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Christer
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Archive

2021

2021-03-09 00:39:11
rating 5.9

2020

2020-12-09 11:20:11
rating 6
2020-11-30 18:03:36
rating 5.8
2020-10-13 11:59:57
rating 5.9
2020-08-08 22:48:43
rating 5.8
2020-08-07 21:32:26
rating 5.9
2020-03-18 14:09:47
rating 6

2019

2019-12-13 21:32:02
rating 6
2019-11-25 16:00:40
rating 5.9
2019-04-14 23:33:08
rating 6
2019-04-07 16:59:39
rating 6
2019-04-07 00:55:26
rating 6
2019-01-08 15:27:38
rating 5.9
2019-01-05 02:58:18
rating 5.8

2018

2018-08-17 17:28:31
rating 6
2018-08-15 00:05:40
rating 6
2018-07-17 20:17:40
rating 6
2018-06-28 14:28:08
rating 5.9
2018-05-23 17:55:10
rating 6
2018-05-10 22:42:46
rating 6
2018-05-09 19:42:28
rating 6
2018-04-30 10:44:23
rating 5.8
2018-04-23 12:33:02
rating 5.8

2017

2017-04-23 18:06:35
rating 6
2017-04-06 23:00:56
rating 6
2017-04-03 19:06:00
rating 6
2017-03-29 22:35:46
rating 6
2017-03-25 16:18:39
rating 6
2017-03-11 21:24:26
rating 6
2017-02-14 14:23:58
rating 6
2017-02-10 14:54:03
rating 6

2016

2016-11-30 00:04:21
rating 6
2016-11-27 23:40:04
rating 6
2016-11-17 18:18:07
rating 6

2015

2015-09-06 23:59:26
rating 6
2015-01-24 15:56:29
rating 6
2015-01-22 13:10:32
rating 6
2015-01-19 21:20:53
rating 6
2015-01-10 19:03:45
rating 6

2014

2014-09-09 15:35:53
rating 6

2013

2013-04-26 11:48:40
rating 5.7

2012

2012-12-18 17:37:29
rating 5.9
2012-11-18 18:19:19
rating 6
2012-09-25 13:47:16
rating 5.6
2012-08-15 12:31:53
rating 5.9
2012-08-10 23:12:22
rating 5.9
2012-06-27 22:53:48
rating 5.9
2012-04-10 11:56:38
rating 5.9
2012-03-07 13:52:00
rating 5.9
2012-02-16 16:59:56
rating 5.9
2012-02-04 19:00:41
rating 5.3

2011

2011-07-25 23:32:43
rating 5.6
2011-05-23 13:12:52
rating 5.6
2011-02-04 14:26:18
rating 5.4

2010

2010-03-26 11:38:41
rating 5.1
2010-03-01 12:16:53
rating 5.6

2009

2009-12-08 16:40:30
rating 5.8

2008

2008-09-11 14:47:19
rating 4.1
2008-02-26 21:16:54
rating 5.3
2008-01-21 01:01:58
rating 5.6

2007

2007-11-06 21:23:14
rating 5.1
2007-10-16 00:26:11
rating 5.4
2007-09-30 17:10:03
rating 5.4
2007-09-30 12:01:42
rating 5.3
2007-08-09 12:14:57
rating 4.5
2007-08-06 12:02:52
rating 4.9
2007-08-03 17:56:21
rating 5.4
2021-03-09 00:39:11
68 votes, rating 5.9
BB2020 on FUMBBL Update
It's been a while since I posted an update about the BB2020 effort for FUMBBL, and I was going to start writing a post on the #ffb-test discord channel but decided it would be better suited for a blog on here to make things visible to everyone.

In the last blog post I wrote (mid December), I asked for help with managing the BB2020 project. Both in terms of an overall project manager and someone to take point with the test effort. A number of people reached out offering to help (thank you!), and I took on board a couple of people to fill those roles. The idea was to offload some of the management things from my shoulders to alleviate some pressure and allow me to put more time into the development-side of the project instead of managing a test team and documenting what needs to be done.

Taking on people to assist with these things generated a ton of extra work on my end, trying to come up with suitable workflows and ways to communicate between the test team and the developers (primarily me and Candlejack). I figured it would be worth spending a bunch of hours on this initial setup in order to save time long-term.

