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  • Round 107 Ticks Start: Friday 31st May 2024

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  • Round 105 -The Legend of PontyPandy: 403

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  • 1 Jan:

Creators Hour 2/10/05

<@Kal> Hello everyone and welcome to the first of what we hope will be many productive "Creators" Hours
<@Kal> The reason we are holding this now is to make Kloopy's job of sorting havoc out much more difficult as he
has to concentrate on two things
<@Kloopy> Haha. He's not kidding, you know. :/
<@Kal> The program is a simple one first i'll distract you from havoc by tlaking for a bit, then Apooco will talk
to you about next rounds ship stats, then Klopoy will tell us the joys of code and finally we will answer the submitted
questions as best we can
<@Kloopy> If you wish to ask questions during this CH, make sure you give the questions to us! To do that simply
type /msg #questions <Your Question>
<@Kal> (please make them easy)
<@therealmig> lol
<@Kloopy> (Make them hard, really. We'd like to be challenged)
<@Kal> Before netx round we have a nice free speedgame with lots of free prizes. The actually look pretty decent,
so its worth taking a look even if you have never plated a speedgame before - so check out the last couple of
announcements on the portal/forums to find out about that.
<@Kloopy> These are prizes from some pretty major hardware companies.
<@Kloopy> And we've got loads to give away!
<@Kloopy> We've not decided which winners get them yet, but do well in the speedgame and there are some real
physical prizes up for grabs.
<@Kloopy> Which is a first for PA in a long time, so make the most of it!
<@therealmig> Jolt onto a winner there
* @Kloopy prods Kal.
<@Kal> We aim to start the next round mid-late October, depending on how often Kloopy escapes from his cage, the
changes are mainly bug fixes to various things and minor changes. Kloopy has allready got a load of theese done, and as
it looks like havoc is no longer distracting him he should be able to tell us all about them.
<@Kal> But first Appoco is going to tell us all about his wonderful ship stats
* @therealmig prods Appocomaster
<@therealmig> *wake up*
<@Appocomaster> oh
<@Appocomaster> that's not fair
<@Appocomaster> well, as anyone who's been checking the strategy forum will know, I've been busy producing
hundreds of versions of stats recently
<@Appocomaster> well, I'm on #13 :-)
<@Appocomaster> They're slightly different to this round's stats, but they're a modification to (hopefully)
improve them. The major change involves steal going back to just Zik, which we hope will reduce bashing lower valued
planets for "free" ships
<@Appocomaster> Stats will be beta tested while we're seeing Kloopy coded his bug fixes properly, over the havoc
period, but I don't know if they'll be in the Speedgame - I'd assume not.
<@Appocomaster> So stats will stay the same until Round 15 (I know a few of you had concerns about whether they'd
<@Appocomaster> The current version of stats is http://www.geocities.com/appocomast...newstats13.htm, and the URL
for comments is http://pirate.planetarion.com/showt...d.php?p=2940855
<@Appocomaster> anyway, over to you Kloopy
<@Kloopy> Hehe.
<@Kloopy> Right.
<@Kloopy> Coding.
<@Kloopy> Most of you probably know we've had hordes of bug reports this round.
<@Kloopy> And there have been MANY feature requests.
<@Kloopy> From the small visual things to proper gameplay changing features.
<@Kloopy> So having had time off to get my new flat and my Summer holiday, the todo list grew bigger and bigger.
<@Kloopy> But over the past couple of weeks, I've been hacking away and we've got a fair amount done.
<@Kloopy> There should be significantly less bugs for R15.
<@Kloopy> And you'll also see alot of the smaller features you're expecting from us.
<@Kloopy> However, due to reasons that will (I think) become apparant in the Question and Answers section coming
up next, we're not spending time working on the big features just yet.
<@Kloopy> So, if you were looking forward to the promised amazing R15 that we talked about months ago, I'm afraid
we've dissapointed you once more.
<@Kloopy> But fear not, since now Planetarion has some paid coding resource, we've got guaranteed development time.
<@Kloopy> For the time being you'll not see too much, because I'm working on fixing the bugs in the game.
<@Kloopy> And that's really boring stuff for the players since they see very little change in teh game they play.
<@Kloopy> But once the current list of bugs has been fixed, be ready for some blodoy cool stuff to come along!
<@Kloopy> I shall stop rambling and getting excited about what's coming up though, and pass the mic back to Kal.
<@therealmig> there was alot of bugs!
<@therealmig> or kloopyfixes them slowly
<@Kal> Ok who covert oped me?
<@Kloopy> But it is exciting, I promise. We're not allowed to announce it yet, but big things are happening!
