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Official Our Initial Release and Moving Forward

Erferno

Owner
Staff
Hello everyone!

As most of you know, some of our update plans did not necessarily go as well as we planned. This was due to several variables, although most of it was inevitably our fault, and we will be taking accountability for it. We've honestly kept all of you in the dark for quite some time, so we understand how you all feel. Below, I'll be attempting to give everyone a bit more information, why our update failed, and what we plan to do within the near future about it. Some of you may know bits and pieces of it, but certainly not the entire picture.

The Conception and Details About The Merge
Since November of 2020, the monthly cost of running Tapple became greater than the monthly income we received from the store. This was due to a general lack of initiative and continued complacency from our entire staff team (and I will admit especially from myself), leaving the server considerably deserted for the last two months for the final quarter of 2020.

In late December 2020, TapL and I (Erferno) had a serious discussion about the state of our server and potentially shutting the server down for good. After some time, we decided to give it one final chance, and TapL put in a $3,000 investment. As we explored our immediate options, we could realistically do nothing to bring Tapple out of the rather deep hole that it had dug itself in any time soon due to our available finances and the size of our staff team. $3,000 may seem like a lot for some people, and if we could, we would love to provide you a spreadsheet

Although, we still went forward. And miraculously, since we planned to have something parkour-related as our next gamemode, I soon came in contact with SethPRG, who was the owner of Omega Parkour back then. Omega Parkour was an amazing server with experienced parkour players that wanted to expand beyond their bounds and spread parkour to the furthest extent that it could reach, even for players who aren't the greatest at parkour. We shared similar visions and values about Minecraft servers, and after many extensive and tiring discussions between our two teams, we decided to merge. This interaction lifted a massive weight off both teams, and our plans became greater than ever before. I'm sure it elevated a new level of excitement in the hearts of everyone who was initially involved in the project. To this very day, none of us regret the decision to merge our servers as it has provided us new experiences and opportunities.

Why Our Update Failed
The following points somewhat tie into each other, but they have been distinctly separated for easier readability.

Finances
As we thought we could do bigger things with our expanded staff team, we had to have some sort of backbone to support it. Since we had gotten this far, I decided to take $6,000 out of my own savings and put it towards the server. After later calculations, the combined investments could only support immediate costs and freelance work (meaning that all developer and builder work within our team could not be compensated until we made the money back).

I don't consider Tapple to be a "money-making server," and I will never want to consider it that way. Even though we require funding to run the server, the entirety of our Administration Team values that we never resort to terrible monetization methods that take advantage of younger players or monetize anything that is not supposed to be monetized. I also hate seeing people thinking that money grows on trees for Tapple. TapL has not since invested any money into the server, but it is an outrageous expectation to have TapL pay for something he may think is too risky or just doesn't want to pay for (regardless of his income). How the server has run in the past and how we will continue to expect it to run for a while when we can again is that all proceeds earned from Tapple go straight to the developers and builders for future updates. The owners have not even received a penny from the server.

That being said, it so excruciatingly pained me that I could not pay my staff members the money they so deserved. The Tapple staff team is filled with extremely talented individuals, some of which could most definitely take their talents to more professional and comfortable environments. I am extremely grateful for their presence in the team, and some of them have absolutely worked their asses off. For the 2 weeks leading up to our release two days ago, some Developers and Builders would work on the server when they woke up until they went to sleep. A work schedule that is undeniably very unhealthy and inhumane. Human labor is precious, and it hurt me to see all of these people subjected to "volunteer work" from their sheer desire to contribute and work for the sake of the server. All successful things have to start somewhere (like an investment or volunteer work), but we shouldn't hold organizations to these standards, especially smaller ones, if possible.

Lack of Motivation & Overestimation of Abilities
While working on our brand new update, we completely neglected Tapple and Omega Parkour's live servers. The update technically was not an "update" either, as nearly all of our (global) code, builds, and other things were completely new, all worked on spanning 6 entire months, from the beginning of January to June.