Now, as you might have gathered, this didn't exactly pan out that way. What happened was that the first person appointed as test lead greatly misjudged the complexity and size of the project and ended up trying for a while and then fading away. Given that I am not able to actually hire and pay someone for this stuff, I felt I couldn't really be pushing too hard to get things done, so it took a while before this was brought to light and I was able to find a more experienced test lead to take on the role.

A new person meant more hours for me to discuss expectations and come up with a functional workflow. The core method we came up with felt like a relatively solid way to work, although being somewhat of a compromise between ease-of-use for both the test and development teams. On the whole, though, the conceptual way to work seemed like a good process. Unfortunately, this new test lead had some real life developments and was also unable to push through with getting the actual work of managing the test team properly. Obviously, real life comes first and again, I'm not hiring people here.

The people who volunteered to be part of the actual test team (also, thank you!), have turned out to mostly be unable to do the actual testing. Partly because there's not a strong enough lead, but also because it's actually pretty boring to do testing in a structured way. It's mostly documentation and repetitive stuff.

The project manager who was chosen to help with structuring what needs to be updated ended up being burned out and essentially leaving the site for the foreseeable future. This also caused a void in that aspect of the project, and the responsibility again fell on my shoulders.

The development effort is still active, primarily because Candlejack is a solid star of a person who pushes through tough, complex stuff and maintains a professional attitude at all times (yes, complaining about bad code design is also professional :) ). I have personally been going through a bit of low-energy and have not been doing what I feel is my share of things. I could blame real life stress, I could blame the pressure of feeling that I need to be spearheading all fronts of the development and testing efforts because I simply can't pay people to do the work. FUMBBL feels like "my project" and thus my responsibility to get things done. The plea for help in December was absolutely genuine and a concentrated effort for me to be able to shed some of the stress of BB2020 in general.

Over the last months, people consistently ask when FUMBBL is going to implement BB2020, and I've maintained "Q1" as the official response. Given that we have roughly three weeks of Q1 remaining, I'm officially saying that Q1 isn't going to happen. At this point, I don't even have a clear picture of what remains to be implemented in the client (and on the website, although that feels to be in a slightly better state).

In the end, it's been a couple of months of me sticking my head in the sand and not having the energy to shoulder all the stress of getting a test team properly running, working on the site code and helping with the FFB client effort. All while hoping that the people who said they wanted to help would find the time and energy in their lives to take a strong lead in their respective roles and push things into action.

I would like to be clear that I absolutely am not angry at the people who offered to help but ended up not being able to act on their offer. I fully understand (and expect) people to prioritize their own real lives and mental health over a volunteer effort for some free game site on the Internet. I am not writing this to blame anyone, nor am I writing this to bring up excuses for why BB2020 isn't here yet. The intent for this post is to give some kind of insight into what's happening and what's not and give an update about BB2020 to point to when people ask. Please please don't be angry with the people who offered to help.

So, what now?

The current state of the test tasks isn't great, and there aren't enough people who are able to work in a structured way to run tests. Expecting an enterprise level test effort was clearly not something I could expect to be pulled off on a free site with volunteers helping out, and something probably needs to change.

There are two critical issues with the current state (not counting the lack of people who can/are able to help here):

1. It's difficult to get an overall idea of what remains to be done. Coming up with an idea of "when it will be done" is virtually impossible and any date estimate is very much going to be a guess at this point.

2. It's difficult for developers (Candlejack and me) to see what to work on next, and plan for how to implement these new features.

Both of these are direct consequences of the lack of project and test management, which is something I should have tackled much much sooner. I've ended up in a place where I put a lot of energy into trying to set up a project structure and not having enough to actually be directly productive and work on the code.

Rather than doing the same thing again (asking for help, appointing people, coming up with workflows), and expecting a different outcome, my plan is to simplify the process primarily for Candlejack and myself. I have to accept the fact that the client will never be fully tested in a structured way. Instead, I have to rely on point testing by us developers, and scattered testing by a small number of individuals. And eventually simply hope for the best. This will cause problems when we go live with BB2020, but I don't see another way forward.