<@therealmig> i'll let you decide
<@Kal> Right well, I suppose we should answer the questions people have submitted then
<@Kloopy> (Please can I say the first 'nqp'?)
<@Kal> lol
* Appocomaster is now known as Fluffy_Bot
<@Fluffy_Bot> Ready?
<@Kloopy> GO go go!
<@Fluffy_Bot> <NitinA> do you guys even read the suggestions forum anymore?
<@Kloopy> The what?
<@Kal> lol
<@therealmig> lol
<@Kal> well yes we do read it
<@Fluffy_Bot> I personally read it, and I try to post on most threads.
<@Kal> but we are slightly preoccupied with preparing for the nest round at the moment
<@Kloopy> Of course we read it, we're excited about develping the game as much as you are playing it and bringing
up these new ideas.
<@therealmig> Yes, kal and appoco's job is to trawl through forums and pick out good ideas, so shout to them if
you think they've missed something
<@Kal> Wakey has some excelent ideas to improve the way it works, which we hope to be implementing soon as well
<@Kloopy> But as we've said, the bug list is bigger than the Eiffel Tower.
<@Fluffy_Bot> (shout loudly, as I play music usually)
<@Kal> go on Kloopy, you can say it
<@Kloopy> So, in essence, we do, yes... Please bear with us though as we improve the way we deal with the requests
and get them onto our official TODO list.
<@therealmig> "official"
<@Kloopy> Yes, by "official" I mean the list that is shoved under my nose and stapled to my forehead until
<@Kloopy> nqp
<@Fluffy_Bot> <jer> when will you people make these ceremonies non-boring/****(bot dodge :P)
<@Kloopy> We realise that the past couple have been pretty badly planned.
<@Kloopy> But it's difficult, we have no idea what the people we're interviewing will be like.
<@therealmig> i suppose it's only interesting if your the winner or a particular prize
<@Kloopy> One idea we've already come up with though is to, a few days before the ceremony, put up a website where
you lot can all post questions.
<@Kloopy> I'm sure you can come up with some pretty exciting questions for the winners.
<@Fluffy_Bot> we could go back to just letting them say "thanks, i'll have my credit, bye"
<@Kloopy> And the ceremony is all about giving you a chance to meet the winner.
<@Kloopy> So I think at the end of Round 15, we'll let you all decide how it works.
<@Kloopy> And if we dont' seem to be planning it about a week before, come and PM me and I'll make sure something
is done about it.
<@Kloopy> Anything anyone else wants to add?
<@Fluffy_Bot> nope :-)
<@Kal> they should probably remind us the round is meant to end as well
<@Kloopy> nqp, then.
<@Fluffy_Bot> <[ToF]Reptilian> will there ever be a new race, or a new ship class?
<@Kloopy> That's difficult.
<@Kloopy> From a technical point of view, at least.
<@Kloopy> The number of races and ships is hardcoded to alot of places in the code.
<@Kloopy> Which for the non-saavy of you means it takes a lot of time and effort to make new ones.
<@Kloopy> I think the idea of increasing the number of ships and/or races is fantastic.
<@therealmig> races especially
<@Kloopy> It opens up much more opportunity for variation between rounds.
<@Kloopy> However, what it would need is serious changes to the game code.
<@therealmig> hmmmm if anyone has got ideas of what speciality a new race could have please pm one of us
<@Fluffy_Bot> Personally I'd prefer a single starting point and the oppertunity to create variety through choices
you make as the round goes on through research and construction
<@Kloopy> Which is the whole thing I'm getting excited about, that I mentioned ealier.
<@Kal> more variations in play is good, however we also have to be careful not to overcomplicate it for the new
<@therealmig> necromongers!
<@Kloopy> I think Kal has a good point there.
<@Kloopy> When I was first learning the game properly, races were introduced and I found that a difficult concept.
<@Kloopy> (And I'm not even blonde haired!)
<@Kloopy> I think what's needed is something more like Appocomaster suggested.
<@Kloopy> Where we have a common starting ground and the choices you make in research and construction affect your
"race" as it were.
<@Kloopy> But there's so much scope there for discussion, it'll have to wait until after the speedgame, when we
have R15 running.
<@therealmig> nqp?
<@Kloopy> Yes, nqp!
<@Fluffy_Bot> <alch> What are the directions PA is going to round16? are there allready features in your mind and
so on?
<@Kloopy> Yes.
<@Kloopy> Yes yes yes.
<@Kloopy> This is where we've been silently reading the suggestions forum.
<@Kloopy> We've got lots of ideas.
<@Kloopy> But if we announce about it now, we'll only get distracted whilst we're preparing the speedgame and R15.
