Ordinal's Suicide

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ordinal Malaprop has left Second Life, derezzing her entire presence on the grid.

For those who don't know her, she was known for Ordinal Enterprises, a purveyor of whimsical steampunk-ish scripted items. Ordinal was one of the first creators whose products had a definite style—a personal mode of execution such that when you looked at it you knew, "Oh, this is something Ordinal would make." She called it a narrative. Unlike the thousands of cookie-cutter clothing and skin shops, Ordinal was unique.

It was for that reason that I asked for her help when I created En Garde. Ordinal made the very first custom for-sale En Garde weapon, the Galvanic Swordstick. There's a vendor for it at the En Garde Arena [SLURL]. With the rest of Ordinal's shops gone, it might be the last place on the grid where you can buy an Ordinal Enterprises product.

Why did she leave? The proverbial straw seems to have been a permissions problem. I've been there. Managing permissions of products for sale is a nightmare for anyone trying to sell something in Second Life. Especially for a complex item like a game (Danger Zone, for example) which rezzes an object (the game platform you stand on), which in turn rezzes another item (the explosives), which contains several scripts. Now if you need to edit the script, you have to take the entire thing apart, make your change, then put the script back in the bomb back into the platform back into the game. There's no other way to do it. And if you get the permissions wrong on any of those items, your whole object becomes un-sellable.

Linden Lab did install a new feature in their viewer, a "bulk permission change" function, but it quickly broke; it was discovered that someone using it could easily and accidentally sell full-perm versions of their stuff. So now the official recommendation is to use the bulk changer if you want, but be sure to check everything before you put it up for sale. In other words, you still have to unpack and repack everything.

And this is just one example. Permissions problems are just one of the hassles SL creators have to deal with. Linden Lab gets a lot of flak for having designed a viewer with a UI so awful that only 1% of the people who try it stay more than 10 minutes. But, however bad the viewer is for users, it's even worse for creators. Second Life is the worst environment for development I've ever experienced. Trying to build and sell items in SL is like repeatedly jamming meat thermometers in your ears. It's just so painful.

Here's a comment from Cubey Terra: "I have many times felt [similar feelings] myself and have come within moments of wiping everything and walking away." I've felt those feelings myself. I'm sure every SL creator has, as well.

Suicide is a form of violence. Instead of killing someone else, you kill yourself. Violence is born of anger and frustration. As Shakespeare put it,

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

The slings and arrows of Second Life have claimed another victim. Ordinal was not the first SL suicide, and she won't be the last. She will be missed.

En Garde World Open

Friday, January 8, 2010

Nonsmokergirl Tulip and Fruitcake Altstatter are hosting the En Garde World Open tournament. Here is the tournament info:

Tournament Begins January 13th 6 AM
Tournament Ends January 27th 6 AM

Prizes (guaranteed minimums):
  • 1st Place 1500
  • 2nd Place 1000
  • 3rd Place 500
  • 4th place 250
The entry fee is 100 L. Pay the entry board here [SLURL]

  • You can play any player in SL...regardless of whether they have entered the tournament or not. All your games count!
  • You can play ANY player ANY number of times. All your games count!
  • You can play on ANY En Garde Platform ANYWHERE in SL! All your games count!
  • To Win prizes, you must have entered the tournament. Non-entrants will appear on the scoreboard, of course...but they won't win any lindens! Also, they will be considered decidedly uncool.
  • The Tournament Ranking system will be The SL world ranking system. If you want to check your ranking quickly, just hop on any En Garde Platform., and you will see your up-to-date rank.
  • To Win, you must enter the tournament. The highest ranked tournament entrants will win 1st , 2nd , 3rd place and 4th place.
  • In the event of SL weirdness (such as rolling restarts, or system-wide problems) the organizers will improvise to do their best to ensure accomodate En Garde Players

Can't Stop Player History

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I've added player histories for Can't Stop to the web site.

It works similarly to the En Garde player history. Go to the player section of the Procyon web site (you are registered, right?), and select Can't Stop from the list on the left. It will show you every Can't Stop game you've played in the past two weeks.

There's also a space for you to enter the name of another player. Doing so will give you a list of every Can't Stop game where the two of you played, so you can see your record in games against that person.

While I was doing this I found a more efficient way of generating the player histories, and patched it in to the En Garde history. It should give you the same results as before, it's just less stressful on my server. If you notice anything different let me know.

Can't Stop Tournament at HoD

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Starting January 24th, there will be a Can't Stop tournament at Heart of Dragons every third Sunday.

Sign Up
Each tournament will have maximum 16 players.
Registration will start 1 week before each tournament.
Entry fee is L$100, of which all goes back to winner.
The sign-up board will be placed here: [SLURL]

The tournament will have 3 initial rounds, where you play different players, according to a random draw. (Unless there are too few players, you will only play another player once.) The sum of scores from these three games will be used to rank the players.

The four best players will meet in a final game, to determine the tournament winner. Winner will receive entire prize pot and a trophy.

Season Final
The eight best players of the season will be invited to play a super final.

The finalists are selected based on all participants' scores from the 3 initial rounds in each of the 8 tournaments in the season. (I.e. final rounds will not count.) A player's score from each tournament will be summed up. If a player has played more than 4 tournaments, only the best four will count.

These 8 players will play a tournament similar to the normal tournaments - 3 initial rounds with random draw - and the 4 best will meet in a final game to determine season champion.

The accumulated scores will be published on a webpage.

Games will be played at these locations:

Complete Local Rankings

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Game owners can now see a complete list of the local rankings for their games on the Procyon web site. You have to have your avatar registered with the site like the other owner-access-only areas.

The numbers are the same as displayed on the scoreboards in-world, if you have them set to Local mode. The only difference is you get a complete ranking, as opposed to the top eight or so that the in-world scoreboards show.

How should we celebrate...?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I keep track of every game of En Garde played, in a database on the Procyon server. It's used mainly to compute the rankings, but I can also scan the records to check trends and statistics. And of course, I have a count of every game played.

I believe sometime in the next few months, someone will play the 100,000th game of En Garde in Second Life. That's quite an accomplishment! So I've been thinking, how should we celebrate the event?

I'm taking suggestions from the En Garde community at large. How do you think I should mark the occasion? If you have a suggestion, post a comment here in this thread.