December ’20 is done and oh boy, what a month that was. A lot has happened during this period regarding development as well as operation of geotastic. But first things first:

Api costs of December 2020

Compared to November, this month’s total api usage increased by almost 600%, which correlates with the increase of daily players. If not for the huge support of the community, I wouldn’t be able to keep the service up at this point. So, a BIG thank you to all people who supported geotastic financially. You are the reason why it’s still alive and kicking in 2021.

We need more power!

I was rather nervous seeing the player numbers rise day by day since I didn’t really tested the multiplayer services with huge amounts of simultaneous players. At one point, there were almost 500 players playing geotastic at the same time. Geotastic held out just fine, but the other, more communication heavy game Montagsmaler-Online, had a lot of trouble keeping up with so many players. The server stopped responding at some point (100% CPU usage), but I seemed to not have too much of an impact on the geotastic server application even though they both run on the same VPC. Phew. Still, it wasn’t feasible to keep using the small and free EC2 instance of AWS, so I planned to move everything to a more potent machine. I crunched the numbers and went for a virtual server provided by netcup. Setting everything up was straight forward and I was able to get everything up and running during the course of one day. Geotastic as well as Montagsmaler already communicate with the new server.

New Features

December also brought a lot of new features to geotastic. I’ll do a brief run down of everything noteworthy:

  • New game modes: Fun with Flags (Multiplayer only) and Country Streak (Local game only)
  • I Implemented a custom compass for street view, since the default google components seemed to bug out for some players. Very annoying.
  • The result and finished views got quite some updates. Aside from a detailed score table to inspect each round, it’s also possible to see the route every player took on the result map view.
  • I replaced the reverse geocoding api I used up until now (freely available via https://nominatim.org) with my own service. I didn’t like the idea to have so many third party dependencies and some players did report issues that stemmed from timed out calls on the nominatim service. Implementing a reverse geocoding service was fun and a pain at the same time. I’ll probably dedicate a whole blog entry to this topic later this month.

That’s it for now!

I wish you all a happy new year. Stay safe and keep playing a lot of remote online games!

I love creating stuff, which includes art, software, games and music.