After Launch Reflection

Firstly, thank you for all the support. The amount of people that decided to give it a shot far exceeded my expectations. This article will go over the reason why I decided to create this, the problems that I encountered, the launch of VEGA Patch, the community response, major issues after the launch, and plans for the future.

About a year and a half ago I started to create a program that would help to eliminate user tracking from Chrome. I am a big believer in the privacy of users but for users to get privacy they would need to switch to a different web browser. This causes a lot of users to give up because they like Chrome and are used to it. My goal was to allow people to continue to use Chrome without the tracking. There are a lot of things that already do what I wanted to do but I thought I could do it better, I was wrong. Only a month into the project I scrapped it. 

After scrapping that project, I did not work on any big projects till the start of development for VEGA Patch. I had thought about doing a performance mod for the game ever since it came out. With my experience in making texture fix mods (I did one for Control’s PC port) I thought I would be the perfect person to do it and when RAD released the statement I decided to go for it. Remember that scraped Chrome project? Well, I repurposed the code injector it used for this mod giving me big head start. Development was still not easy, that game had a tendency to crash. I am surprised the Bug Splat error reporting window had not burned into my display. 

Over time I was able to sort it out and get the game stable and in October I announced VEGA Patch with a teaser video and set a release date for December. The December release target turned out to be a mistake. When I set the release target, I thought I would be finished by the end of November and then I have an extra month if something goes wrong. I was wrong, I was working up until the deadline to get it out in time. In the week and a half before launch I was working at least 5 hours each day, but usually longer (remember that this is something I am doing in my free time, I have other responsibilities). I did not want to delay. I know, games get delayed all the time. But after the game I am making a performance fix for gets delayed 2 years and comes out unfinished, delaying VEGA Patch would harm its reputation. The community has had enough of delays, and I just could not bring myself to do it.

The day before launch (December 27th) was a disaster I found a major problem in the version that I had planned to release. The issue was the launcher was generating massive log files, about 300 megabytes for every 30 minutes the game is open. Every version that I make needs to be submitted to Microsoft for malware analysis before it can be released. This needs to happen so that Windows Defender does not stop you from downloading and running the installer. Microsoft can take up to 48 hours to analyze a file, and I only had about 8 before launch. I got lucky, the VEGA Patch launcher was cleared, and the updater was also cleared just in time for launch. So, I just released an old installer and had users update it to the latest version. 

Launch day went as smooth as it could have considering the rush to finish in time but, there was one major issue that I need to talk about. There was a Windows Corruption bug, this is any software developer's worst nightmare. To my knowledge it only affected two people, and both were able to easily restore their computers with the steps I supplied here. This was caused by a crash that would occur when the user was using Revive (a compatibility layer that allows you to play Oculus store games on Steam VR). This happened because VEGA Patch needs to replace some driver configuration files but it should always put restore them when you close the game. When it crashed, it did not put restore them. I fixed the issue on launch day and forced updates to all users. 

On January 9th the update server crashed causing the VEGA Patch launcher to request permission to update and sometimes even saying that update was required. This prevented people from opening the game. This happened because with the influx of users from the Echo Games Discord server announcement I exceeded a bandwidth limit on my hosting provider. This was due to a misconfiguration with how users from regions outside of the US are handled. The issue has been resolved and the server is back online.

I have released a few updates in the last couple weeks for VEGA Patch that addressed issues that people are having. I do not plan to stop updating VEGA Patch with bug fixes so if you find a bug, please report it to me Aldin101#0001 on Discord. In the next update (1.1.2) I will implement fixes for the black gradient bug on Oculus Link and the installer not being deleted after an update. I will also change how update checking works so that I can take down the update server without needing to offline the entire website (this is in response to the recent server outage).

Thank you all for the support on this project, if you have any questions, concerns, bug reports, comments do not hesitate to reach out to me Aldin101#0001 on Discord. It has been a blast to work on finishing a game that I love and hearing all the kind words from the community.