big is SimpleMMO?“. That gives us approximately a 10 month window for comparison. Also, please note that the values given is the total amount since the stats were tracked.
Over 725,000 players are registered now on SimpleMMO compared to 550,000 in March 2021. Impressive.
95,000,000+ poor NPCs have now sadly given their life to the warriors of SimpleMMO compared to 62,000,000 in march.
Almost 25,000,000 players have been defeated in a PvP attack compared to 4,400,000 in March 2021. I think the guild update is partly to blame in this huge increase.
The inventory system has now processed almost 308,000,000 items in-game compared to 161,000,000 in March. Those poor servers… luckily we have made a number of improvements to the servers so there shouldn’t be that much difference. It’s still a terrible system though (we’ll get into that in a separate blog post).
A total of 75,500,000+ quests have been performed compared to 51,000,000+ in March 2021. Those poor gigantic chickens…
Approximately 51 unusual and weird conspiracy theories on how we are trying to squeeze and juice every last penny out of our player base in comparison to 35 in March 2021. Just kidding on the stats… or are we…?
Overall, 2021 was a very successful year for us. We are incredibly proud to have implemented a lot of features in the game, some of which were suggested and sourced from the community itself! We have introduced lots of new ways to acquire diamonds via regular gameplay, we have completely removed all limits to the travel system, we have implemented additions to help with in-game interaction, and we have overhauled many different features to help make them more sustainable in the long run.
Reflecting back, even I am a bit surprised with how much the game has progressed in just a mere 12 months. I bet that guy who complained that nothing gets updated in SimpleMMO feels a bit silly now. And this was all done while I was sipping on martinis and enjoying the nice sun in the Bahamas (but not really…).
A big thank you to the employees and contractors of Galahad Creative, moderators, advisers, and the players of SimpleMMO for making it the game that it is today.
Let’s hope 2022 will be as successful as the last!
What’s your favourite 2021 update? Let us know in the comments below!
As you may have noticed, the game has not received many updates as of late besides the occasional bug fix. There is a very simple reason for that! We are working hard on bringing you version 10 of SimpleMMO.
Honestly, this is probably my most favourite update yet. It doesn’t contain anything ground-breaking nor any new major features. However, we have overhauled many areas of the game to make it sleeker and added a lot of small quality-of-life improvements.
For you technical folk, the majority of this update is our transition from our own traditional CSS to TailwindCSS. We’ve had to overhaul almost 4 years worth of redundant and bulky code. It certainly wasn’t a quick and easy process! Not just that but we are also moving away from jQuery in favour of Alpine.js.
TailwindCSS is a utility-first CSS framework that runs behind the SimpleMMO Web App. Now that we have done the legwork and transitioned the Android app over to TailwindCSS as well, this means that updates for both applications will be be incredibly seamless. Not only does it bring us consistency in our design across the board, but it helps with accessibility too. Our old implementation was a segmented, bloaty, and inconsistent mess. It made it difficult for us to work with dark mode and adjust our design to help with accessibility. We used to use absolute values fairly frequently which did not respond well to devices that have their font size turned up for example. Our transition will hopefully fix these issues.
Before we get into it, I just want to make you aware that we are still in the very early beta stage and what will be shown here may not be what you will get. Things may change between now and public release.
We will display the old and the new designs so that you can compare them yourself. I’m sure you can figure out which one is the old design and which one is the new design.
We have transitioned our “travel” design to a new, cleaner design. The EXP and gold you gain on the step is no longer massive and it does not cover your player avatar (unless you have an incredibly small device).
World Bosses definitely needed some TLC. It was a simple page with minimal information. Now the design is a bit more fancy but it highlights the next upcoming world-boss. This makes it easier for you to quickly glance at what is coming up.
However, functionally, nothing has changed with the world bosses. It is still as much of a nightmare as you remember it.
The town will now feature categories making it easier to navigate. Rather than just having a huge wall of multiple links, it is now divided for quicker and easier access. We have also moved the most frequently used pages to the top.
The Bulletin Board pulls out from the right of the screen (in a similar way as the Web App) and the “Horse and Carriage” has been renamed to “Change Location” to avoid confusion.
