Posted at 21:23 GMT on Tuesday 27th March 2007
<Appocomaster> Good evening everyone, and welcome to today's Creators Hour :)
<Appocomaster> before we start, we've got a few announcements
<Appocomaster> Firstly, as announced, signups for Round 21 will be opened tomorrow at 20:00 GMT
<Appocomaster> for those of you that care, yes this is half way through the football match, that's why I'm signing up before hand and letting someone else open them ;)
<myk> Me, because I can't watch the match :(
<Appocomaster> if you want to vote on the round name for next round, we have a poll just open here: http://pirate.planetarion.com/showt...d.php?p=3099982
<Appocomaster> which a few people appear to have already noticed :)
<Appocomaster> this'll be open until signups start - we can't actually open signups until we know the winner, so get voting!
<Appocomaster> Secondly, with regards to the Speedgame
<Appocomaster> Speedgame signups will open on Friday
<Appocomaster> at 12:00 GMT
<Appocomaster> Saturday 12:00 GMT - Sunday 12:00 GMT we'll have a CTF game, with private galaxies of up to 10
<Appocomaster> if you want to join a random game, you can :-)
<Appocomaster> we may unofficially keep things going on there indefinitely - havoc etc - because that's on a different server to the beta and game
<Pea> Remember, you can message CH_Bot with any questions you have!
<Appocomaster> briefly, for those of you that don't know what CTF is, it's "Capture the Flag". Every galaxy has a special asteroid, their "flag", given to them as they come out of protection
<Appocomaster> they're basically the same as normal special asteroids.
<Appocomaster> The galaxy who steals the most of them by the end of the round wins. It's quite simple :)
<Appocomaster> alliances and out of galaxy defence will be disabled, as you're really meant to concentrate on your own galaxy
<Appocomaster> the ticks will be 1 minute long, and stats will be available by Friday - they're as yet unconfirmed, but will probably be a version of stats from one round or another :-)
<Appocomaster> this, as well as the coming beta, will be free
<Appocomaster> with regards to the beta, the signups will be delayed overnight unfortunately whilst a few final things are sorted out.
<Appocomaster> Stats are available @ http://www.planetarion.com/manual/stats/beta , but are in no way final
<Appocomaster> I have to take the password off
<myk> I'll do it quickly..
<Appocomaster> SOON the stats will be available from the above URL ^^ :D
<Appocomaster> that should now work
<Appocomaster> with regards to next round, most of the changes have been announced
<Appocomaster> population basically "replaces" engineering
<Appocomaster> you have willing slaves that you can allocate to various areas of your planet
<myk> A lot of people are asking what it actually does, so I'll just take a minute and explain
<Appocomaster> yes, I'll fix the stats site again :)
<myk> As you all know there are 4 different forms of government being introduced in to PA for Round 21, they are Feudalism, Dictatorship, Democracy and Unification.
<myk> They affect different areas of the game based on the way these governments typically run in real life. Such as the dictator's government will be better at covert operation alerts.
<myk> The other areas of the game which governments affect include: Research times, Construction times, Production times, Production Costs and Stealth level.
<myk> When you get to sign up tomorrow, when you look at the Population page you will see information about each of the forms of government including their bonus' which they would bring to your planet as well as negatives.
<myk> It's important to note that Population and Governments are two different things. I will explain:
<myk> Population replaces Engineering, allowing you to set where your population works the most on - same principles as Engineering but more control over what certain areas of your population work harder at.
<myk> Population levels can be changed every 48 ticks, just like Engineering used to be.
<myk> However, Governments is a one time deal, you have only one chance to choose your Government so once you've chosen it, there is no going back!
<myk> Governments can only be set in the first 336 ticks after you've upgraded your account.
<Appocomaster> you'll also be told about what governemnts do when you login, with the specific bonuses costs
<Appocomaster> now Idler is going to speak about the portal :)
<Idler> Hello hello and welcome all to CH, its great to be here :)
<Idler> well I wont take up too much of your time, but I would just like to get everyone up to speed about the ongoings of the portal
<Idler> As you may remember, I spoke about a Epic that would have part 1 posted on friday last week. Im sorry to say but thats going to be a few more days delayed, as Im not really happy about the ending :/ so sorry about that, but its right around the corner
<Idler> further more, as I said during end of round ceremony, we've aquired some great posters for the column
<Idler> atm a few of these are making their finishing touches to their contributions
<Idler> but a few have already started
<Idler> Angryduck have recently finished up a interview with our very own myk, which can be located here: http://www.planetarion.com/columns.php?a=article&id=319
<myk> uh oh
<Idler> its a fairly interesting read, so go check it out :) I enjoyed it, hehe
<Idler> Also, our forum hero, and long time comrade JBG has a few views on who the best PA alliance is
<Idler> his original contribution comes in a 5 section weekly bonanza
<Idler> it can be located here, http://www.planetarion.com/columns.php?a=article&id=320 . Im sure it will please some, anger some, and amuse others, its a time well spendt reading :)
<Idler> the last thing I want to adress is that the stripcreator for a free r21 credit is still open! details are located here
<Idler> entries are still submitted to Idler@planetarion.com , Im in the process of replying to everyone who have submitted so far, and I must say Im really happy about the turnout :)
<Idler> who would know PA actually housed funny people, heh
<Idler> I will be making a announcement on the PA forums later tonight with the details regarding end of competition, aswell as some more juicy news on the portal projects, so stay tuned :)
<Idler> thats all from me, thanks guys
<Appocomaster> Right, just a couple of things and then FINALLY your questions
<Appocomaster> stats still isn't working, we seem to be having a problem turning off the user/pass setting.
