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1  Games Center / Contests / Re: TinyGame2011 on: 2011-06-14 10:40:36
De-lurking to say that I was interested in entering this contest.

Who am I?  Well, I am...umm...nobody really but it sounded like fun.
2  Discussions / General Discussions / Re: Good web host with servlet support? on: 2010-06-20 10:50:50
Here is a link from when I brought up this question before:

I ended up going with MochaHost, but I dropped them a few months later because the performance was horrible.  I am trying to port the game to Google AppEngine now but it is a bear of a task due to all the database code rewrites.
3  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Google App Engine on: 2010-01-19 21:07:03
I am trying to port a database-heavy (MySQL) browser game to App Engine and its starting to look like it needs to be a total re-write.

Do you have any sage advice for porting JDBC to JDO?
4  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: tinyMMO on: 2010-01-15 20:32:58
I moved it to Google Apps.  So far it seems to be much more responsive.
5  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: tinyMMO on: 2010-01-14 15:57:16

I wrote this game as an experiment in using Javascript for graphics and networking.  Its gotten a lot of positive feedback except for the horrible lag.  I was originally intending to put in tons more content with my NPC scripting engine but I ran out of time before the competition ended.

I am thinking of porting it to the Google App Engine.  I can only imagine the server performance would be much better and the hosting is free.  My current host (MochaHost) is constantly experiencing slow response times, which is death to a game that relies on HTTP as a networking protocol.

Has anyone had positive or negative experiences with Google App Engine?  I know I would have to rewrite part of the server since they don't support threading or file writes but its not very complicated so it wouldn't take much.
6  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / Re: tinyMMO on: 2010-01-11 15:46:17
That's weird.  Can you tell me your OS/browser?

I can't fix it until after the judging, though.  The competition time is up.
7  Games Center / WIP games, tools & toy projects / tinyMMO on: 2010-01-11 14:52:17
This is my entry for TIGSource Assemblee. 

It is a browser MMORPG with a javascript client and java server.  Why javascript?  I wanted to see if it was possible.  A java client would have given me much better results but using javascript and ajax actually turned out okay.

Click to Play

8  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Browser Game on: 2009-12-02 16:22:34
have a conversion rate of 2-4% from free users

I wonder, does that conversion rate count all players or just regulars?

In my estimate of 10% I was not counting players who try it once or twice and then leave.  The game will clean those players up so they don't take a slot from regular players.

If it is as low as 2% of regular players, I am in trouble as I would basically just be covering server costs at that rate.
9  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-11-30 16:26:45
Woops.  Nice exploit.  I had a TODO in my code to check for that, honest.  I was wondering how you got to be so big so fast.

Anyway, for loyally reporting the exploit I will reward you with 25 shiny gold pieces to add your... umm... 100,000.

server respond seems a bit slow

The server is slow at times.   I just fixed a DB connection leak so I am hoping that was causing it.  Otherwise its my host, which will not make me thrilled.
10  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-11-30 14:53:28
Thanks for the feedback.

possibility to make unlimited resources

Actually it is limited by the terrain your town is on.   Check out the worker bars on the right side of the town management screen.  The popup text will tell you the maximum for your town.

I don't like idea of JSP and could suggest Freemarker

I am not sure what the advantage is.  Can you fill me in?  I am already using MVC with servlet/JSP.  I was originally using just JSP but it got way to complicated to follow my own code.

Queue or routing for armies will be great

Yes I am working on this but don't have a good design for it yet.  It is definitely coming.
11  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-11-25 14:38:45
I published a new alpha version (0.0.4 a) which contains bug fixes and UI changes that have been suggested here and other places.

I also added a new task/reward system as a sort of tutorial for players to learn the game.  Please try it out and let me know if you have any issues or problems.

ps. Graphics are still pretty rough.  I am shopping around for an artist to replace my less-than-stellar attempts.  If anyone has any suggestions for good/inexpensive artists I would sure appreciate it.
12  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-11-13 14:13:25
and could use a hint like "cannot allocate over 100%, decrease something first

Good point.  I should do that.

The graph at the bottom has red and green boxes, but what the numbers in the boxes represent is not shown anywhere.
Consumed 3, Produced 14. of what? I can't select products, so it isn't an individual product?

There are pictures of each resource (with popup text) at the top of each column.  Now that you mention it there is a gap between the storage and consumed/produced that might be making it confusing.
13  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-11-13 12:40:44
Hey thanks, Jono.  I'll experiment with that when I get back to the terrain generator.
14  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-11-13 02:57:19
Wow, what great feedback.  I'll try to address all your points.

playable is a slight exaggeration

Almost everything that needs to be there is in there.  From what I am hearing, its just too dang difficult to figure out how to do it.  Lots of work needs to be done to make it easier to play.

on login: choose sex / alliance
umm. where's the button to go forward from there? select? which due to the positioning of the button with the 'choose your own alliance'
 makes one feel unsure of what exactly one is selecting when ready to go with default.

