Website Redelivery

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I've added a redelivery option to the Procyon Games website. If you are a Procyon game owner, you can get a new copy of the game redelivered to you any time from the website. You don't even have to be logged in to Second Life.

All the previous methods of redelivery are still there. You can get a new copy of the game by touching any vendor in-world, or by using the remote control that came with your game ("/8 deliver game"). The website function is just another convenience.

To access it, go to the main Customer page. In your License section you should see Redeliver links for each game license you own. If you don't see the links, hover your mouse over the game you want to redeliver.

Display Names and You

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Linden Lab is rolling out its Display Names feature, which, if you haven't heard by now, allows anyone to change the name that appears in their tag and chat.

The scoreboards I use for my games display players' names as textures, and it's too expensive to change them to match people's Display Names. Plus, it would make tracking high scores difficult. So here is how it's going to work.

The scoreboards will track your Full Name, not your Display Name. For existing players ("oldbies"), your Full Name is the same Avatar name you're used to. For new accounts, their Full Name is their account name, plus "Resident." However, the scoreboards won't show the "Resident" surname, so they will effectively show the Account Name.

So, if you are an existing player, nothing will change. Your name as it is displayed on scoreboards will not change.

If you are a new resident, then the scoreboards will show your Account name.

For all avatars, if you change your Display Name, it will have no effect on the name that is displayed on the scoreboards. That might be a little confusing, if your name shows as one thing in chat and another on the score display. So a little heads-up for everyone.

See who's playing your games

Friday, October 22, 2010

Game owners can now view a list of recent (past 2 weeks) games played on the games they have rezzed in-world. Click on the "Local Games" link in the Customer section of the web site.

Take it Easy Head-to-Head v2.14

Monday, October 18, 2010

I've posted an update to the Take it Easy Head-to-Head edition.

  • Tile textures are pre-loaded, so you won't have to wait for textures to rez in the middle of a game.
  • The selection ring which marked the current tile is gone. Instead, the current tile will blink and pulse.
  • The game is mod-ok
To upgrade, visit my store and touch the Take it Easy vendor. It will give you a new copy of the game.

Team Captains Listing

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Team Captain names are now listed in the team rankings for En Garde and Can't Stop.

Remember, if you are a team Captain and you don't want your name listed, you can set yourself anonymous in the customer Account Settings page.

Customers can now set Anonymous

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In preparation for the Team Leader display, I have added an Anonymous setting for Procyon game owner accounts. If you own a game, you can go to the Customer section and tick the check box for "Anonymous Leader". If you don't do that, then your name will appear as Team Captain in the Team Ranking listings.

Nobody's name is appearing yet. I haven't enabled the Team Captain display. I'll give everyone a few days to set themselves anonymous if they want before doing so.

Team Captains and Privacy

Saturday, September 25, 2010

There have been some requests to add the Team Captain names on the Team Rank display page. Next to each team, you would see the name of the person who owns that team, the team captain.

Obviously, some people would not want their names displayed there. So I'll need to add another privacy option, one that would let you remain anonymous.

The question is, should the name display be opt-out or opt-in?

If it's opt-out, then all team captains' names would be displayed by default. You would have to check the box in your account options to enable privacy.

If it's opt-in, then nobody's name would show up by default. You would have to uncheck the "anonymous" option in your account settings.

What do you think should be the default? Post a comment to this blog entry to let me know (or email me).

Personally, I would prefer to make it opt-out. I'm afraid if it's opt-in then most people won't enable it. There's a lot of owners who don't even know this website exists. So the names would all be blank, and it wouldn't be much different from not having the name display at all.

Linden Dollar Strengthening

Saturday, September 11, 2010

For the first time in over three months, the Linden Dollar showed signs of strength, as the current offer price for sell orders ticked down one notch, from 266 to 265. This is the first real good news I've seen on the Second Life economy.

Ram Linden has posted an "Economic Spotlight" on June's Lindex meltdown. The official explanation is that when they merged people's XStreet and Second Life accounts, the extra Linden Dollars swamped the economy. Nobody seems to be especially convinced by that. I have my own suspicions, which I hope to be able to write up soon.