Quests recently got a huge overhaul not so long ago so not too much has changed here. We have definitely cleaned things up a bit though. The response you get from performing a quest now pops up on the top right of the page rather than having it displayed the bottom beneath the buttons. We found that when it appeared at the bottom of the page, some players were missing it entirely due to having a smaller device.
The player popup has been cleaned up too. The player background is clearer, the text is more readable and the spacing is larger. We wanted to give more real estate to the players experience bar due to that being the most common reason why a player opens up the popup.
Messages are much more “chat-like”. Honestly – we have some big plans to change the messaging system completely so that is a real-time chat client. However, until then, we have cleaned it up a bit and gave it a slight make-over. When that will happen is completely up in the air.
The item pop-up has been cleaned up significantly with two huge quality of life additions; the quick equip button and the collection check. You will be able to quickly see if the item/avatar/background/etc is currently in your collection or not. Not just that, but if you come across an item in-game (such as via an NPC or while travelling), you can quickly equip the item instead of having to navigate away from the page entirely. These are very small changes but they will make a huge difference in your gameplay.
(Yes we are aware that the new pop-up does not contain the item description. This will be fixed.)
The inventory has received a bit of a make-over. It’s not too drastic but the biggest change is how the multi-select works. Now you get checkboxes when selecting multiple items rather than holding and pressing on them. The old way of holding on an item was incredibly flimsy at the best of times.
Ask and you shall receive. Gathering and Crafting no longer requires you to press and hold on the button! Now it works in the same way as the travel system. You simply press the button once, wait a few seconds, and do it again.
Battle has changed slightly so make it more appealing. Functionally, it is exactly the same. However, it looks much nicer, right?
You will be happy to know that the market has been completely rewritten. Now you can filter through multiple item types and rarities, and the ordering now works as you would expect. You no longer need to face the dreaded “You are ordering without a filter” error message. It’s also way more efficient.
The profile page has received a much needed do-over. This design is more akin to the Web App version. The background is way more visible and things are just way more consistent. Not only that but we have made the profile page approximately 40% more efficient so hopefully it should be faster when viewing other profiles.
That’s not all!
We have changed a lots of things around the game. The Discussion Boards, for example, have received big changes but it is not listed above.
We look forward to breaking your workflow!
Probably sometime mid-November if everything goes as planned. We originally planned to have this release finished by the Halloween event but the undertaking was much larger than we expected.
What about the web app?
While this update focuses heavily on the Android app, the Web App will still benefit from all of the additional functionality (for example, the improved market and the quick equip button)
Will this be in pubic beta?
Probably not though I can’t say it for certain. Keep an eye on our Discord or Twitter to see if anything changes.
A big shout out to the following people who have helped give V10 alpha feedback.
Dyl Tilphia Kiban Baetyl Amberjack Oubi Wiqued Musette Eclipse, The Witch of Arkhan Poonjo Hephaestus Y0mu Doot
As noted on our public road map, the introduction of trading will arrive sometime within the 3rd quarter. I am very pleased to announce that direct player-to-player trading will arrive in SimpleMMO this week.
For a long time, players have been trading assets by sending items and gold between two accounts without the guarantee that all of goods will actually arrive. It was a system that relied mostly on trust.
The trade system will change this. Two players can set up a direct trade between each other and then put in X amount of items and gold. Once both parties are satisfied with what they will be sending/receiving, they can accept the trade. Once accepted, the items and gold will automatically transfer between each account therefore eliminating any form of risk.
Let’s go through the process on the web app.
Scenario: I want to exchange 100,000 gold coins and 1 Spirit Deer for 100 Fallen Leaves. This is how I would do it.
Navigate to the players profile and press on the arrow button to bring up a list of actions. Press “Trade”
This will bring up a list of all past and current trades I have made with this player. To create a new trade, I will press “New Trade” on the top right of the screen.
Let’s start off with the gold. To add gold to the trade, I simply need press the “Add Gold” button. This will bring up a page that will display how much gold I want to add. I can add any amount of gold that is on my character. The game will first withdraw from the bank and then the equipped pocket if I do not have enough there.