This was an extremely large-scale update—something in which I overestimated to take us until April (only 4 months of working). This overestimation of mine proved to be a fatal mistake. Having a project so large, over such a long time span, with zero compensation for individuals part of the team was a guaranteed disaster from the get-go. A decision that led the update process even become inactive for short periods of time. The only incentive for our staff members was purely because they wanted to see the server come alive and be a part of the project. The average age for our staff team is 16-17, many of whom had other obligations with school, external activities, or inherently did not care enough to contribute. Expecting that all of these people stay motivated for the entire process of 6 months is irrational. Even though it is quite unfortunate, I don't hold these individuals accountable as people should understand that there is a reason for everything. It often felt as if we were constantly working towards nothing; a mere hypothetical. It was only when we came in sight of the end of the tunnel that we began to overdrive and start working hard, but what came from that was the unhealthy working schedules.

The reason why we set an initial release date in place was so that our staff members could finally see where the project was going and what could come of it. The immature decision primarily pushed by me was way too optimistic, and a fundamental issue was deeply rooted within our efficiency, leading to the next point.

Failure to Account for Workflow Changes
When the team came together, ideas also clashed, and after the painful process of coming to agreements about the ideas, our workflows clashed, something we had not realized would happen. People would work the way they were used to and rarely adjusted unless required.

While we should have properly addressed this, it never was. This was an awful blunder on behalf of our entire upper staff team, some of which I attribute to myself because of my inadvertent desire not to give Tapple a proper business/workflow structure. Minecraft servers should be a fun place, and I felt as if that aspect would ruin it for many younger people on our team. But after all of our plans and requirements that we had, not changing the way we worked together overall made us very work extremely inefficiently. Communication and work assignments became so isolated that it was difficult to integrate people who were avid and ready to contribute later in the process but could not because they weren't there from the start. There were very few people who were in the loop of absolutely everything. We could have spread the workload way more evenly and alleviated the burden that certain people were forced to bear since the entire process depended on them.

If we had fixed this issue from the start, we could have made the release date. It's probably the most regretful "what if" of ours. After our new plans moving forward are introduced, it is a top priority of ours to resolve.

Community Response and Pressure
With our inefficiency causing us problems and things gradually pushing further and further back, we had to delay the release, twice. Each delay built up more community frustration, with such little information displayed in our teasers. On the surface, without any extra information, it definitely seemed like we were unprepared, unprofessional, and incapable. To many of us, although some suggested a third delay, it was pathetic to us to reduce ourselves to that embarrassment.

There has been a lot of community misinformation and uneasiness—a lot of hate, criticism, and disappointment. And we do not believe that it was unreasonable. We kept things in the dark to make things grander and "build up the hype," yet those efforts only set us up for an even more monumental failure. We hope you all can see this entire article as some sort of effort to connect with the community more and be a bit more transparent.

---------------

We aim to provide a server that our players can come to appreciate and enjoy. Yet, we clearly have not proved that. We have made an insurmountable amount of mistakes, made empty promises, and have not served to be the server we desire. We are not immune to criticism, and we truly hold ourselves accountable to them. It can be easy to identify one's faults, but we have yet to prove that we have the willpower and ability to overcome these faults.

However, Tapple is not a giant corporation. We are an organization made up of teenagers and young adults across the world. Regardless of how "talented" I paint some of our staff to be, there is a first time for everything for everyone. We can't be as professional or organized as a professional game studio. Learning from our mistakes is one of our most important values. There is not one person in our staff team with mal intent to go against our community. We would not make bad decisions on purpose to go against our community. We should be working together to achieve and improve our server as much as possible; we should not be at odds.

All I ask is that when any of you give us "constructive criticism," say it in a location that we can see it and use it wholeheartedly, instead of needless negativity. As much I tell the staff team not to look at or think much of negative community messages, they still inevitably see them, and they check for them in the first place because they care about the community's opinion. But this affects us. Every negative sentiment that we see contributes to our stress, our uneasiness, and our disappointment. If you don't think that most of our staff team was shattered at the result of what happened on Saturday, you would be wrong.

Thank you to those who have always supported us. I don't blame those who haven't been the nicest, and I know most people this applies to also care about the server, but you could definitely be a bit more aware and restructure a bit more of what you send out there. I would say that both the community and the staff team could be a bit more understanding of each other, and we are taking our first steps of doing so (but definitely not all the way there yet).