One other thing I'd like to comment on. In his blog post, Ram writes: "...we are committed to allowing the economy to fluctuate based on its own market forces." I'm sorry, but that's an outright lie. For almost four years, Linden Lab kept the price of the Linden Dollar artificially low, by selling massive quantities of their own currency on the Lindex through the Supply Linden account. The value never increased beyond L$259/US$. If the economy had truly been allowed to "fluctuate based on its own market forces," the L$ would be worth much more today, and content creators would have been compensated much more for their efforts. Instead, by artificially clamping down on the Second Life economy, Linden Lab was able to pad their income by millions of dollars a month.

License Info

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Customer Support page now lists all the licenses you own.

Every Premiere Line game is licensed to your avatar. This allows you to redeliver new copies any time you want, and makes upgrades easier. Occasionally people forget how many licenses they have. If you click on a vendor, it will tell you, but now you can also see all your licenses in one place.

Customer section rearranged

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I've moved a couple items on the website. The Team Roster and Local Scores pages which used to be in the Players section, have been moved to the Customers section.

Privacy mode

Sunday, August 29, 2010

One of the features of Procyon Games is the Recent Games listing. Every Premiere Line game like En Garde and Can't Stop shows a list of recent games on its web page. This is a great feature for new players, who often don't know anyone else who plays the game, and lets them find other players. It's also good for people like club owners, who use the games as a source of traffic. It can direct people straight to their land.

But some people don't want their location advertised and have asked for a privacy mode. So now I've added that. There is a new Customer section on the Procyon web site, which can be accessed if you own a Premier Line game. In that section you can enable Privacy Mode, which will hide your games from the Recent Games list. This hides games played on your set. Any game played on any game you own won't appear in the Recent Games. But if you play a game on someone else's set, that will show up (as long as they aren't set private too).

Lindex Statistics are back online

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's taken me two months, but I've finally got the Lindex Statistics back online. What happened? Linden Lab doesn't publish the Sell Offer volume numbers, at least not in an easy-to-download format like they do for some of the other economic statistics. The only way to get it is to scrape it off the website. A couple months ago they changed the way their website login works, and it took me a while to figure out how to deal with it. But it seems to be working now, so the graphs should all be up to date.

In the meantime, the Lindex dollar managed to stabilize itself. The sell orders that had piled up between the old value of 259 and the new 266 gradually filled, as people repositioned them at the new level. The total volume of orders shrank from an unsustainable 200M to a more manageable 100M. And that's where we are today.

It's still worth watching the total volume. If it starts to creep up again, that's a sign that we're in for more trouble.

I do have another post half-written, on some theories on what's driving the Linden dollar up and down, that I hope to get out at some point.

Name Textures are back

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thanks to some wonderful help from the amazingly patient Latif Khalifa, I was able to get the texture bot working again. If you are a new player and you haven't seen your name appear on the score boards, it should appear if you play another game.

I want to hold off on HTML-on-a-prim, because I think most people can't see it, and it seems overkill for what I need, which is just HTTP textures. Linden Lab says those should come soon, but then again, they've been saying that for literally years.

Name textures are down

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Linden Lab has done something in their latest server release, and it's broken the bot I use to upload name textures. This means that new players will not see their names on game scoreboards.

I don't know how long this is going to take to fix, or even if I can fix it.

One alternative would be to use the new HTML-on-a-prim capability. I had been holding off on that, since it requires Viewer 2 in order to see. Anyone not running Viewer 2 would see a static texture, not their name.

Do people care about this one way or the other?

Lindex Continues to Fall

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Lindex has stabilized enough that my graph is working again. But the picture that it paints is not very pretty.

The graph shows the total number of L$ for sale, within 10 Lindens of the best price. There's two key features to note. First, the total number of Lindens for sale has remained fairly constant—around 210 million. Second, there are visible bands sloping slowly downward.

What this means is that the people who have posted L$ for sale at 261-265 have gotten impatient, cancelled their sell orders, and reposted them at the higher (devalued) rate, 267L$/USD. There's still far too many L$ for sale. At the current size of the Second Life economy (and it's been this size for some time), the Lindex can only maintain a balance of half that size, around 100M L$ in outstanding sell orders. If it gets much more than that, it takes too long for a sell order to be filled, and people start to move their orders to cheaper prices so they can convert their L$ to USD.

So how long will the L$ continue to fall? In the best-case scenario, it will eventually reach an equilibrium where it becomes cheap enough that it entices more buyers to enter the market. If and when that happens, we will start to see the total volume of outstanding sell orders begin to drop. So far, though, I don't see any sign of that happening.