Now for the items. I can add items to the trade by pressing the “Add Items” button. This will bring up the inventory with all of the item that I have on my character. To add an item to the trade, all I need to do is simply press “Add To Trade”
On the following page, I can enter how many items I want to add to the trade. It is limited to 100 items per trade. If you wish to send more than 100, you will need segment it into multiple trades.
Once I have added the item to the trade, I can see it displayed on the trade page on the right side.
If you look closely, the other player has added 100 leaves to the trade while I was doing that.
The trade now consists of the following: – I will receive 100 Fallen Leaves – I will send 100,000 gold and 1 Spirit Deer
As I have verified it by checking checking the overview, I can go ahead and press the “accept” button.
This will bring up a prompt to ensure that you are not doing it by mistake.
As I was the first player to accept the trade, I now need to wait for the other player to accept the trade too. As you can see, the other player has not accepted the trade yet.
After a few minutes, the other player also accepted the trade. If I give the page a quick refresh, I can see that the trade has finalised. I will have also received a notification telling me that the trade was complete.
And it’s as simple as that! The Android app will work in the exact same way.
This feature will arrive in SimpleMMO sometime later this week. Join our discord to keep updated on the status of new updates.
The above screenshots are not final and may change when the feature has been released.
The fees for using this feature are still under review.
You will still be able to send gold and items using the old way.
Every player, regardless if they have purchased membership, now has access to the brand-new SimpleMMO Web App.
After hundreds of hours in development and testing, this brand-new web app overhauls every single inch and crevice of the old web app. The development time for this project was long, hard, and incredibly time-consuming. In fact, this was the single biggest undertaking we have committed to since the creation of the game.
The Web App now is up-to-date with the Android app meaning all of the missing features on the old Web App are now accessible.
How will this Web App be different to the old one?
We will be treating the new Web App like a complete separate entity to the Android version of the game. This may mean that the new Web App will get features that are only accessible to the Web App. One of our mistakes that we made was treating both the Web App and the Android app in conjunction with each other which led to its many faults. Despite this decision, both the Web App and Android app will use the same semantic versioning as it has always used. This means that both the Android and the Web App will use the same version (example v9.4).
I don’t like change. Can I return back to the old one?
No, it has perished. Vanished. Gone. Thrown into space and set on fire. It was recently made obsolete and it is so out of date that it would be a very poor representation of what the game has become. Even though the new web app is still in beta testing, it performs much better than the old web app.
Will there be bugs?
Yes, there will be bugs. It is a beta after all and it is to be expected due to the nature of an overhaul. We have made a great effort in fixing a great number of bugs but some of them still linger. If you experience any bugs, please post them on the in-game discussion boards.
I have some suggestions on how to make it better. Where can I send them?
If you have any suggestions, feel free to post them on the “Suggestions” discussion board in-game. If you tag the title as [Web App] then you will get bonus points.
After a long, gruesome, battle with the game, the brand-new web app is finally available for pleb members! This is an early beta test so your experience may not be as smooth as you would normally expect.
Any player who has purchased plebeian membership can now enable the new Web App by doing the following:
Go to the settings page.
2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and press “Enable new web app”.
3. The web app should now be updated!
Old Web App
Go to the settings page.
2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and press “Enable new web app”
3. The web app should now be updated!
This is a completely new and improved experience. The old web app was entirely scrapped. The entire thing was re-built from top to bottom. It was rubbish and it belonged in the bin!
Please do not expect a smooth experience while the beta is active. This is still a work in progress and there are still lots of bugs to be fixed.
You can return back to the old web app by performing the same action as you did to enable it.
The beta could last anywhere between 1 to 4 weeks.
Recently, you may have realised that there have been very little updates of great value on SimpleMMO. However, there is a good reason for that. At this moment, we are now focusing all of our efforts on building the brand new Web App. Everything in the existing Web App will be destroyed and rebuilt. When you get to play it, it will be like a completely new experience!
To keep you further in the loop, we are updating the SimpleMMO Public Roadmap whenever significant progress has been made.
If everything continues going well, we expect that the web app will be in the public testing phase by the end of June.
