Checkers update

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I've updated my Checkers set.

The old set had you move pieces by physically dragging them across the board. It was a nice idea, but dragging things in SL is tricky at best. This new version lets you click on a piece, and then click on where you want it to go. It works a lot better.

The Checkers Set is still just one prim when not in use (during a game it rezzes 32 pieces). It automatically cleans up when nobody is around.

All services down [UPDATE: all better]

Monday, April 28, 2008

[UPDATE 3:35 PDT] I think I've fixed what was broken, and things seem to be back to normal now. Sorry for the downtime. I have slightly more sympathy for Linden Lab now.

Sorry folks, I messed things up big time.

All Procyon web services are down for until further notice. This means no scores are being recorded for any games, the TIE Challenge is not working, and FollowMe is not working either.

I'll try to have things back up as soon as I can, but it's not looking too good at the moment.

Scoring glitch

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I've been working on the world ranking scoring these past couple days. I'm not changing in any way the math behind how the rankings are calculated -- I'm pretty happy with that. I'm just trying to optimize a few things, and make it less stressful on my server to calculate rankings on all those games you people have been playing.

You may have seen a few glitches as scores go up and down, but rest assured that nothing is permanently lost. I can always recalculate the rankings from scratch (and I've done that several times these past two days). The scores look correct right now, but I will continue to watch them as I debug the system.

Follow Me v1.8

Friday, April 25, 2008

A new version 1.8 of Follow Me is available!

New Features:

  • Links decay after 3 hours. This will mainly help my server keep up with the load. If you're linked with someone, and they don't move for 3 hours, they will automatically unlink. Just stand next to them to automatically relink to them.

  • On/Off switch. Click the green ball and you can turn it on and off.

  • Give Gift. Lets you easily give copies to your friends without taking it off.

To upgrade, just visit Procyon Games and click on the Follow Me vendor.

Take it Easy Challenge Available now

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Take it Easy Solo Challenge is now available for purchase. Your Challenge unit will be automatically networked with every other unit on the grid. Anyone can match wits to try and find the best arrangement of tiles on the board. Whenever you play, you're playing against everyone else in Second Life!

It costs L$50 to play, and the money is all collected into one global jackpot. When the Challenge ends, whoever has the high score wins the pot.

Here's the best news: If someone wins the Jackpot and they played on your machine, you get a 10% commission. So if someone wins $500 at your place, you get $50. Sweet! Just rez it, leave it alone, and it will make money for you.

I'm selling the Challenge units for just L$10. Heck, I'm practically giving them away! Pick up one for your place today!

En Garde update v1.12

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

En Garde 1.12 is now available!

This version fixes two bugs which affect game play. All you need is a new game unit, which comes with new HUDs. You must use the new HUDs with the new game.

Release Notes:

There is a new HUD accompanying this game, and players must upgrade to the new HUD to play.

FIXED: Timer race condition. If timers were enabled, and a player executed an action right as time expired, sometimes both the action and the "time expired" happened. This could result in the player moving at the start of the next round, or even an extra point awarded at the end of the game.

FIXED: Last card drawn and Last-Second Attacks. When calculating which cards to use for the Last-Second Attack at the end of the round, the game did not take into account the last card that you drew from the deck to replenish your hand. This is fixed, so it is possible to draw the card you need to make your LSA. Note, this is the way the game was "supposed" to work, the previous behavior was a bug.

Try the Take it Easy Challenge

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Take it Easy Challenge is now in beta test. If you've never played the earlier "Zingo Challenge" this is a chance to flex your mental muscle against all comers.

In the Challenge, you get the same tiles every time you play. Everybody gets the same tiles, in the same order. There's nothing random about it. Whoever can order the tiles best before the Challenge ends, wins the jackpot.

That's right, you can win money. It costs $50 to play, and all that money gets put in one world-wide jackpot. Whoever is the best, wins the pot.

You never know when the Challenge is going to end. So give it a try! Right now there are four locations where you can play TIE Challenge:

Play the game and let me know what you think. I need your feedback!

Take it Easy Multiplayer 2.08

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've released a new version of Take it Easy Multiplayer. This just has a couple cosmetic changes and is not a required update:

  • In Puzzle mode, player's boards are not shown until the very end of the game.

  • The HUD will now give you a "Ten Second" warning when time is about to expire.

Gossip Girl ad

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm putting this here because Gossip Girl has a not insignificant presence in Second Life (see their sims here). I don't watch the show, but I must admit their new real-life ad campaign is very eye-catching.

Zingo is now Take it Easy

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I've released a major update to Zingo, renaming it to Take it Easy.

I liked the name Zingo, but so did someone else. When I first made the game, someone else made a game and called it Zyngo, and it's lead to no small amount of confusion. So I've changed the name to Take it Easy, which is the name of the original game it's based off of.

At the same time, I've completely reworked all the scripting. The new game is much more efficient, in both script time and prim counts. The interface is less confusing, and I've split the game up into different editions. The Head-to-Head Edition is a table format, allowing two players to sit across from each other as they play. The Multiplayer Edition gives each player a HUD, so you can have as many people playing as you can fit in your sim!

Plus, I've added Puzzle Mode, which gives a completely different feel to the game. Instead of one at a time, players get all the tiles at once, and try to find the best arrangement within the time limit. I've had a lot of positive response to this in playtesting.

You can try the game out at Club Zed, and purchase it at my workshop.

New Frootcake 1.12

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I've released a bugfix for Frootcake, now at version 1.12. This fixes a money problem where the game would pay people even when in Free Play mode. Sorry about that. This doesn't affect you if you have the Personal, free-play-only license. If you have the Commercial license but you set the game to Free Play, you will want to get this update.

To upgrade your Frootcake, just delete your old game, and use your remote to deliver the latest version.

Count the bots

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Traffic bots are a problem in Second Life that many people are talking about but nobody has really done anything about. One problem is it's hard to estimate exactly how big the problem is.

There are two big classes of bots. One, shown above, is a traffic bot. It's designed just to game the traffic statistics. You can put 30 or 40 of these 500m above your shop, and bam! you've got great traffic! Linden Lab now claims that traffic doesn't affect the new search rankings as much as it used to, so tactics like this aren't worth very much. But the traffic rankings still exist in the old search results, and they do have some effect in the new, so many people still resort to tricks like this.

Another bot is the camping bot. These exist to fill camping chairs. One person can run 30 bots on one machine, and camp in 30 locations at once, collecting 30 times as much money as a mere human. Again, camping is related to traffic, and for the same reasons above shouldn't be such a big deal -- but camping chairs still exist, and thus so do the bots.

User concurrency has been hovering around 65k these days, and that seems to be a hard limit. Any more users and the asset server collapses and transactions fail. So the real question is, how many of those users are bots, taking up resources the real people might otherwise have?

I have an idea for an experiment. Let's leave Second Life running, but close logins for an extended time -- say, twelve hours or so. Also, let's make it so that any time you try to teleport, you get logged out. After a while, all the real users will leave the grid, and the only accounts left will be avatars who just sit there, doing nothing at all. In other words, the bots.

Nobody would seriously suggest doing this experiment intentionally, but today it looks like Linden Lab has done it for me. Here's a chart of logins over the past 24 hours, courtesy of Tatuero Nino:

It looks like there's about ten thousand bots on the grid, give or take a few.