The Secret Plan to Stabilize the Lindex

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I've been thinking about what options Linden Lab has to stabilize the Lindex. It doesn't seem like they have a lot of options. In the past, when the Second Life economy was stronger, they could stabilize the LLD simply by selling through Supply Linden. But they don't have that option any more.

And then I thought of a plan so diabolical, so secretive, that it seemed perfect for Linden Lab's style of management.

To review, Linden Lab needs to balance the Lindex, either by increasing the number of buyers, or decreasing the number of sellers. How might that be achieved?

Buy LDD on the Lindex
Linden Lab could use Supply Linden to buy LDD, just as he has been selling before. Most people agree this is a non-starter. Linden Lab has been losing money, as evidenced by the recent layoffs. They can't afford to spend large sums shoring up the Lindex.

Increase LDD Sinks
If they can add more ways to vaporize LDD, it would mean less of them for people to sell. It's clear that they've started along this road, with offerings such as the Voice Morpher. But any sinks created in this way will be pitifully small compared to the number of LDD they need to soak up. This can be a component of a stabilization plan, but not the primary means.

Let landowners pay tier in LDD
This has been mentioned in the past as a possibility. But it's a huge and unwieldy hammer. Most of the LDD for sale on the Lindex are there because of landowners trying to buy USD to pay for their tier. Letting everyone pay for their tier in LDD could possibly unbalance the Lindex the other way.

Also, Linden Lab would lose out on the 3.5% fee they charge people to sell LDD. Again, not something they can afford.

But... what if Linden Lab allowed a select few landowners to pay their tier in LDD? If they controlled who paid in LDD and who paid in USD, then they could manage more exactly how many LDD were on the market to sell. They couldn't make this public, of course, because they can't afford to have everyone pay their tier in LDD. They would have to contact the few landowners they wanted to privilege with this gift.

Linden Lab already has a semi-secret program in place to allow a select few landowners to purchase land at a discount price. They could simply expand this program to include LDD tier-selling capability. It would be a perfect way for Linden Lab to stabilize the Lindex in a controlled fashion, without causing any panic or and more lurid Lindex news stories.

Lindex Meltdown

Thursday, June 17, 2010

On Wednesday, the Lindex collapsed, with the value of the Linden dollar plunging from 260/US$, at one point going as low as 300/US$, before stabilizing around 275/US$. It fell so fast that it broke my Lindex statistics graph, shown above.

It's not too hard to figure out what happened. In my previous post, I noticed with concern the glut of sell orders on the Lindex, and wondered what Linden Labs would do about it. T Linden, in his quarterly report, stated that the drop in sales from Supply Linden was a result of more people signing up for premium accounts -- in other words, they couldn't sell Linden dollars because they were giving them away. But the numbers don't add up. The number of Linden dollars given to premium accounts, per month, is far less than what Supply Linden was selling.

The real explanation is that the value of the Linden dollar is the strongest indicator of the strength of the Second Life economy in general. If the Second Life economy is strong, people want to buy Linden dollars, and the Linden dollar gains value. If the Second Life economy is weak, there are fewer buyers, and the Linden dollar falls in value. No matter how many press releases Linden Lab puts out saying that the economy is great, they can't deny that the Linden dollar is falling.

The Second Life economy has been in decline for many months. At first, this meant that Supply Linden could no longer sell Linden dollars. That cut out a big chunk of Linden Lab's income. Perhaps that wasn't the only reason for the recent layoffs, but it had to be a part of it.

Next, sell orders started stacking up on the Lindex. The usual balance of 50-100M L$ in sell orders ballooned to 200-250M.

This meant that it too longer for sell orders to execute. with only 50M in sell orders, if you placed your order it would be executed in a couple days. But if you put your order in a line of 250M, it could be a week or longer before your order was filled.

That's too long for some people. So the situation moved to the next stage, where people started placing orders at higher levels. The ask price moved from 259 to 260 to 261. And then we hit the final stage of the crisis.

When the Second Life economy was strong, Linden Lab could stabilize the Lindex using only sell orders. But now they've lost that tool. So the Lindex market is vulnerable to manipulation by speculators and griefers. People realized that once again they could move the market by placing orders at ridiculous prices. So we saw orders jumping to 270, 280, and eventually 300. The market was broken.

What will happen next? Linden Lab has few options. One remedy that has been mentioned in the past would be to allow land owners to pay their tier in Linden Dollars. That would relieve the market of the huge sell pressure from land owners selling Linden Dollars to pay their tier in US$. Land owners are predictably salivating over this possibility, because it would be a huge boon for them. It would also be a huge loss for Linden Lab, because they would lose the 3.5% fee they charge people who sell Linden dollars (the fee that land owners would no longer have to pay).