Before we get into our new rebrand, allow me to take you on a short journey. Let us spin the wheel of time back to July 2020. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and SimpleMMO’s downloads have started to dwindle.
At that time, the conversion rate on the play store was extremely low. This means that most people were seeing the app on the Google Play Store, but they were not downloading it. These people could be potential players. My aim was to increase the conversion rate as high as I could get it.
In order to get SimpleMMO back on track, I decided to dive into split testing the Google Play store listing in order to optimise conversion rates to its fullest extent. If you don’t know what this is, basically Google offer a solution for developers to give multiple variants of an asset (app icon, app screenshots, etc) and it will tell you which one is more effective. For example, I could upload 3 variants of an app icon and, after a few weeks of testing, it will tell me which app icon was found to be the best at converting users. This is exactly what I did.
The current app icon (well… the old app icon) was created by myself using my slightly-below-average photoshop skills over around 2 hours.
It was simple, clean, colourful, and it fulfilled its purpose. However, there were lots of room for improvement. For starters, I am not a graphic designer. I tried my hand at that back in college and things just wouldn’t click for me. Secondly, while it certainly made parallels to the simplicity that the game provides, it is not something that attracted the eye.
My goal was to contact multiple graphic designers and have them whip up a new and improved app icon. Little did I know how truly difficult this would be to achieve.
Introducing the very first set of icons that ultimately ended up in the bin.
I thought these were pretty cool. I mean.. they have an awesome colour scheme, it shows the art style that the game utilises, and it gives the impression that it is, in fact, a game.
That is until I loaded them up into a split test.
The current icon beat them all… and quite significantly. The current icon was more than 30% effective than the worst performing icon and 10% more effective than the best.
“Huh”, I thought. “This is going to be way more difficult than I anticipated”.
Introducing the second icon that a graphic designer had spent god knows how long painting this masterpiece.
“Bloody hell, that looks fantastic”, I thought to myself. “We could be onto a real winner here”.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It completely bombed. It was around 25% worse than the current icon.
Maybe I was overthinking it and having the icon “over designed”. I think the simplicity of the icon is what drew people to the game in the first place.
This brought me to my third (and hopefully my last) attempt.
I believed this was the one that could finally beat the current icon.
I was wrong…again.
At this point, my hope for a new icon began to dwindle down the toilet. Perhaps, I am unknowingly the next Leonardo da Vinci and I have simply created a masterpiece among the likes which simply cannot be beaten.
At this point, I gave up.
Until I came across a particular design I spotted while browsing on Envato.
“I wonder…”. I thought to myself… and alas, I ventured down the dreadful godforsaken path of split testing once again.
I had finally broke the cycle of failure. This new icon was between 20 and 30% more effective. It was a real winner.
That’s when I decided to get in touch with the logo designer who created it. I sent him it over and told him “I want that! … but different”. After a week or so, he sent me the initial concept and it was perfect. It was exactly what I wanted. I finally had the perfect new icon.
So, after many many months of complete disappointment and thousands of wasted dollars, I would like to introduce to you the brand new logo and design of SimpleMMO.
Looks great, doesn’t it?
The app icon has shown to be between 20% and 30% more effective.
I thought I would do something a little bit different for this update. Rather than keeping the update under wraps until it is ready to be released, I have decided to blog the major changes that will be arrive with the next SimpleMMO update.
V9.0 heavily focuses on guilds. Guilds are a huge part of SimpleMMO. It is essentially the backbone of the games community and is important for us to recognise the importance of this. A well built guild mechanic can increase the interaction between the community, give the game more meaningful depth, and increase the competitiveness between players and groups. Because of this, I have worked tirelessly over the last few months overhauling the entire guild feature. The entire feature was essentially scrapped and re-written from the ground up. It was honestly a massive pain in the arse. My eyes are sore. My fingers are red and I swear last night I had a dream about being in a guild battle. It’s the most complicated area of SimpleMMO because the guilds module has its fingers dipped within almost every corner of the game. By doing this rewrite, I am able to expand upon the guild module and add more exciting features to it.
Let’s cover some of them that will appear in v9.0.
