Archive for the ‘Site Updates’ Category
I spent some time re-factoring our image uploading system to allow for more user submitted content. It was a lot of refactoring, but from now on it’s much easier for users to contribute to our game.
The first step was implementing custom emoticons. These can be purchased for 5BP on the Support Us page. A few have been added already:
They have to be approved by a moderator, but we’re usually pretty quick at doing that. Enjoy!
I’ve been updatting Twitter a lot more lately than the blog, mainly because most updates don’t warrant a full posting. If you have a Twitter account you can follow forumwarz for more frequent updates. Actually, even if you don’t have Twitter you can just subscribe to the RSS feed there and you’ll get all our updates. Here’s some stuff you might have missed:
The site has been pretty laggy lately. We decided to finally do something about it and ordered 3 brand new servers, all of which are faster than our current server. They’re currently being set up by our hosting company and hopefully we’ll be able to switch over pretty soon.
There will be some downtime as we switch over. This is a pretty major change so it might take the larger part of a day to switch over, but it should be worth it for the performance we’ll gain.
I’ve pushed out some early upgrades to Tubmail, which should help if you have many messages in your inbox. It’s now paginated, and you get much more screen real estate to view the list of messages.
We’ve published a few ItemBuildr items already. You should check out the ItemBuildr section of the site and the store to see the awesome stuff our users have come up with.
Over the next little while I’ll be putting out many little enhancements to existing parts of the site such as Tubmail and Flamebate. If you’ve been part of the community for a while I’m sure you’ll be glad to have some of the new tools we plan to build.
We’re starting to work out a schedule for Episode 3 development, too. It’s a long way away, but we’re getting ready to get the ball rolling on that one too.
Today I’m delighted to announce the launch of itembuildr, our latest system for players to create content in the Forumwarz world. Whereas forumbuildr allowed players to create forums, itembuildr allows you to create items that your player can actually equip!
Here’s how it works:
Step 1. The itembuildr gnomes come up with an item type and stats.
This is done automatically, and is mostly random. The item will either be an equippable item or a junk item. It can be anything from a .moar file (in fact, our first build is a video .moar file) to a tattoo or even a special item. Pretty much anything that can be equipped can be designed by our players.
The stats for the item are generated by marrying two existing items together from a particular class, plus a little random mutation thrown into the mix. So you don’t have to worry about designing some kind of super item that’s better than anything in the game. Everything should be within the limits of what we consider acceptable.
Step 2. People submit names and descriptions
Any character on Forumwarz can submit a name and description for the item. They are told what type of item it should be and what it’s stats will be, and they can submit exactly one idea. The submission period lasts 24 hours.
Step 3. People vote on the names and descriptions
On the second day, people will anonymously vote up and down other people’s ideas. Again this lasts 24 hours. After the voting period ends, the winner is picked as the official name and description of the item.
Step 4. People submit images for the item
Now that the item name and description is known, people can submit images for it. Each character can submit one image for consideration.
Step 5. People vote on the images
Again, a new voting period occurs and people can vote on the best images. After 24 hours, the best image is picked and..
Step 6. The item is published!
The item will end up in an itembuildr store at first for a limited time, along with recently published items. People can purchase the item and begin trading it on Kyoubai (or just stockpile it for their collections.) The best items will also be moved (at the discretions of admins) into the actual game stores, so anyone playing the Forumwarz storyline can purchase them.
Working in Parallel
Now that we’ve explained the pretty straightforward flow of the itembuildr process, you’ve probably figured out that it takes 4 days for an item to go from concept to the store. That would mean about 90 new items a year, which isn’t nearly enough for our rabid users.
Instead we’ve designed the process so that we’re designing two items in parallel!
The way this works is that we’ve broken it into a two day cycle of submitting and voting. During the submitting day, you can submit ideas for items, but you can also submit images for the previous winner. Then on the voting day, you vote for both. So it still takes an item 4 days to be created, but there are always two on the go. Cool huh?
How to access it
You can start using itembuildr right away by logging in and clicking on the multiplayer tab. Today we are only submitting item ideas since it’s the first time it’s being run.
As always, we welcome feedback on the process, the interface and the integration into Forumwarz as a whole. Let us know what you think and how we can make itembuildr a great piece of the Forumwarz universe!
Today we’ve added scullyangel to our moderator team.
I think having a woman on our team will ensure that Flamebate remains the most intelligent and respectful forum on the Internet for many years to come.
For those who have finished Episode 2, we have partnered together with Celerysteve to build you a new mission that parodies one of our infamous forum members. The quest is only available for a limited time, so be sure it check it out sooner rather than later. You can access it on top of your character’s page.
We’ve also added some new E-Peen(tm) to the game:
So Kyoubai has been quite the success! Since it launched just over two weeks ago, we’ve hosted over 40,000 auctions with 150,000 bids. At any given time, there seems to be over 1,000 auctions to peruse for stuff like rare .moar files.
Thanks to all our users who offered input and helped us tweak the system so that it’s easier to use and less prone to exploits.
Up Next: ItemBuildr
Last night during our weekly brainstorming meeting, we discussed our next project: ItemBuildr.
ItemBuildr is to items as ForumBuildr is to forums. Every week there will be a competition where items are created by our users for the community.
The beauty of ItemBuildr is that it will mean a steady trickle of new equipment, junk and collectible items into the game economy. And unlike other popular MMOs, each item in our game will have a hilarious blurb of text inside it.
ItemBuildr is kind of the yang to Kyoubai’s ying, in that it guarantees that there’s always fresh new items to be traded back and forth.
We’re delighted to announce that Kyoubai, the official Forumwarz auction house, is live!
To celebrate its birth, we’ve seeded it with two special auctions. Note that for the following links to work, you must have a bookmark to Kyoubai. The quest begins around level 5. All players who meet the criteria for Kyoubai should have a tubmail that opens up system.
Wireless Headset – Currently the most powerful item in the game.
Custom E-Peen(tm) Voucher – Whomever wins this auction will have the ability to create a custom E-Peen(tm).
As always, we’re looking for feedback to improve this product over time. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think.