Or, Linden Lab can simply cross their fingers, wait, and hope that the Lindex stabilizes at a new level. It's not certain that that will happen, though. They key point is that it has to stabilize without the sell orders stacking up again. If it finds a new price level, but the sell orders start to pile up, then people will once again become impatient and move the value lower, and the whole cycle will rerun. They point is, for the size of the Second Life economy where it is now, the Lindex can only process about 70M of Linden dollar sales/day. If the sell orders start to exceed that level, then the market can't stabilize.

Play Frootcake, win L$100,000

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For the next few weeks, you have a chance to win L$100,000, just by playing one game of Frootcake!

Here's how it works. Right now, Linden Lab is running a contest to promote the Destination Guide, aka "Showcase." It's a list of nice places to visit in Second Life. The Frootcake Diner is one of those locations. You can visit it here, in the Sports/Games section.

Between now and June 2, one person who visits a Destination Guide location will win L$50,000 from Linden Lab. But if that person has played a game of Frootcake at the Frootcake Diner in the past month, Procyon Games will double your prize, for a total of L$100,000!

Here are the complete rules from Linden Lab. To play Frootcake, go to the Sports & Games section of the Destination Guide, and click "Visit This Location" next to the description of the Frootcake Diner. Play at least one game there (on any table), and it will be logged. If the Lindens pick you as their winner, you'll get double the prize!

Is the Second Life economy faltering?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Merchants have been complaining about slow sales in Second Life ever since... well, ever since there have been sales. But I think for the first time we are seeing visible effects in the economic statistics.

Check out Tyche Shepherd's graph of Linden$ sales on the Lindex. This shows that Supply Linden has had a harder time selling L$ to people in Second Life who want to buy things.

The overall economy of Second Life is one of the money pumps Linden Lab uses to make money. In general, it works like this:

Merchants sell items → L$ accumulate in merchant accounts → Merchants and Supply Linden sell L$ on Lindex (with Linden Lab taking 3.5%) → Customers buy L$ on Lindex → Customers use L$ to buy items from merchants → Merchants sell items

As the L$ cycle through this loop, Linden Lab skims 3.5% off the top each time. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it's a perfectly legitimate way to make money off a virtual world.

Also note that's it's not a perfectly closed loop. Linden$ can leak out, when people spend them on things like classified ads and group fees, and also when people stop playing Second Life and leave with money still in their account. These sinks are balanced by Supply Linden, who manufactures Linden$ out of thin air and sells them on the Lindex, just like merchants do (except Supply Linden doesn't have to pay the 3.5% fee).

If any one part of this economic cycle breaks down, the whole loop falls apart. And then we get a situation like this.

This is from the Lindex Statistics on the Procyon Games site. It shows the amount of Linden$ that people are trying to sell. In a normally functioning market, the numbers of buyers and sellers are roughly equal. But recently, the sellers have swamped the buyers. Here we have over 200 million Linden$ asking to be sold at 250 L$/US$ or above. That's huge. It's normally between 50-70 million. It's never been this high, and it's been like this for days.

Supply Linden can only sell Linden$ if there are people willing to buy them. Without a steady stream of customers, that magical profit stream of Linden Lab just dries up.

It's possible there could be some other explanation for this glut of Linden$, and Supply Linden's withdrawal from the market. A couple years ago some big land baron left Second Life, and sold all their Linden$ on the market at once, creating a temporary glut. Supply Linden's sales dipped then, but they quickly recovered. This looks to be a sustained drop, so if there's another explanation I'd be happy to hear it. I hope T Linden's upcoming economic report sheds some light on this issue.

Can't Stop v1.05

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I've released version 1.05 of Can't Stop. This is a free upgrade to all registered owners. You can use your remote to deliver a copy of the new version to yourself ("/8 deliver game"), but this update also includes a new scoreboard and team signup prim, so I recommend you visit my shop and touch the Can't Stop vendor there to get a complete package.