Introducing “Guild Power Level”. Guild power is a seperate type of guild level that was heavily inspired by Discords “boost” mechanism. This feature might be a bit complicated to wrap your head around at first but it is quite simple. I’ll try to break it down as simple as I can.
A guild has a power level of 1 to 5.
This power level is determined by how many Power Points the guild has. For example, a power level of 5 requires 60 power points.
A guild can have an infinite amount of power points but level 5 is the highest power level.
Each power level brings new bonuses to the guild such as increasing the member cap, additional armoury slots, and more.
Power points can be achieved from three ways: guild wars, completing guild tasks, and buying them outright with diamonds.
Every day, a guild loses a single power point. This is to ensure that the guild works hard to maintain or exceed their current power level.
XXX amount of guild members +2% bonus exp and gold per travelling member 500 armoury items
XXX amount of guild members + 2.3% exp and gold bonus per travelling member 1,000 armoury items
XXX amount of guild members +2.5% exp and gold bonus per travelling member 5,000 armoury items Change guild icon
XXX amount of guild members +2.7% exp and gold bonus per travelling member 20,000 armoury items Change guild background
XXX amount of guild members +3% exp and gold bonus per travelling member 1,000,000 armoury items. Gradient guild tag Gradient guild name
All values are subject to change
Guild Levels and Experience
Guilds now have a level that is dependent on the amount of experience that it has. Levels are capped at 100.
All existing EXP will be reset on the new update. However, do not worry! The guilds current EXP will be archived and it will be listed within a “legacy hall of fame”. This hall of fame will be a leader board of the top 50 guilds with the highest EXP (before the reset). It will remain there forever without change so now there is an incentive to get as much EXP as possible.
Legacy guild EXP can be converted to “power points”. All guilds created before v9.0 will be eligible for free power points.
Gradient guild name and tag
As you may have noticed from the table above, you can now apply a gradient to both the guild name and the guild tag. This change requires a power level of 5. If the guild drops a level, then the guild will lose the gradient.
Change guild icon
A guild leader can now change the guilds icon to a sprite that they have within their collection. The guild needs to have at least a power level of 3 to do this. It will cost 1 power point to make a change.
A guild leader can now change the guilds background to a background that they have within their collection. The guild needs to have at least a power level of 3 to do this. It will cost 1 power point to make a change.
Woohoo! Finally! A much needed (and requested) feature. You can now view the activity feed to see how the members are contributing to the guild. You can also see how much EXP has been gained from a particular activity (such as PvP)
A guild can choose to raid a particular location. When a raid has been activated, every NPC kill and step that a member takes will contribute to the guilds experience points. Raiding a location costs 1 power point and lasts for 60 minutes*.
Guild Only Leaderboards
This is basically the public leader boards but it has been filtered to only include the guild members. It’s quite handy if you want to see how other guilds members are performing.
Players are now able to submit items to the guild armoury. Any member within the guild can the request any amount of items from the armoury and the guild leader can accept or reject the request. This feature is still a bit bare-bones at the moment, however I have plans to enable the ability for leaders to send items directly from the armoury.
New guild design
Oh yes! Looks cool doesn’t it? I totally didn’t steal this design from the player profile page.
Guild wars finally have a meaning! Now, a guild can actually win a war rather than having it go on forever. The winner will get EXP and power points for their effort. The loser will lose EXP and power points just to make things interesting. The winner is the guild that reaches 1,000 kills first (or if a guild surrenders).
You are now able to inspect each guild war to get a break down on who is winning. This page is still fairly basic at the moment but I have plans to expand it in the future.
Guild tasks work in a very similar way to your daily tasks. However, there are a few differences:
They need to be manually activated by the guild leader.
Activating a task costs XXX amount of gold.
If the guild fails at completing a task, then the guild will lose power points.
The guild leader can select from a list of many different types of tasks. From stepping, to PvP. Each task has a different requirement and also a different time limit. Some tasks may give you a long time to complete it but your reward will be low. Other tasks may require the guild to complete it within a short amount of time but the reward will be higher. It is up to the guild leader to determine what is the most suitable.
The guild leader can send a mass message to all of the members. It’s quite handy if the leader is holding an event.