I blew through this screen so many times in testing I guess I failed to notice that its not obvious what to do.  Will revisit this screen soon.

Jobs List is non-alphabetical.

I tried to list them in a logical order rather than alphabetical.  There are so many jobs that it sort of becomes a jumble.  I will have to rethink this interface.

Logic of having to go to Map to -> Manage is questionable. Found myself clicking all the bottom left tabs
to find the 'Manage' area, to try to setup the jobs again. I understand this is town by town basis,
but still. if It was a tab bottom left, it would go to selected town.

You can also get to your town(s) from the "Holdings" button, which lists all your towns and armies.  The "Map" button jumps to your home town because... well I couldn't think of a better default.

Consumed/produced gives no clues as to what the numbers on the graph line correlate to.

Not sure why this is unclear.  The numbers are listed under each resource.

The hardest is this problem of not finding my 'citizens'. Why are they all occupied Hunting?
Manage-> after pressing save changes it seemed to forget everything instead of saving: the Management page's
percent division of labor went back to 100% hunting, because idle 0 ? if this is because everybody's busy,
how to change that? I feel I can't do anything to start off with.
try to put 30% to grow grain, nothing happens. Maybe if I wait 15 minutes it will be 'set'?
But save changes tab just zeroes it. Not Nice.

I have never seen this before and I can't seem to recreate it.  You should be able to set your people to do any jobs you like whenever you like.  I tried a bunch of ways to recreate your problem but it all seems to work fine.  Can you try again? 

Abandon Town. Since it's an option, let's see if I need to do that to send my hunters forth into the world?
Nope. Not allowed to do so. Why give me this button then at this point?

Excellent point.  Will remove this button from the home town.

Ok, let's conscript some of these suckers.

You pick the size of the army then the type of weapons, armor and mounts (of which you probably have none to start).  Then you click a location around your home town for them to start and click "create".  At this point it jumps to the goods transfer screen so you can outfit your army with supplies.  Obviously this is not clear from the UI and I need to work on that.

Okay, move them, then see if I can move the first troop.
Second troop, nope, nothing happens, guess the turn clock isn't turned yet. Ah, there it is, top right, and it just happened
to tick over now.

Armies have their number of moves listed when you click them.  They get one move per turn/day (15 minutes) up to a maximum of 8.  Once again, need to make this more obvious.

Speaking of this, have you noticed that the map is hex with weighted pathfinding and terrain highlighting without resorting to flash, applets or anything but good ol' cross-platform html?   <-- (fishing for complements on this dev board)

the map with this design of radiating spikes is looking very unnatural.

Its randomly generated by my terrain generator.  The reason for that is that this game will come to a conclusion after 20 game years with the players defending the island from invasion and then it will restart with a new map.  The map does look a little spikey though.  Probably needs a revisit.

Still you guys have done a fair bit of work to get this far

Actually its just me. 

Huge thanks for this feedback.  Its like gold to me.

15  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-11-10 13:53:45
The upgrade is finished and the site is back up.  Sorry to everyone who tried to log in during the last couple of days.

Also, I am getting complaints that it is a little to difficult to figure out what to do so I will be adding a task/reward system over the next couple of weeks as a sort of tutorial mode for new players.  Will post here when the system is in place.
16  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-11-08 02:14:11
Yeah sorry.  My host is making me upgrade due to the size of my codebase.  Hopefully they will get my stuff transferred by tomorrow.  I will post here when its back up.
17  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-11-02 16:11:52
I made the Captcha easier by ignoring case, which I think was the main problem.  I also added a turn time progress bar so players can see how long until the next turn.

I posted this game to a couple of game dev boards and I have been pretty disappointed with the response.  Only 3 people tried it and of those, only CaptainJester gave any feedback (which was very helpful, thanks again).

If you looked at it and decided not to try it or had trouble signing on, I sure would appreciate a short response.  You could just pick from below:

1.  I had technical trouble
2.  I am not going to play anything that requires me to register
3.  Feh, I don't like these type of games
4.  Bleh, it doesn't look to be worth my time
5.  Not java-ey enough for this board
6.  Go away, Sanojo, you bother me

Thanks in advance...

18  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-10-31 17:04:07
I took out the requirement for a valid email address to register for now.

Did anyone try to register and have a problem with the Captcha like CaptainJester did?

19  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-10-30 19:52:59
Thanks for trying it out.   That Captcha is devilish.  I will look into making it simpler.

I am not very experienced at running a forum and I keep accidentally turning moderation back on whenever I change something.  I will get it sorted out ASAP.

A turn (day) is 15 minutes.  I need to make that obvious somehow.

Thanks again.
20  Games Center / Archived Projects / Re: Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-10-30 11:03:48
Oh I forgot to mention its all in JSP/Servlets and the server is all java.  That is why I am posting it here. 

It used to contain some applets as well but I wound up converting everything client-side to javascript and Ajax due to problems some users were having installing and accessing client/server applets.
21  Games Center / Archived Projects / Conflict of Interest alpha on: 2009-10-30 03:00:31
I am starting an alpha test for my empire building browser game, Conflict of Interest.