What's new in this version:
  • NEW Mod-ok scoreboard. You can resize and retexture it.
  • NEW Team signup prim. Rez this near your game, and players can touch it to join your team. Team rankings are shown on the Procyon Games website.
  • NEW The Start, Settings, Help buttons hilite briefly when players sit down to play.
  • FIXED A security issue was fixed.
  • FIXED The game adjusts its position when you rez it. For some reason it liked to rez off the ground. It now moves down a smidge after it rezzes, which should set it flush with the ground.
  • FIXED It was really easy for the dice to get lost, since they're a separate piece. The game now rezzes the dice each time you play, and deletes them when the game is done. So if you move or take your table you don't have to worry about picking up the invisible dice any more.
  • FIXED To help players who have trouble distinguishing the different colors of the playing pieces, little symbols have been added (squares, circles, etc)
  • FIXED Often if you tried to rotate or adjust the game after you rezzed it, it would get confused and the board wouldn't line up properly. It now should adjust itself better, so you can rotate your game after you rez it if you want.
  • NEW You can enable an optional game rule (under "Settings"), called "No stacks" or "Can't Stop Can't Stop." When the rule is in play, players are not allowed to end their turn if any of their pieces are on top of someone else's. If you do move temporarily on top of someone, you must continue to roll until you move off (or zonk). This changes the game a bit, and some players prefer this rule.

Can't Stop Team Rankings

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I've added a Team Ranking page to the Can't Stop section of the Procyon Games web site: Can't Stop Team Rankings. Since the in-world boards don't have a Team Ranking setting, this is the only way to see how your team is doing, as far as Can't Stop goes. Note that players can only be on one team -- so, if you're in a particular team for En Garde, you're on the same team for Can't Stop, and your Can't Stop ranking is applied automatically. And vice-versa.

Maitenance and upgrades, part 3

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Procyon Games website is now down for the final part of its overhaul. I hope to bring it back up in an hour or so.

UPDATE 10:15PM: That was rather harrowing, but I think I got it working. Procyon Games is now up and running on a brand-new database. All the previous data was migrated over.

There's probably going to be a few glitches, so if you spot anything unusual don't hesitate to point it out to me.

En Garde Team Rankings

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Someone asked for team rankings on the website, and I figured, "what the heck"

These should be identical to the rankings displayed on the in-world scoreboards, except you can see the rankings of all the teams of Second Life, while the in-world scoreboards are limited to the top eight teams.

Scheduled Maintenance Part 2

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Procyon Games website will be down on Saturday for about an hour, starting at 9PM SLT. This is part 2 of 3 for the upgrades I have planned. These upgrades are to allow the site to handle the new traffic load, which has been steadily climbing over the months.

This second upgrade is the "medium strength" one. The final upgrade, tentatively scheduled for the following wekend (March 13-14), is the "big" upgrade which could take a while.

UPDATE: This round of the upgrade/maintenance is now complete. It involved a somewhat large change to the back-end of the website, and so it's possible there could be some errors or new things that are not working. If you notice anything please send me an email.

Can't Stop Tournament @ Heart of Dragons

Aries Oh is continuing her Can't Stop tournament. Here's the info:


Can't Stop tournament at Heart of Dragons this Sunday. Tournament board will open for sign-ups on Friday - pay the black board L$100 to participate in the THIRD round - Sunday 1 PM SLT. [SLURL]

The tournaments is held on Sundays, 1 PM SLT, every third week.
The tournament is open for all.
This notecard contains details about how we will run the tournaments.

Each tournament will have maximum 16 players.
Entry fee is L$100, of which all goes to winner.
The sign-up board will be placed here: [SLURL]

Each 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 schedule:
Sundays, 1 PM SLT:
March 7th
March 28th
April 18th
May 9th
May 30th
June 27th
(Date for Season Final will be determined later.)

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.

All games will be played at Heart of Dragons, at these tables:
MAIN VENUE - Draw and final game will be played here. [SLURL]
(Upstairs) [SLURL]
(2 corner rooms upstairs)

Please share this information with other Can't Stop players.
If you have any questions, please contact Aries Oh.

Hope to see you there!

~ Aries Oh ~


Would you tweet your wins?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So, Linden Lab is trying to get all social with everything. Their latest effort is a scripting bridge between Twitter and Second Life. And I wonder, is this something that people would use?

I mean, really, I don't know. Would people find this useful?

What I could do is link your Twitter account to, say, En Garde. With the magic of OAuth, you wouldn't have to give me your Twitter password. You can simply authorize Procyon Games to post tweets to your account. And then, every time you won a game of En Garde, it would post a tweet to your account, saying who you beat, and your score, and a SLURL.

Would anybody find that useful?

I should point out that the Recent Games section of the Procyon web site already lists every game played in-world, so if you're looking for someone to fence with you can always go there and see who's been playing.