That’s all cool… but what else?
While I haven’t listed all of the new features within this update, the above definitely covers the grand majority. Guilds are something that I wish to expand upon even further but due to time constraints (and burn-out), I have decided to put the remaining features on hold.
Frequently asked questions (probably)
Still no guild roles? Why?
Read “That’s all cool… but what else?”.
Can you upload a custom icon to the guild?
No – not at the moment. However this may change in the future.
When will this be released?
v9.0 should be released towards the end of March once everything has been finalised.
* Disclaimer: All values listed both asterisked or otherwise are subject to change upon release.
Despite the name, SimpleMMO provides a lot of depth and the codebase that it is built upon is quite complex. It has been built for almost 3 and a half years now. This has given me an interesting idea for a blog post …
Let’s find how big SimpleMMO is
Let’s dive into the numbers…
There have been a total of 550,090 registered players on SimpleMMO.
Over 240,395,685 steps have been taken. That’s almost a quarter of a billion steps. Bloody hell! That’s approximately 205,349.5 KM assuming you are 180cm and walking briskly. The moon is 384,400 KM away. We’ve almost made it! Up yours doge coin!
Over 62,509,426 non-playable characters have given their life for the greater good. Those poor 1s and 0s.
4,487,929 players have been defeated in PvP. I’m sure the majority of them are from guild wars. The rest are most likely players who have reached level 100 and have suffered a fate worse than death. Those poor souls.
There have been a total number of 161,528,763 items that have hit peoples inventories. Crikey! 43,656,019 of them still remain in peoples inventories right now. It’s time for people to start clearing it soon because the inventory limit will be enforced shortly.
51,936,766 quests have been performed whether they were successful or not. That’s a lot of gigantic chickens that have been battled!
11,337,057 items have been sold on the in-game market. People love the market so much that some play the game solely as traders.
351,000 waves have been sent. That’s a lot of waving! I’m sure we could harness this wind energy somehow to power the servers. If anyone who is competent in the field of wind energy, let me know how we can achieve this!
There have been a total of 1,025 guilds created in the game. I think 100 of them have been created by myself for testing related reasons.
Over 5,757,187 chat messages have been sent in the global chat.
SimpleMMO has been played in 106 countries within the last 30 days. The top five countries are: United States, United Kingdom, Philippines, Canada, Russia
Over 6,932 players have suffered the wrath from Gren the Bitter because they failed to say hello to him!
256 suggestions have been accepted since the introduction of the suggestion system in the early months of 2020.
122 of those suggestions have actually made it into the game!
Over 1,227 players have been permanently banned for breaking the rules.
There are 13 moderators, and 12 advisers.
We have 1 full time developer working on SimpleMMO games codebase.
We have 1 person working on translating the game into Russian.
We have 1 contracted developer working on the SimpleMMO Android wrapper.
Now let’s dive into the technical stats
The entire database contains more than 134 tables. That is huge. It is most certainly the biggest database I have ever worked with! And I have worked with some huge systems in my past. Every table has a model, but not every mode has a table.
The game contains over 140 models. Think of models like assets in the game. A “guild” is a model. A “chat message” is a model. A “user” is a model. Even the small things like a “wave”. The next biggest system I have worked on only had ~40 models so the difference is huge.
We have made over 2,268 commits to the SimpleMMO master branch code base. This basically means we have made 2,268 updates to the game that have been finalised.
The game has served over 409,428,471 requests in the last month alone. That is almost half a billion requests in just 30 days. Crazy! We don’t have stats beyond 30 days.
We have served over 3.05 TB of data in the past 30 days. 1.67 TB of that was cached thanks to CloudFlare!
In the past 30 days, we have had a total of 141,987 unique visitors to SimpleMMO. Crazy! I never imagined it would ever get to that point.
SimpleMMO contains over 140,954 lines of code. This is lines of code that we have wrote ourselves (not including the framework). If you wanted to include the framework and all other packages that the game uses, then the total would come to 2,930,085 lines of code. However, it’s not really fair to count that one. To compare, Minecraft has around 280,000 lines of code if you run the command: