Give the gift of fun

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Are you wondering what to give that special someone in Second Life? Why not give the gift of fun? A game from Procyon will provide hours of entertainment, as well as give you more reasons to spend time together.

Do you know someone who grumps, "There's nothing to do in Second Life anymore"? Are your friends' inventories full of clothes they never wear? Imagine their surprise when they receive a complex, fully scripted game that will be fun to play with for years to come.

All Procyon games are now available as Gift Certificates. The Gift Certificate is transferable; simply give it to your recipient, and when they rez it it will register their license as well as send them a complete package. So which will it be? The award-winning Danger Zone? The ever-popular En Garde? Or our latest creation Can't Stop?

Visit the new Gift Certificate vendor at Procyon Games

En Garde v1.13 Update

Sunday, November 23, 2008

En Garde v1.13 is now available!

This version contains many fixes in many different parts of the game and support items. I recommend that you get a whole new box. Come to Procyon Games and touch the En Garde vendor there. It will give you a complete new setup. Derez your existing game and delete any En Garde items you have in your inventory, then rez your new copies.

New in this release:

  • MONO. All scripts have been recompiled in the new Mono runtime. This should not change how anything works, and I have done some testing and it all seems ok. But it is a big change "under the hood", and if you notice any new bugs please report them.
    The Mono recompilation should make everything faster, and it should eliminate the problem where the game and/or HUD would run out of memory (giving "Stack/ Heap collision error")

  • CARDS TEMPLATE. A texture is included in the box to help you make your own custom HUD display for the player cards.

  • The status display in the HUD has a darker background for easier visibility

  • To set your team name, you need to use your remote (the button has been moved off the game itself)

  • The remote control properly handles upper-case commands

  • Debit permission requests have changed. If you have a Commercial License, the game will now only ask you for Debit Permission when you take the game out of Free Play mode. You can turn Free Play on and off with a button on the game menu itself.

  • The Team Signup script now uses the team name in the dialog (it asks, "Do you want to join Rifkin's Rapiers" instead of "Do you want to join Rifkin Habsburg's team")

  • In certain rare circumstances, a round would continue even after the deck had run out of cards. This has been fixed.

Charge for Traffic

Saturday, November 22, 2008

There's a lot of talk these days about what to do with the bot problem. Estimates for how much of Second Life's population is made up of robot accounts range from 10-50%.

Broadly speaking, bots can be classified into two main groups. There's the "traffic bots," which are robots placed in a parcel by the parcel owner as a means to boost the traffic score for that parcel. A sub-variant of the traffic bots are the camping bots, which seek out camping chairs that have been placed to attract traffic by paying out miniscule amounts of money.

The other kind of bot is "everything else." These include models used for demonstrating clothing for sale, group bots that automate the group joining process, and scanners and such that enable data collection for people looking to monitor trends across the entire grid.

It's really only the traffic bots that upset people. Because the traffic bots are good for only one thing -- boosting traffic -- and the more of them you have, the better they are. Bots that actually perform some useful service, tend to stay out of your way while they go about their business. So when people say, "let's get rid of the bots," what they really mean is, they want to get rid of the traffic bots. If the traffic bots all went away, and the "other" bots stayed, I don't think anyone would be complaining. It's the traffic bots that consume resources, warp traffic figures, and confuse people when they make worthless spaces seem popular.

People have proposed many solutions for getting rid of bots. These include: forcing bots to identify themselves to the Linden Lab server, eliminating the free accounts bots use, and eliminating the concept of traffic altogether.

I have another solution. I think Linden Lab should charge for traffic.

Traffic is a measure of how many resources you, the land owner, are consuming. If I run a website, I'm generally charged for the bandwidth I consume. If I have a popular website that gets a lot of hits, it pulls more bandwidth and my provider charges me more, accordingly. So I think Linden Lab should charge people for traffic. It seems fair.

Of course, they'll have to lower tier to compensate. Let's say they cut everyone's tier in half, and then charge additional fees for traffic to compensate. For a small homeowner who doesn't get any traffic to his home parcel, his overall fees to Linden Lab would drop. In fact, I suspect most people's fees would drop.

The exception would be large clubs, and busy, successful stores. They would likely pay more per month than they are paying now. But supposedly those venues are making money, and can support higher fees.

There would be some uncertainty involved. The amount you pay Linden Lab would change each month depending on how busy you were. I don't think that's a huge obstacle. Most people keep a large enough cushion of money in their account.

The big losers would be bot farms. Anyone who is placing 40 bots over their parcel would see their traffic payments skyrocket. It would be like saying, "Here, Lindens, take my money." I think this would kill traffic bots faster than any other suggestion.

Congratulations to Can't Stop Winners

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Can't Stop Premiere Event was a great success. We had four tables running simultaneously, for two hours. And, it was my first time DJ'ing! Thanks to everyone who said I have a great voice. Everything ran pretty smoothly. The only real glitch was when I forgot to reset all the scoreboards at the same time, so only one board was showing the correct results. But that just gave me more chances to announce the running scores to everyone.
It was a very close event, with the lead changing off several times over the course of the event. In the end, our final winners were Aries Oh, Eoland Elvehjem, Ingeborg Apfelbaum, Samantha Poindexter, and Seth Troell. They each won their own Personal copy of the new game. Congratulations!

Can't Stop Goes On Sale This Saturday Nov 15

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Procyon Games is pleased to announce the arrival of its latest game: Can't Stop. Can't Stop is one of the most popular games designed by the great American game designer Sid Sackson. It works for 2-4 players and is loads of fun. Just try it once and soon you won't be able to stop! (ok, I couldn't resist one bad pun).

I've made a tutorial that explains the game and how to play it in Second Life.

So watch the video, learn to play, and come to the party! For an Opening Day Special you can purchase the game at half off! Normally L$1999 for a Personal Edition, on Grand Opening Day you can buy it for just $999 (Commercial Edition $1499).

There will be a tournament as well. The game uses a ranking system similar to my other games. The top five players of the day will each win their own free copy of the game!

Once again, the party starts Saturday November 15, 1PM SLT
Procyon Games