My next step is to take a few days to think over how to shift the bb2020 effort to something more developer friendly, and eventually sit down and structure the numerous sources of things to change into one single place where it can be turned into developer-friendly tasks in a way that's meaningful to myself and Candlejack.

So, what's going to be the official response to "when are we going bb2020"? I'd love to be able to give a realistic estimate, but the truth is that I simply can't know. There are so few people working on actually making it happen that any little change in energy levels will have a huge impact on the project as a whole.

I *want* to be able to say Q2, and I *want* to be able to say "Before BB3 is released". I believe it's possible, but in no way is it certain.

I understand this is disappointing to some of you, but that unfortunately does very little except push more stress on me.

Also, yes, I understand there will be additional follow-up questions regarding this (Box trophy, major tournaments, etc etc). At this point, I don't know. Anything I'd write right now would pretty much be a guess, so I will leave it at that.

As a final note, you don't need to worry about my mental health or my ability to deal with the stress of this. I'd lie if I said it wasn't stressful and that I feel a bit overwhelmed with the size of the project, but I'm not even close to any kind of breakdown. The reason I've been less productive than I in theory could is to not burn myself out and completely lose track of everything. I'm keeping well within my ability to cope with this. :)

The bb2020 effort *is* moving forward, not just at the pace I would have wanted. We'll get there in the end.
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Comments
Posted by XpherAndTheAxes on 2021-03-09 00:44:22
No need to worry about any deadlines, we will love seeing it come out whenever, and we will greatly appreciate all the hours you and the team have put in. Its lovely to get to play on the site and i am greatly happy waiting for bb2020, and i am sure others will be too :))
Posted by lemf on 2021-03-09 02:02:16
Great big thank you to you. A great update and thanks also to Candlejack and the others involved. It is a massive task you are undertaking.
Posted by Halfabrain on 2021-03-09 07:40:23
It takes as long as it takes, your efforts are very much appreciated.
I think we all need to do our bit to contribute and if we can't give our time then we can always support financially. It's only the price of a sandwich once a month.
Posted by Seventyone on 2021-03-09 07:42:37
Well done to you and Candle jack! Just keep going! Thanks for everything
Posted by popekheris on 2021-03-09 08:06:00
I think being transparent was the best thing you could have done. Thank you for all the work and passion you put into this site. As excited as I am to try 2020, I am happy to take it whenever it ends up being finished :)
Posted by Danish_Dan on 2021-03-09 08:29:21
I think I echo most people thoughts when I say, no rush mate :-)

Of course I look forward to it, but we've been playing this version of blood bowl for decades, and still love it. Just take your time, and don't worry about us :-)
Posted by TheFear on 2021-03-09 08:30:55
Dude. It takes as long as it takes. You build it and we'll come. Wish I had either the coding skills or the free time to help you
Posted by Hellboy_ on 2021-03-09 08:47:33
If anyone is going to be negative about this then they don't deserve what FUMBBL offers. We're all excited about the prospect of BB2020 (and you are too) and if we have to wait a bit longer then that is absolutely fine! Thank you for everything you've done, take your time and make something you're proud of.
Posted by fromherashes on 2021-03-09 09:11:06
Thanks for the update, and the transparency. As long as we've still got BB2016 to play it's all good and will keep the majority of people busy and happy in the meantime. Implementation of BB2020 will come when it comes :)
Posted by ClayInfinity on 2021-03-09 09:26:42
Hi Christer, would be happy to test things for you, but I am not a coder etc and dont have a real idea whats involved, but am happy to put my hand up. Secondly, what is wrong with you running BB2016 and BB2020 concurrently and let us players on fumbbl play games in the 2020 client and acknowledge that "shit happens" and we push bug reports like we did when 2016 was implemented. If we are clear that this initial 2020 client will be "fumbbl/dev" and that all data/teams etc may be wiped once the client is "ready" I am sure many of us would be happy to play with the 2020 client in addition to keeping our 2016 Box, Ranked and League games running. Appreciate ALL the effor you, and Candlejack, are doing.
Posted by Joost on 2021-03-09 10:10:41
Thanks for all the work guys. No rush at all!
Posted by neubau on 2021-03-09 12:07:36
thx for all the work!
Posted by Melmoth on 2021-03-09 14:16:19
Thx Christer and Candlejack for all your work. Take all the time you need and feel rushed by anyone. I would gladly offer help but sadly I lack the technical skills. Will donate instead.
Posted by MattDakka on 2021-03-09 14:27:16
Thanks Christer, Candlejack and everybody else involved in the update!
Take your time, no need to get burned out, and thanks for the useful information. I was refraining from nominating Super Star players due to incoming update but, considering it will not happen soon, I will try to level them up to Legend.
Posted by PurpleChest on 2021-03-09 15:33:49
100% behind you and on board. I'll try to step up and do more.
Posted by Verminardo on 2021-03-09 16:25:04
Thanks for the update, very relatable. I have to admit I did wonder at the ambitious time schedule initially announced. :-)
Posted by BeanBelly on 2021-03-09 16:33:02
To echo above comments, thanks for your work. There is no rush or pressure from us Coaches. Just looking forward to BB2020, but quite happy to wait.