<@Kloopy> But once R15 has started, we're going to be announcing some exciting stuff!
<@Kal> its very hard to keep Kloopy chained to the computer, so we try not to let him get to excited
<@NB3> Yeah he keeps escaping to the pub
<@therealmig> Kloopy and excitement = wet trousers
<@Kloopy> It probably gives too much away, but you'll find that your experience of the game, of support and of the
whole Planetarion experience in general will change as we approach R16.
<@Kloopy> I don't know if you've noticed, but over the past couple of weeks, morale in PATeam has increased.
<@Kloopy> We're answering more in #support and we're listening and communicating more on IRC.
<@Kloopy> We're quite enthusiastic about the future of PA at the moment.
<@therealmig> Kloopy excites me
<@Kloopy> And that'll all be shown to you when we announce our big secrets during the start of R15.
<@Kloopy> nqp, before I talk too much about The Pan?
<@Fluffy_Bot> <Gandalf> Can we make it so defenders get XP points?
<@Fluffy_Bot> This is a difficult question
<@Kal> indeed
<@Kloopy> I've never played the game offensively myself.
<@Kloopy> So I'm all for XP for defenders.
<@Fluffy_Bot> Part of the problem is how to allocate the XP.
<@Fluffy_Bot> There's been a few discussions on the forums about it, and I'm for XP for defenders, but there's too
many ways to abuse it
<@Kal> with the current combat engine its rather hard, but we aim to make things more flexible so that such ideas
are at least easier to implement if we can find a decent system thats not abusable
<@Fluffy_Bot> Hopefully we'll find a way to implement it in the next couple of rounds (16/17) - feel free to talk
about it on the forums, and come up with new ideas as to how to allocate XP
<@Kloopy> npq?
<@Kloopy> (This is exciting, I don't actually know what's coming up next!)
<@Kloopy> Appocomaster?
* @Kal pokes Fluffy_Bot
<@Fluffy_Bot> <Phil^> Are there any plans for any more free speedgames in the future?
<@Kal> nqp
<@Fluffy_Bot> sorry, was adding new questions
<@Kal> yes
<@therealmig> ones with prizes!
<@therealmig> real life prizs!
<@Kal> I think the general consesnus is that speedgames don;t tend to get many players, so why not make them free
and have more fun
<@Kloopy> Again, theres a technical answer to this...
<@Kloopy> For a long time we've only had one server capable of running Planetarion.
<@Kloopy> But this round we were blessed with a super dooper server from Jolt which ticks our lovely Universe in a
little over a minute.
<@Fluffy_Bot> You're answering my next question!
<@Fluffy_Bot> (sort of)
<@Kloopy> So we now have the opportunity to use the old server for PA.
<@Kloopy> And one of the ways we can utilise the dormant server is for speed games.
<@Kloopy> What we plan to do at the moment though is use it for beta testing.
<@Kloopy> And before I encroach further on the next question...
<@Kloopy> nqp.
<@Fluffy_Bot> <Phil^> Since pa has more then one (functional) game server now, will pateam consider the
possibility of a round-for-hire, where groups of <@Fluffy_Bot> people pay upfront for a round with the settings they specify?
<@Fluffy_Bot> <Phil^> For instance they could pay for a weekend of ticks @ 2 mins, and after that period the
timeslot is available for hire again. This <@Fluffy_Bot> would run alongside any current running round of course, not instead of.
<@therealmig> APPOC!
<@Fluffy_Bot> oops. that was bad formatting ^_^
<@Kloopy> Indeed this would be an option.
<@therealmig> Yes!!
<@Kal> I think ideas like that have the potential to be lots of fun
<@Kloopy> However, there are considerations of course.
<@therealmig> kloopy if i may?
<@Kloopy> Sure, I have one thing to say, you first though mig, you might say it for me!
<@therealmig> it's certainly something we have been looking at for a couple of rounds
<@therealmig> as biffy has now got us a "super" new server
<@therealmig> we do have a "spare" server if kloopy is happy with letting it out
<@therealmig> and alliances are interested
<@therealmig> drop me an email ([email protected])
<@Fluffy_Bot> A question would be the cost, of course
<@therealmig> and i'm sure we can sort something out
<@Fluffy_Bot> and the period to rent it out for :-)
<@therealmig> kloopy?
<@Kal> I kidnapped Kloopy i'm afraid
<@therealmig> appoc, those small details we can sort out
<@therealmig> kloopynapped!
<@Kloopy> The only downside I thought of was if we rent the server out for "private" games, the number of users
playing will be quite small.
<@Kloopy> And as we all know, the game is more fun the larger the Universe.
