Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Effective immediately, we’ve changed the prices for several items in the “Buy Stuff” area of the site:
- The Game Dolphin is now 3 Brownie Points instead of 4
- Changing a Domination Team Name now costs 1 Brownie Point instead of 2
- Lottery Winner has been split up into three levels (worth 1BP, 2BP and 3BP respectively.) The levels assign 250k Flezz, 1M Flezz and 5M Flezz.
Note that if you recently bought a Lottery Winner, we’d be willing to give you extra Flezz if you contact one of the admins, since they now give much more bang for your buck.
We’ve just launched a survey to learn more about our audience, and to get feedback on Forumwarz and the future of the game.
Everyone who fills it out will get an E-Peen(tm), and 10 randomly drawn users will get a free copy of Episode 2 (or 7BP if you already own it.)
The random draw will happen on Dec 16th.
Thanks for helping us out!
This week’s Forum Build is Cosplay Central:
Do your friends not understand your need to wear a kimono everywhere you go? Are you mocked for wearing cat ears to school? Come to Cosplay Central, where you’re not alone! Discuss the finer points of wearing pleather, how to make realistic-looking swords out of cardboard, and what fishnets go best with crossplay!
(It’s also our first Level 35 forum — Good luck guys!)
Next week’s build will be The Extremely Specific Fetish Emporium:
Always wanted to see a 57 year old stung by a bee while singing yankee doodle? Get turned on by the letter M written on a palm where the ring finger’s been cut off above the first joint? Keen on yodeling Thai ladyboys wearing spandex togas? Well, the Extremely Specific Fetish Emporium is here to help! Make your request! Help someone else out with their request! Or just get grossed out by how kinky the rest of the world is! Remember, thanks to us, you’re not alone!™
Subject: Publishers and Panties: An appeal to review my game, Forumwarz.
Dear Brian Crecente,
My name is Robin Ward, I go by the alias Evil Trout. (this is an open letter, also published on the Forumwarz blog.)
I’m the creator of a web-based RPG game called Forumwarz. It parodies the Internet. Instead of traditional RPG games where you might play a thief in a dungeon battling orcs, you play an Internet user, pwning message boards. We currently have about 100k accounts, and a small (yet awesome) community. It’s an indie effort. It was self-financed and made over the period of several years by a team of people working for very little money. To say it’s a labor of love is a huge understatement.
I have personally emailed you and members of your team several times about the game, hoping you’d mention us on your blog or to see if you’d want a review copy. Every single time it has fallen on deaf ears.
I’m not sure if you know this or not, but for an Indie Game, getting one mention on a mainstream blog such as your own can make a huge difference.It might not seem like it, but a single link to our game can generate thousands of dollars in revenue, which can mean we can keep working on improving the game and making it better. It costs you nothing to do this.
You’re not alone in ignoring us. We have tried to contact pretty much every major online gaming publication, including your competitors and large review sites. People just aren’t interested in what we have to say because we don’t have the backing of a major publisher.
I understand that as the editor, the content of your site is completely at your discretion. Maybe you think our game is immature or not fit for your audience. It’s your right to publish whatever you want. However, when I see articles published in the Pantsu tag featuring the panty shots of Nintendo characters, while our hard work goes ignored, it does sting a bit.
This letter is an appeal to you: please consider the small games like my own alongside the games from major publishers. Yes, Gears of War 2 and Smash Brothers Melee are awesome games, but they get dozens of mentions on your blog while most indie games get none. I’m aware Braid got coverage, but that game is the exception and not the rule. Obviously I’m biased, but I think a lot of your users would appreciate my game and would be glad you mentioned it.
Recently you posted a blog entry asking people for review ideas. Besides my own, there are tons of other indie games that could use reviews. If you’re looking for examples, check out the Indie Games Festival entries. There are literally hundreds of submissions, many of which are playable right now if you click on the game profiles.
Thank you very much,
Robin “Evil Trout” Ward
It’s been a while since we’ve had a major update here, but we thought we should hip you to some of the upcoming improvements intended for Forumwarz.
A couple weeks ago, the Crotch Zombies went through the long and occassionally painful process of prioritizing all of our suggestions for fixes and improvements. We now have a nicely sorted list, and now it’s just a matter of slogging through them.
Some of them will be really big and cool, but for the next little while we’re going to push some of the simpler, bite-size fixes that people have long been asking for. For instance, you can soon expect to see:
- The ability to be notified by Tubmail when you’ve been pranked
- A “Tubmail user about this post” link in Flamebate
- Upon being pranked, seeing a link to the pranker’s profile right then and there
- Search improvements to Flamebate, such as being able to sort by date (!)
- An “ignore user” feature on IDC (sorry Hobart, that ability never did exist for admins, I was just screwing with you)
These fixes may seem somewhat obvious, but when you’re building a site as large and feature-rich as ours, they sometimes get overlooked! So as we focus on these community enhancements, you should gradually see a stream of improvements to the community aspect of Forumwarz, which we consider essential. We’re continually trying to improve the experience for our players, and that’s The Difference Between Forumwarz and All Those Other Crappy Web-Based RPGs™.
Oh, and there’s also a gang-bang of Domination, Forumbuildr and Leaderboard improvements on the horizon. So look out for them! (No seriously, look out for them, they’re really big and they’re right behind you…oh god, look out look out oh shi–!)
It might be a level 1 forum, but don’t let that fool you about its hilarious content. Our latest forum build is Society for Creative Historical Revisionism:
Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Vikings rode dinosaurs into battle against Stalin’s werewolf army? Sadly, mainstream history doesn’t allow for these kinds of facts. Historians use fuzzy methods of research and “facts” that give us the dull stupid truth. Books tell us Anne Frank didn’t win the Minnesota Iron Man competition three years straight and that Ghandi wasn’t actually Mata Hari. Well, we here at SCHR don’t believe those books…because we believe books were never invented. Join us today.
Balancing a game like Forumwarz is hard.
When Episode 1 was released, I did all the balancing by hand. I would literally start the game over with a new member of each class, and progress them all simultaneously, updating the difficulty of the forums and attacks as I went along.
As you can probably imagine, this is a horrible way to do things. Even if I played through the game 10 times with each class (which by the way is exhausting), that would still only be about 30 trial runs. As a result, the Emo Kid was horribly overpowered compared to the other two classes at launch.
For Episode 2, I created a bot that played the game overnight. It worked great while the episode was being developed behind closed doors, but it’s no where near as effective as collecting data off the live site. This is what I’m currently doing to balance the differences between the 5 major classes.
I’m lucky that Forumwarz gets a decent amount of traffic these days, so I can collect a lot of data very quickly. In fact, people attack forums so often that were I to log the results of every attack it would slow down the server (and eat up a ton of disk space.) A solution to this might be to queue up the logs in a buffer and flush them when it reached a current threshold, but I opted for something much simpler: I only save logs randomly. I have a simple helper function called
maybe (It’s a one liner, click here to view it and an example). maybe will only execute the block of code I pass it if a randomly generated number is above a certain threshold.
In other words, you currently have about a 1/10 chance of the results of your attacks being logged. This keeps the server running smoothly and honestly generates more than enough data in a short time frame.
Once I have the data, I run some SQL to show me it in a useful format:
(note this table just started collecting data and that explains the large discrepancies — the average level 5 emo is doing much more damage)
Once you have a good dataset, it’s really easy to see whose attacks are doing more damage than others. At this point, what I do is change the attributes of one attack, commit it, and gather data again to see if it improved things. This goes on for a long period of time until I am more or less happy with the distribution.
Over the next little while I am going to be making changes to balance out the various classes. You will probably notice that some of your abilities are slightly improved or nerfed. Feel free to point out anything that is way out of whack, but the best thing you can do to help is to just play the game as you normally would so I can collect your information :)