Moving Forward
While some of our plans are still finalizing, here is what we are going to be doing moving forward.

We will be keeping the server in maintenance indefinitely, meaning that we won't have any concrete release dates. In the meantime, we will be giving a long-overdue break to our Developers and Builders while also waiting on a hardware part that will increase our network bandwidth so our external connections can go unbothered. Once that's over, we will get back to fixing our bugs. No immediate new features or anything. Once we are ready (again, no concrete date), we will release both an Open Beta and a Closed Beta.

The Open Beta will contain our gamemodes that are fully prepared to go (but may see minor bugs here and there). This will be the tapple.world server that is public to everyone.

The Closed Beta will contain our gamemodes that we still need to stress test. This will be a separate IP closed for specific players. Our selection methods for this Closed Beta have yet to be fully decided, but if you are eligible, the server will not save stats or progress in the Closed Beta once fully tested and released to the live server.

More information about this will arrive in the near future. We will keep up the updates.

While everything can't be perfect and this entire situation has not been ideal, we are still here to make our server better and look forward to a better future. So please, I implore that you be cooperative and help us with this process. We all want the server to be as great as possible.

Other
- Since the Minecraft server is not open right now, players cannot verify their accounts in the Tapple Discord. For the time being, we have enabled #general to be accessible by everyone, even unverified members. When we come back, we also plan to make the linking process a bit more intuitive.
- The Omega Discord will now transform into a general parkour community Discord. While Tapple is still associated with it, it will not be a "Tapple server" Discord. It is there for people who are or want to get more involved with the parkour community.
- You can keep somewhat updated with our Trello development board. We won't update it as often as possible, but it is there for an extra tool for you guys and us.
- Players can respond or ask questions below this thread. As long as it's serious and a question that we can answer, I or another staff member will try to be as open and helpful as possible to give you and others reading as much information as possible.
 
Last edited:

Coolguy3289

New member
Glad to see this, and look forward to future updates, keep up the good work (This goes to everyone on the team)
 

BRCamy

New member
Honestly, it disgusts me how people are so annoyed about the release delays and server crashes. At the end of the day, you guys are providing a free service to us at the expense of a lot of money and time.

Thanks for all you're doing, and don't get too stressed about meeting deadlines and impressing the commmunity.

At the end of the day, it's just Minecraft lol
 

Nightslash

New member
Hello everyone!

As most of you know, some of our update plans did not necessarily go as well as we planned. This was due to several variables, although most of it was inevitably our fault, and we will be taking accountability for it. We've honestly kept all of you in the dark for quite some time, so we understand how you all feel. Below, I'll be attempting to give everyone a bit more information, why our update failed, and what we plan to do within the near future about it. Some of you may know bits and pieces of it, but certainly not the entire picture.

The Conception and Details About The Merge
Since November of 2020, the monthly cost of running Tapple became greater than the monthly income we received from the store. This was due to a general lack of initiative and continued complacency from our entire staff team (and I will admit especially from myself), leaving the server considerably deserted for the last two months for the final quarter of 2020.

In late December 2020, TapL and I (Erferno) had a serious discussion about the state of our server and potentially shutting the server down for good. After some time, we decided to give it one final chance, and TapL put in a $3,000 investment. As we explored our immediate options, we could realistically do nothing to bring Tapple out of the rather deep hole that it had dug itself in any time soon due to our available finances and the size of our staff team. $3,000 may seem like a lot for some people, and if we could, we would love to provide you a spreadsheet

Although, we still went forward. And miraculously, since we planned to have something parkour-related as our next gamemode, I soon came in contact with SethPRG, who was the owner of Omega Parkour back then. Omega Parkour was an amazing server with experienced parkour players that wanted to expand beyond their bounds and spread parkour to the furthest extent that it could reach, even for players who aren't the greatest at parkour. We shared similar visions and values about Minecraft servers, and after many extensive and tiring discussions between our two teams, we decided to merge. This interaction lifted a massive weight off both teams, and our plans became greater than ever before. I'm sure it elevated a new level of excitement in the hearts of everyone who was initially involved in the project. To this very day, none of us regret the decision to merge our servers as it has provided us new experiences and opportunities.

