I was planning to do an announcement on Discord yesterday to air out some news but I had some unexpected business that kept me busy for a bit. Here we go;
- 6,142 torrents
- 7.33tb in actively seeded torrents
- 972 more life selector torrents ready to go (we upload 10 daily to not kill the swarm so 3 more months?)
- A tiny bit under 1,000 more games to do before we’re completely finished with ALL completed games on f95zone.
- We also completely stripped out ALL emails and all references to email from signup and login.
- We’ve got somewhere around 10 open/merged PRs with the main torrust branch which is awesome. The maintainers are super nice people so it’s great to give back. So far, we’re the largest site running it.
It’s been a relatively quiet week for us. Normally (I use this term loosely because really it means ever since @Vision joined the team) our average was ~150 new torrents every day. This dipped a little as IRL obligations and development stuff distracted us for a bit. During May we also added our second 40tb server onto the platform which was badly needed. We run them in RAID10 so it’s ~18tb usable storage which we’re approaching 50% of already. Technically we’re over 50% if we include the non-released LS torrents. The real reason we needed it though is while obviously the most demand is for newer torrents, relying on one core server for our entire archive was insanity (yes we have backups). We were also concerned about this negatively affecting download speed so it was good to double it up. Our focus for the coming months will be to double this up again to 4 before we start looking at expanding in NA.
Once we’re finished with all completed games, we have abandoned & on-hold to do afterwards, thankfully these aren’t as big. The elephant in the room obviously, is all the games still in active development. I really have no idea but if I had to guess once we’re done with just games, we’d probably be somewhere around ~25,000? Just a guess.
Our platform expanded laterally as we added things like a staging area for development and services like Jenkins to help us with automation and streamlining things like creating build jobs or pruning dead torrents etc. There’s a few more things we’ll have to add shortly; we’ll need to upgrade to a dedicated database server and add some form of analytics because we’re actually completely blind as to how many users actually use our site daily. Regarding analytics, we’re looking to use Umami. There’s a live demo here. Umami suits us as it’s privacy focused and we can share analytics whenever we wish, I think it’s important to open up as much stuff as possible so having the option is great. Note: this is low priority so I wouldn’t expect any stats for a few weeks.
I also want to add more services to spread out actual management and sysadmin side of things throughout our team. Things like Zabbix and Grafana. We’re also going to set aside some time shortly to focus on tuning our servers more, basically a bit of nerd stuff but stuff that needs doing anyway.
I’ll also be changing my username/handle in the next month or two. rpdl was literally just shorthand for renpy-download. I think our project has matured to the point where it needs to be looked at as more of a team, rather than a person.
We’ll be overhauling https://rpdl.net, the site is kinda irrelevant really but it needs a facelift.
We spent a bunch of time during May looking into alternatives to Discord. While we’re happy with it for now, it doesn’t really fit in with our setup. This is gonna be a pain point because I know how much people enjoy it and it’s such an easy meeting place. Ultimately though, it can be deleted at basically any time so we want to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Matrix was an obvious first choice because it can bridge back and forth to Discord. Maybe we’ll look back into it. Personally, I’m liking the look of Revolt.
We’re also going to be changing up our compression methods starting yesterday (lol). We’re going to be moving to creating 7zip archives. This is going to be pretty big for us because it allows us to do a few things. We can finally multithread compression jobs which will speed up getting torrents out. LZMA2 also helps push the size down even more. Smaller archives = less storage used = less bandwidth so it’s win/win. it also started happening daily that we’d start seeing a build queue of 50-70 torrents at any one time so it’s clearly needed.
The one sucky part is that yes, Windows users will need to install 7zip OR any other tool that can decompress 7z archives. Winrar can also do it, 7zip is probably the most widely adopted tool though. I know this will suck to some people but this is one of those “get with the times” kind of things, we can’t use zips forever and we also can’t wait for Windows to finally integrate something natively.
One thing we haven’t really mentioned is that we’re toying with the idea of some kind of database for developers. Think of it like a one-stop-shop for more information about a developer. Say for example, you downloaded X game and wanted to check out the devs patreon, or other games they might have, or their website, twitter, discord, email etc. A wiki or linktree would be an obvious choice but I think we can do better. I want to do more things for developers, ultimately they’re the hand that feeds and sometimes I feel a little dirty getting a leak turbo early (I’m talking like minutes after a Patreon post). It’d also make things a bit easier for us because sometimes Devs change their Patreon link and there’s no real way for us to know so old torrents continue to point at the wrong URL. Having one central place we can update makes sense. Open to feedback from developers on this obviously.
Apart from all that stuff, I updated our monthly running costs this morning. Adding the second large dedi put a big dent in it but that’s expected. I’m going to cover any costs we don’t make from donations as it was my decision to add it early. There’s a rundown on it here.
With all that rambling out of the way, it’s still business as usual on our end. We’re still super happy, motivated and @Sleepy Dax in particular is having a blast getting through all the furry games.
If anyones got feedback or concerns about anything, particular the 7z thing please reach out and let us know. Otherwise, there’s been lots of good games that got updates recently, go check em out.