'Happy Testing' is a nice phrase we use at work for non-structured testing. There are some really knowledgeable Blood Bowl SMEs on this site, they will find the main issues.
Posted by sann0638 on 2021-03-09 17:06:37
Best wishes to all involved.
Posted by Mattius on 2021-03-09 17:09:42
Can money in anyway help? I don't mind donating more and I'm sure others will if we know of a target? If not then no stress, but worth asking.
Posted by koadah on 2021-03-09 17:17:36
I like the ClayInfinity idea. If feasible. If people already have something to play with, there is less incentive for them to jump ship as soon as BB3 launches. Is that August?

Experience suggests that BB3 will launch as a bug ridden heap of buffalo dung that won't be worth touching for another 3-6 months after launch. We're sure to have fewer bugs. ;)

I would say don't wipe the test teams though. Push them to [L]eague.

Telling people that it "won't be before <rough date>" helps as people can then push on with what they are doing, rather than holding off for a "possibly imminent" switchover.
Posted by Apus on 2021-03-09 17:24:43
Thanks for the update. Keep going. And stay awesome!
Posted by LA_Way on 2021-03-09 17:30:12
Amazing work you've done with Fummbl.

I don't know if there's legalities to it, but could you raised money with a kickstarter/indiegogo/gofundme if it will help either employ people to test, or to pay yourself to spend more time on it? Just a suggestion. :)
Posted by deeferdan on 2021-03-09 17:47:26
Thanks for your efforts! Can’t rush perfection :)
Posted by koadah on 2021-03-09 18:35:19
Money sounds great. But how much do you think these guys earn per hour?
Posted by sebco on 2021-03-09 18:52:01
My essential message will also only be "thanks for your efforts".

Concerning testing, I also like Clayinfinity idea. I don't know if it's easily doable but there could be a test division, open to anybody (having a FUMBBL account, of course) to test the BB 2020 version when it will be partially done.

Coachs playing in this division would know there are more bugs but would still play in this division to help you / FUMBBL so all of us.
Posted by Jeffro on 2021-03-09 20:53:27
Thank you for your efforts. I’m weaning myself from 2016 rules, so would be happy to throw my hat into the pool of test subjects - even and especially if that just means running situations and scenarios for certain skills (and not complete games). Overall, though - patience is a virtue.
Posted by SanKuKai on 2021-03-09 21:08:37
hurry up mate !
how the hell is it not already implemented ???
tssss...

;D
Posted by ceetee on 2021-03-09 22:10:42
Thanks guys. Really appreciate the effort you are all putting in. Thank you.
Posted by sanlo3 on 2021-03-09 22:21:20
Thanks for your work C and team!
In my oppinion the majority of us use fumbbl for the community build around it. I don’t care to much about playing bbl16 or bbl20. You make a huge effort to created and mantained the site and we enjoy as it is :) take your time and don’t stress, if somebody is in a rush to play bbl20... just buy BBL20 game :)
Posted by Medon on 2021-03-09 22:24:56
You guys are amazing! Thank you for all the work!
Posted by BlockBadger on 2021-03-10 02:25:17
Yeah thanks for all you do!
Posted by Uber on 2021-03-10 06:56:17
For me the client changes aren't even that important. The most interesting stuff is the team management between games, picking skills, re-drafting, etc.