Why Our Update Failed
The following points somewhat tie into each other, but they have been distinctly separated for easier readability.

Finances
As we thought we could do bigger things with our expanded staff team, we had to have some sort of backbone to support it. Since we had gotten this far, I decided to take $6,000 out of my own savings and put it towards the server. After later calculations, the combined investments could only support immediate costs and freelance work (meaning that all developer and builder work within our team could not be compensated until we made the money back).

I don't consider Tapple to be a "money-making server," and I will never want to consider it that way. Even though we require funding to run the server, the entirety of our Administration Team values that we never resort to terrible monetization methods that take advantage of younger players or monetize anything that is not supposed to be monetized. I also hate seeing people thinking that money grows on trees for Tapple. TapL has not since invested any money into the server, but it is an outrageous expectation to have TapL pay for something he may think is too risky or just doesn't want to pay for (regardless of his income). How the server has run in the past and how we will continue to expect it to run for a while when we can again is that all proceeds earned from Tapple go straight to the developers and builders for future updates. The owners have not even received a penny from the server.

That being said, it so excruciatingly pained me that I could not pay my staff members the money they so deserved. The Tapple staff team is filled with extremely talented individuals, some of which could most definitely take their talents to more professional and comfortable environments. I am extremely grateful for their presence in the team, and some of them have absolutely worked their asses off. For the 2 weeks leading up to our release two days ago, some Developers and Builders would work on the server when they woke up until they went to sleep. A work schedule that is undeniably very unhealthy and inhumane. Human labor is precious, and it hurt me to see all of these people subjected to "volunteer work" from their sheer desire to contribute and work for the sake of the server. All successful things have to start somewhere (like an investment or volunteer work), but we shouldn't hold organizations to these standards, especially smaller ones, if possible.

Lack of Motivation & Overestimation of Abilities
While working on our brand new update, we completely neglected Tapple and Omega Parkour's live servers. The update technically was not an "update" either, as nearly all of our (global) code, builds, and other things were completely new, all worked on spanning 6 entire months, from the beginning of January to June.

This was an extremely large-scale update—something in which I overestimated to take us until April (only 4 months of working). This overestimation of mine proved to be a fatal mistake. Having a project so large, over such a long time span, with zero compensation for individuals part of the team was a guaranteed disaster from the get-go. A decision that led the update process even become inactive for short periods of time. The only incentive for our staff members was purely because they wanted to see the server come alive and be a part of the project. The average age for our staff team is 16-17, many of whom had other obligations with school, external activities, or inherently did not care enough to contribute. Expecting that all of these people stay motivated for the entire process of 6 months is irrational. Even though it is quite unfortunate, I don't hold these individuals accountable as people should understand that there is a reason for everything. It often felt as if we were constantly working towards nothing; a mere hypothetical. It was only when we came in sight of the end of the tunnel that we began to overdrive and start working hard, but what came from that was the unhealthy working schedules.

The reason why we set an initial release date in place was so that our staff members could finally see where the project was going and what could come of it. The immature decision primarily pushed by me was way too optimistic, and a fundamental issue was deeply rooted within our efficiency, leading to the next point.

Failure to Account for Workflow Changes
When the team came together, ideas also clashed, and after the painful process of coming to agreements about the ideas, our workflows clashed, something we had not realized would happen. People would work the way they were used to and rarely adjusted unless required.

While we should have properly addressed this, it never was. This was an awful blunder on behalf of our entire upper staff team, some of which I attribute to myself because of my inadvertent desire not to give Tapple a proper business/workflow structure. Minecraft servers should be a fun place, and I felt as if that aspect would ruin it for many younger people on our team. But after all of our plans and requirements that we had, not changing the way we worked together overall made us very work extremely inefficiently. Communication and work assignments became so isolated that it was difficult to integrate people who were avid and ready to contribute later in the process but could not because they weren't there from the start. There were very few people who were in the loop of absolutely everything. We could have spread the workload way more evenly and alleviated the burden that certain people were forced to bear since the entire process depended on them.

If we had fixed this issue from the start, we could have made the release date. It's probably the most regretful "what if" of ours. After our new plans moving forward are introduced, it is a top priority of ours to resolve.