Scheduled Maintenance

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Procyon Games web site will be down for scheduled maintenance later tonight. I need to make several upgrades to the system, and so there will be three periods of downtime. There's the little upgrade (tonight), then the bigger upgrade (this weekend), and then the real big upgrade (sometime next week).

During the maintenance the website will be inaccessible. Also, any games you play will not be recorded, and will not affect rating scores.

The downtime tonight will start at 10PM SLT and should not last more than an hour.

UPDATE: Tonight's maintenance is complete.

Congratulations to the Rally Winners

Monday, March 1, 2010

Congratulations to the En Garde Rally winners! Over ten days they searched out new locations, new partners, and won games in more places than anyone else. The winners are:

  • First Place, Capt Blinker (L$5000)
  • Second Place, Dusty Merlin (L$2000)
  • Third Place, Leonard Posthorn (L$1000)
  • Fourth Place, Sidney Fredriksson (L$1000)
  • Fifth Place, Fonsi Lecker (L$1000)

I'd like to thank all the players, who made this Rally a great success. Let's see if we can reach one million games!

I'd like everyone's comments on what they thought of the rally. Would you like to do it again? What did you like and not like about the format? Add a comment to this post, or email me or drop a notecard on me in-world. The more responses I get, the more likely I'll try something like this again.

Pictured are Fonsi Lecker, Leonard Posthorn, and Capt Blinker (not shown: Sidney Fredriksson and Dusty Merlin)

En Garde statistics

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I've added a chart in the Statistics section of the web site that shows the total number of games of En Garde that are played in Second Life, each day for the past 30 days.

The Rally is ON!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The En Garde Rally is ON!

From now until March 1st, it's a race to see who can win the most games against the most people at locations across the grid.

L$10,000 in prizes will be awarded!

100,000 Games of En Garde

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Congratulations go to Jessie Kalinakov! At 8:02PM on February 13th, she won the 100,000th game of En Garde in Second Life.

En Garde has been in Second Life for about two and a half years. So 100,000 games in 2½ years is on average...
  • 3,348 games/month
  • 781 games/week
  • 111 games/day
  • or, one game every 12.9 minutes
When I showed up to congratulate Jessie, she didn't know who I was! Such is fame in Second Life. But once I explained her special place in En Garde history, she seems suitably impressed.

For being the lucky 100,000th winner, Jessie won 1000L$, and her choice of any Procyon Games product. She chose a copy of Take it Easy (Head-to-Head edition).

Don't forget the other half of the 100,000 Games of En Garde celebration — The En Garde Rally, which starts Friday Feb 19th. If you own a copy of En Garde, please register for the Rally! It's very simple. You don't need to coordinate with anyone, or even make a landmark. All you have to do is have your En Garde piste rezzed (and register at the kiosk).

En Garde Rally!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

En Garde Owners! Register now for the En Garde Rally!

In celebration of 100,000 games of En Garde, Procyon Games is holding a special Rally Event! All En Garde owners are invited to participate. All you have to do is pay the registration fee (L$50) and rez your En Garde piste in a publicly-accessible location.

The registration kiosk is at the front of the Procyon Games store [SLURL]

Rally Dates: Friday Feb 19th - Monday March 1st

How it works

The Rally will be open to all En Garde players. While the Rally is on, everyone will be trying to win a game of En Garde at every registered location. The locations will be secret, initially, but every time you win you will be given a clue (teleport location) to another Rally Location. Points will be awarded for every location where a player wins a game. The top players in terms of rally points will be awarded prizes. Over L$10,000 in prizes will be awarded!

It's kind of like a shopping hunt, except instead of buying things at a bunch of stores, the players will be playing games of En Garde. Whoever can win the most games, in as many different places as possible, against different opponents, will win the Rally.

Participation Benefits

Every owner who participates will see a steady stream of new players coming to their location.

  • It's a great way to meet new En Garde players.
  • Show off your themed play area.
  • Get new players to join your team.
  • Every owner will be able to review a list of everyone who plays on their piste during the rally.

Other questions? IM Rifkin Habsburg or email me.

Fencing and Fashion

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Here's an article on real-life fashion designers whose designs are influenced by fencing. Some of those designs are really amazing—I wonder if there are any SL clothing designers who could implement those designs in Second Life?

Remember, if you make any En Garde-related items, including fencing-related clothing, you can get a free vendor in my En Garde arena.

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.