<@Kloopy> I think we'd have to arrange some serious events on the server before we start renting it out.
<@therealmig> alliance vs alliance could be quite fun
<@Kloopy> That -would- be fun.
<@Kloopy> Anyway, nqp?
<@Fluffy_Bot> this is 3 similar ones
<@Fluffy_Bot> <[S]Ali> what steps are we taking for advertsiing?
<@Fluffy_Bot> <Bit> Wouldnt it be fun, advertisement and profit to auction the naming rights for 1 or 2 ships for
the next PA round on eBay and spread the <@Fluffy_Bot> info about it on gaming-mags ?
<@Fluffy_Bot> <alch> Will you finally works on a Decent marketing campaign in order to attrack players like we
requested in the past? Or will jolt again put a very small amount of money into this and run some little ads in their
networks of site.
<@Fluffy_Bot> I think biffy might want to comment :-)
<@Kloopy> Is he here at the moment?
<@therealmig> i don't think he's around
<@therealmig> so i'll take his place :
<@therealmig> It's funny
<@therealmig> the way im talking about marketting in 3 diff chans!
<@therealmig> and as i was saying just now in another chan
<@therealmig> pa has fallen behind over the last few rounds, both in gameplay and visual features
<@therealmig> now there's no way we can compete with games such as wow
<@therealmig> so its a slightly uneven playing field
<@Kloopy> Not entirely.
<@Kloopy> But Planetarion is a completed different game to WoW.
<@therealmig> however myself and biffy do have ideas on marketting initiatives they we want to put forward
<@Kloopy> You can play WoW as well as PA, they are very far apart in gameplay.
<@therealmig> i'll let you know of any progress with them
<@therealmig> again
<@therealmig> if anyone has any nice ideas or sites they think we should be targetting then email me
<@therealmig> nqp
<@Fluffy_Bot> <lissu> How about some kind of planetary defense system for constructions against structure killers?
<@Kloopy> Yes!
<@Kloopy> I'd love to see these return.
<@Kloopy> I think they are a fantastic thing for new players.
<@Fluffy_Bot> This is a point in dispute
* traffic ([email protected]) Quit (Signed off)
<@Kloopy> I always remember concentrating on PDS rather than ships in my early days.
<@Fluffy_Bot> the problem is trying to balance PDS vs ships
<@Kloopy> And I know that's bad from a winning point of view, but I enjoyed it.
<@Fluffy_Bot> and new players do use PDS, but it creates bashing etc
<@Kal> <Kloopy> I always remember concentrating on PDS rather than ships in my early days. <-- is that why
u lost
<@Kloopy> And surely it's all about making Planetarion enjoyable?
<@Kloopy> But as Appocomaster says, it's something that's incredibly difficult to balance.
<@Kloopy> So if it were to make a return it would have to be after a long discussion about it.
<@Fluffy_Bot> loosing all your PDS as someone takes you out isn't fun
<@Kal> What i'd like is some special PDS that are anti strucutre kilelrs only - maybe have them as actual
structure - that kind of thing
<@Kloopy> Anti-"Aircraft" structures would be fun.
<@Kloopy> But this isn't a brain storming session, lets move on and answer more questions!
<@Fluffy_Bot> <Kargool> Will you guys change the url from game to something else, seing as alot of people cant
play it from work?
<@therealmig> p45.planetarion.com was suggested
<@Kloopy> The trouble is, we want to run multiple versions of the game simultaneously.
<@Kloopy> And what that means is we have to set the cookies for the game to a particular URL.
<@Kal> actually thats something to add to the todo list - short answer is there is a half coded admin system to
support multipl urls for an individual game
<@Kloopy> We were preivously setting them for ".plaentarion.com"
<@Kloopy> But as Kal says it's something we want to get into the game, because we don't want to shut people out.
<@Kloopy> It's something that won't be there for R15 start, but is something we could possibly introduce during
the round.
<@Kal> where i work .planetarion.com is blocked
* Diabolica ([email protected]) has left #planetarion
<@Kloopy> Where I work, I do the blocking.
<@Kloopy> nqp
<@Fluffy_Bot> <Phil^> Have pateam come up with a viable way of preventing or blocking the use of remote-control
software for cheating?
<@Kloopy> It's impossible is the short answer.
<@Kloopy> With the way the Internet works and the way remote-control software works on the host computer, we're
not able to detect whether a user is logging in from a machine directly or whether they are controlling that machine via
remote control.
<@Kloopy> Anyone who has studied technologies associated with the Internet will know that.
<@Kloopy> And there's no point lying about it.
<@Kloopy> All we can do is apply other methods to detect whether someone has been logging in remotely.