Community Response and Pressure
With our inefficiency causing us problems and things gradually pushing further and further back, we had to delay the release, twice. Each delay built up more community frustration, with such little information displayed in our teasers. On the surface, without any extra information, it definitely seemed like we were unprepared, unprofessional, and incapable. To many of us, although some suggested a third delay, it was pathetic to us to reduce ourselves to that embarrassment.

There has been a lot of community misinformation and uneasiness—a lot of hate, criticism, and disappointment. And we do not believe that it was unreasonable. We kept things in the dark to make things grander and "build up the hype," yet those efforts only set us up for an even more monumental failure. We hope you all can see this entire article as some sort of effort to connect with the community more and be a bit more transparent.

---------------

We aim to provide a server that our players can come to appreciate and enjoy. Yet, we clearly have not proved that. We have made an insurmountable amount of mistakes, made empty promises, and have not served to be the server we desire. We are not immune to criticism, and we truly hold ourselves accountable to them. It can be easy to identify one's faults, but we have yet to prove that we have the willpower and ability to overcome these faults.

However, Tapple is not a giant corporation. We are an organization made up of teenagers and young adults across the world. Regardless of how "talented" I paint some of our staff to be, there is a first time for everything for everyone. We can't be as professional or organized as a professional game studio. Learning from our mistakes is one of our most important values. There is not one person in our staff team with mal intent to go against our community. We would not make bad decisions on purpose to go against our community. We should be working together to achieve and improve our server as much as possible; we should not be at odds.

All I ask is that when any of you give us "constructive criticism," say it in a location that we can see it and use it wholeheartedly, instead of needless negativity. As much I tell the staff team not to look at or think much of negative community messages, they still inevitably see them, and they check for them in the first place because they care about the community's opinion. But this affects us. Every negative sentiment that we see contributes to our stress, our uneasiness, and our disappointment. If you don't think that most of our staff team was shattered at the result of what happened on Saturday, you would be wrong.

Thank you to those who have always supported us. I don't blame those who haven't been the nicest, and I know most people this applies to also care about the server, but you could definitely be a bit more aware and restructure a bit more of what you send out there. I would say that both the community and the staff team could be a bit more understanding of each other, and we are taking our first steps of doing so (but definitely not all the way there yet).

Moving Forward
While some of our plans are still finalizing, here is what we are going to be doing moving forward.

We will be keeping the server in maintenance indefinitely, meaning that we won't have any concrete release dates. In the meantime, we will be giving a long-overdue break to our Developers and Builders while also waiting on a hardware part that will increase our network bandwidth so our external connections can go unbothered. Once that's over, we will get back to fixing our bugs. No immediate new features or anything. Once we are ready (again, no concrete date), we will release both an Open Beta and a Closed Beta.

The Open Beta will contain our gamemodes that are fully prepared to go (but may see minor bugs here and there). This will be the tapple.world server that is public to everyone.

The Closed Beta will contain our gamemodes that we still need to stress test. This will be a separate IP closed for specific players. Our selection methods for this Closed Beta have yet to be fully decided, but if you are eligible, the server will not save stats or progress in the Closed Beta once fully tested and released to the live server.

More information about this will arrive in the near future. We will keep up the updates.

While everything can't be perfect and this entire situation has not been ideal, we are still here to make our server better and look forward to a better future. So please, I implore that you be cooperative and help us with this process. We all want the server to be as great as possible.

Other
- Since the Minecraft server is not open right now, players cannot verify their accounts in the Tapple Discord. For the time being, we have enabled #general to be accessible by everyone, even unverified members. When we come back, we also plan to make the linking process a bit more intuitive.
- The Omega Discord will now transform into a general parkour community Discord. While Tapple is still associated with it, it will not be a "Tapple server" Discord. It is there for people who are or want to get more involved with the parkour community.
- You can keep somewhat updated with our Trello development board. We won't update it as often as possible, but it is there for an extra tool for you guys and us.
- Players can respond or ask questions below this thread. As long as it's serious and a question that we can answer, I or another staff member will try to be as open and helpful as possible to give you and others reading as much information as possible.
thanks for the update
 

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