The game probably contains some bugs and the graphics are not all finished but its in a playable state.  It requires a valid email address to register.  I am finding that its a necessary evil with all the spammage lately.

Here are a few screenshots:

Please try it out and let me know what you think.  Right now the server is wiped clean.
22  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Hosting for JSP game on: 2009-10-14 14:11:57
I figured I would update this old thread. 

I finally decided on MochaHost.  They have some good deals on JVM hosting.  I had to make a few changes to the game architecture to get it  to play by their rules, but it all seems to be working fine now.  Their first-tier support hasn't been able to handle my technical questions/requests but they seem to have some competent people behind-the-scenes to pick up the slack.

I am planning a beta test sometime in the next couple of months.  It remains to be seen if the plan that I chose is going to be able to handle the load.

Thanks again for the suggestions.
23  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Browser Game on: 2009-10-05 14:23:15
This is some great feedback, thanks so much.

I was planning to have at least one free beta period.  Probably more depending on how many bugs/issues are brought to the surface.  Letting everyone be a Lord won't break the game model, but I may not get any feedback on whats its like to play a Knight.  That will have to wait until its live.

I guess I have a decision to make.  To go Beta with substandard graphics/UI or overhaul it to give the testers a better impression of the game.  Argh, now I know why my project managers are always so stressed near the end of a project.

24  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Browser Game on: 2009-10-04 01:18:20
Thanks a bunch for the comments and advice.

I have been avoiding adding social engineering features to my chat interface.  I probably should move it higher in my priority list.  I know how badly one troll can ruin the experience for everyone.

I realize my graphics need help.  I thought maybe they could pass for acceptable.  Its not something I pay a lot of attention to in games I play but I am probably in the minority.  I have been checking out several pixel artist forums and thinking of paying to replace some of my sadder graphics.  Has anyone had any good experiences with pixel artists/sites?

Thanks again,
25  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Browser Game on: 2009-10-02 20:32:44
Thanks for the responses.

I guess I never understood the reasoning that free players should have access to everything that paying players do.  If you download a demo of the latest FPS, you aren't going to get the same game that a paying customer does.

My idea was that maybe 10% of the players might pay (if I am lucky).  That means ~25 players (Lords) will be playing to win and the remaining free players (Knights) will pick a Lord to support.

With this in mind, would you still be turned off as a free player?

Thanks again,
26  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Re: Browser Game on: 2009-10-02 16:14:54
Here is a recent screenshot in case anyone is interested...

COI Screenshot
27  Discussions / Business and Project Management Discussions / Browser Game on: 2009-10-02 16:06:24
I have been working on a browser game in Java since... well lets just say a loooong time.  After countless nights and weekends I am getting close to having a "complete" game.  Its basically an empire-building game for about 250 players/server that will run for about three months, come to a conclusion, then start over.

I was wondering if anyone who has ever run one of these games has any advice.  I have never even run a website before (application developer for a living) so its a whole new world for me.  I have a host picked out already and test server up and running.

I would like to offer accounts on two tiers.  One free (Knight) account type that has limited gameplay akin to a demo mode.  The pay (Lord) account type would allow access to the whole game, owning more towns, and running guilds.  I would like to have a subscription model of say $5 per month for Lord access.

Am I crazy?  Is this an out-dated model and micro-transactions (i hate them) are the only way to go?  Is there any chance in hell I could ever make money at this?

Thanks for any advice, criticism, stone-throwing in advance,
28  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Hosting for JSP game on: 2007-04-13 12:45:36
The chat is an applet that makes a socket connection to the server.    Everything else is just Javascript.  I avoided size issues by using frames.

It would be cool to rewrite this using lots of AJAX, but alas I have no time for it.

The graphical frame is clickable.  It doesn't do the google maps scroll n zoom thing (another cool addition I have no time for).  Scrolling and zooming is done from the mini-map on the upper left.  Thats all javascript.

Thanks for your comments.  I'll post it to Games Showcase if I ever get hosting figured out.
29  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Re: Hosting for JSP game on: 2007-04-12 18:45:00
I forgot to add that it uses MySQL to store all of the world information.  Any database would probably do though.
30  Game Development / Networking & Multiplayer / Hosting for JSP game on: 2007-04-12 18:32:26
Long ago I wrote an online turn-based game  for up to 256 players.  It consists of JSP pages and two server-side apps for computing the turns and managing player chat.

I hosted the game on my home network and had about 30 players (mostly friends).  I thought it might be fun to brush the dust off and make it available for anyone to play.  Can anyone suggest a cheap hosting service that could handle a game like this?  I don't want to risk running afoul of Verizon by running a website on my home connection since I rely on it for my living (contract programmer).

I could just host it on an alternative port (ie 8080) but then most of my players could not log in from work.  Its a game where users will need to log in for 5-30 minutes a few times a day to manage their kingdoms.

Here is a screenshot of the game in case anyone is interested:
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