<@Kloopy> And they mostly depend on differences between the people interacting with an account.
<@Kloopy> And of course the most useful way for us to stop this is if you hear about it or see it, report it to us
<@Kloopy> It's cheating, it means those players have a greater advantage and it isn't fair.
<@Kloopy> So tell us if you see it!
<@therealmig> 10mins left
<@Kloopy> nqp
<@Fluffy_Bot> <jer> oh one last thing, this wasnt addressed in the last 2-3 rounds end of rnd question shit and i
do always ask; can we please stop with the supergals?
<@therealmig> supergals?
<@Kloopy> You mean the really sexy, big breasted women?
<@Fluffy_Bot> No, he means the galaxies that seem to form and do extremely well
<@Kloopy> Kal? Appoco?
<@Fluffy_Bot> also: <^MDK^MAN^> So what are PAteam going todo about PAteam members cheating with galsetup's? aka
helping "some" people into the right gals, like u did this round with 6:10 and in the past rounds.
<@therealmig> cheating?
<@Kal> I'm not aware of us doing anything to 6:10
* Fluffy_Bot sets mode: +v jer
<+jer> hello
<@therealmig> if anyone has any evidence of pateam members cheating
<+jer> want an explanation about my question?
<@therealmig> then please give it to myself
<@Kal> we certannly don;t move people into galaxies on request
<+jer> i myself got moved.
<+jer> so i know it happens
<+jer> but then i "heard" of the #1 gal getting planet(s?) AFTER they were #1
<+jer> as hilarious as that was
<@Kal> planets could ahve exiled into it
<@Kal> potenitally that is
<@Kal> i haven;t monitored its planet count
<+jer> lol
<+jer> kal
<+jer> let me explain the scenario
<+jer> i presume you realise half the people in 6.10 are very very good friends
<+jer> of the same social circle etc
<+jer> tell me the chances of they ALL ending up ina gal together
<+jer> same thing last rnd in a couple of cases
<+jer> and the rnd before.
<+jer> hurry guys, 3mins till creator hour is over! cant let a question go unanswered
<@Kal> well withotu specifics and knowing who supsedly moved people its hard to know what to say
<@Fluffy_Bot> we will look into it
<@Fluffy_Bot> we have logs :-)
<@Kal> but if u think someone in pateam is absuing thigns, plese to tell us
<@therealmig> as i said if anyone has evidence then pm me
<+jer> what do you think im doing now
<+jer> ive whined about this every rnd since r12
<@Kloopy> This isn't the time to investigate an accusation as big as this.
<+jer> when is it time?
<@Kloopy> Lets talk tomorrow evening, if you want.
<@Fluffy_Bot> one last question?
<+jer> and trust me there are a lot of 'accusations' but not many who are as carefree/whiny as me :|
<+jer> ok hf
<+jer> where?
<@Fluffy_Bot> noo
<@Fluffy_Bot> after yours
<@Kloopy> PM me after CH, we'll talk quickly then.
* Kloopy sets mode: -v jer
<@Kloopy> Right, so nqp.
<@Fluffy_Bot> <Kargool> do you understand that by withholding radical changes to the game you make the players
unsure if they want to continue to play?
<@Kloopy> lqp?
<@Kloopy> Yes, and that's a big concern to us.
<@Kloopy> But as I've said we've got lots of things planned for R16.
<@Kloopy> Major changes across the board.
<@Kal> and they will get discussed
<@Kloopy> But if we talk about them now, we'll have no idea for R15 preparations.
<@Kloopy> Or the speed game.
<@Kloopy> So please, bear with us.
<@therealmig> and our competitors will nick them!
<@Fluffy_Bot> To be honest, we don't have time to code it all and have it working near properly
<@Kal> I'll just say one little thing
<@Kloopy> We originally wanted to talk about things like The Pan in this CH, but we decided to postpone it.
<@Kloopy> Until a suitable time.
<@Kal> with the round 16 stuff there will be lots of community consultation
<@Kal> so stay tuned
<@therealmig> there will?
<@Fluffy_Bot> It's what the forums and IRC are for :-)
<@Kloopy> Right, well we've run out of time and it seems you've posted some really good questions during this CH.
<@Kloopy> It would be nice to have some decent questions posted before hand next time.
<@Fluffy_Bot> I've got some left over
<@Kloopy> We're planning on another CH at the start of R15, as I mentioned earlier.
<@therealmig> apoc post them on our forum and we can get some answers together
<@Kloopy> So get your thinking caps on, we want to be able to answer you face to face again, like the good old
<@Fluffy_Bot> Well, thanks for everyone who turned up :-)
<@Appocomaster> *to
* therealmig sets mode: -m