If it would be possible to start the C division in beta mode and have the client updates come in gradually, that would be neat. Doing a big bang deployment of the full BB2020 ruleset seems like an incredible amount of work.

Thanks for the hard work, my Patreon sub is well invested.
Posted by argos_72 on 2021-03-10 15:21:39
Hi Christer thank you a lot (and to all the fumbbl developers) for your efforts!
If you need help for the beta testing I will be more than happy to give you whatever help or support. I know quite well how much complicate is the test bench phase of SW development (which is 80% of the development time!). Maybe to reduce the effort a step by step approach could be usefull (like the last proposal to start the new client in beta mode in one test league division -but not sure if this is technically possible)

But anyway take your time, do not worry and keep it up!
ciao!
Posted by Zlefin on 2021-03-10 17:20:59
Thanks for your efforts and this wonderful site. It's also a very informative explanation.
The difficulties remind me of play by post games; I've done some DnD play by post, as well as Dominions. People disappearing/having real life is quite common, and tends to disrupt games a lot. Very few people are so consistently available, and so un-prone to disruptions in their life, it's hard to find 'em.
Posted by paradocks on 2021-03-11 07:45:56
When rules do or don't go live are trivial matters afaic.

You made a dream of mine come true back in 2004 when I found the site. I'd had a copy of 2nd edition since about the time of its release, but living in New Zealand and having a very limited pool of people to play against meant that I'd never really played Blood Bowl properly until finding this site. FUMBBL really helped me through a rough patch of my life and though I don't get to play much any more I am eternally grateful for what you and the various others over the years have done. I cannot thank you enough sirs!
Posted by Alzhaid on 2021-03-11 11:09:27
Thanks a lot for this post and for all your work.

I was a skilled Java programmer and nowadays I work as an IT project manager, and I didn't see your call for help before. However, if I had volunteered in December and I had been chosen to help, I also think I couldn't have helped in the way the project and you needed... because sometimes there are peaks of work and I need to stay until late hours just to make sure that my different teams manage to deploy some feature in Production (and so many times deadlines go by...)

I'm incredibly grateful that you and other people like Candlejack are providing us with this wonderful experience since so many years ago, and I'm glad that you feel confident in your own health, despite the stress. But these are just good words, and I'm not sure how I could contribute more. I think that I can drop playing any matches here, for example, and use that free time to do unit testing, I'd like to do that for the project even if it's boring... would be helpful if I commit half an hour per day? But you say you better keep the testing work in a small team of individuals... if you read this and you think I can contribute in any way with that amount of time, please let me know.
Posted by rodvil on 2021-03-11 22:53:35
Take your time. We know you guys are doing the best possible with what you have.
Posted by akuku88 on 2021-03-12 12:49:58
I'm just happy for the progress update, even tho you state that it goes slowly. Don't feel stressed. You'll get there.
Posted by Matthueycamo on 2021-03-16 18:19:15
I don't mind how long it takes, it's great that this all even exists at all!

The only thing I can add is that it would maybe be a nice idea to finish it, then say it's finished and give a date for going live 6-8 weeks after that. Just to give everybody but especially custom leagues a chance to tie up loose ends.

But otherwise, take your time, do it right for you and don't flog yourself for our sakes.
Posted by LordHugo on 2021-03-18 17:51:49
One thing is to be grateful, another is being condescending and another is just outfront lying.
I think that most people commenting this is fallen on the third. Why? because we all want to play bb2020, and maybe some of us actually NEED it. The pandemic is taking a toll on our mental health and things like Fumbbl really help get over it.

I dont know why dont you (Christer) take the obvious solution, maybe for avoiding polemics (is that word spelled right? sorry if not)?

The solution I see is: Ask for money, and get people working on it full-time, like a serious job (because it is). There is NOTHING wrong with it, and we will be honored to really help you and take part on it through donations.

Best wishes!


Posted by BlizzBirne on 2021-04-18 15:36:18
Thx christer - for all this. I am totally sure that many (all?) here have sympathy for a free site not running things in enterprise style. That also means that new things are not bug free. Thx for pulling things despite challenges, you rock!