<Appocomaster> mentioning no names *cough* Lunar *cough*, someone's recently been updating the configuration and this might have been an issue
<Appocomaster> however, as you're signing up tomorrow morning, hopefully it'll be fixed by then. Even if we have to reinstall parts of the server :-)
<Appocomaster> if it's done in the next 30 mins - 1 hour, I'll let you know
<Appocomaster> now for the questions
<CH_Bot> (Q 1): <bitesize> what about a weekly speed game with civil hours?
<Appocomaster> we're actually starting to show this could well happen
<Appocomaster> the fact we're having a server for signups for the game, a server for beta testing and a speedgame on a third server shows it's definitely possible
<Appocomaster> though if we have weekly speedgames, it'll obviously mean that they won't be so special. They could end up being treated as some of the free pa clones, where people sign up for a round over a day or two
<Appocomaster> it'd also need some monitoring, which has to be taken into account
<Appocomaster> if it was unmonitored, it'd obviously be easier :-)
<Appocomaster> we'll see how it goes, and could perhaps start a discussion about how formal these speedgames would be
<CH_Bot> (Q 2): <Smudge> What are Jolt actually doing with PA? There seems to be an AWFUL lot of talking with them but nothing coming back which is visible to the average player
<Appocomaster> is biffy here?
<Appocomaster> part of the issue is that, whilst many don't realise this, Jolt is in fact comparitively small. We do talk with them, and hope for a free summer round.
<Appocomaster> Jolt are happy to let the PA Team run the game, in general
<CH_Bot> (Q 3): <Smudge> Quests - are they ever coming back?)
<Appocomaster> I know this is an oft-raised point
<Appocomaster> yes, by rights they should be back by now
<Appocomaster> if anyone wants to design quest setups, it'd be great. we could have a competiton for it :)
<Appocomaster> part of the issue is a flexible implemetation
<Appocomaster> whilst the idea is nice and friendly, there's actually many interpretations of it
<Appocomaster> we *will* try and get it in though :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 4): <Dr_Zaius> I don't play any more but I still have to ask... About those pictures of the creators in dresses...still waiting?
<Appocomaster> if you can find us in a dress, you're welcome to take pictures of it :D
<Appocomaster> and possibly distribute them
<Appocomaster> if you survive with an intact camera
<CH_Bot> (Q 5): <Rhino> Question, to remove the SK's from game..
<Appocomaster> that's more a statement
<Appocomaster> admittedly, SKs are an interesting case
<Appocomaster> whilst the idea is nice, they're very powerful and so the ships are comparitively weak
<Appocomaster> to "balance" it
<Appocomaster> however, I think it's still a valid feature
<Appocomaster> though it could perhaps be tweaked
<Appocomaster> to make it more "fair"
<Appocomaster> it's also a nice way of killing off those with lots of amps/distorters who have a high security setting ;)
<CH_Bot> (Q 6): <prin> what will the format be for Sg's
<Appocomaster> I've mentioned this :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 7): <caj> please elaborate on the population system
<Appocomaster> well, myk did sort of elaborate on it a bit already :)
<myk> I've gone in to a lot of detail regarding the population system already, however, if you feel this is not enough, the manual will have a better explanation of it for you.
<CH_Bot> (Q 8): <spng> I want to play a beta of next round, where do I sign up? And when?
<Appocomaster> tomorrow, beta.planetarion.com once we manage to unpassword our own server
<Appocomaster> :\ slightly embarassing
<Appocomaster> at least it's comparitively secure :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 9): <spng> can you tell us more about the different goverments? What they will affect etc? And what was the reason this change in engineering was made?
<myk> Again, refer to my last comment, forgot to mention this before, but the manual will be available when signups open.
<Appocomaster> the reason they were changed was because engineering was fairly static
<Appocomaster> moving to a population basis allows for more things in the future
<Appocomaster> it opens more doorways
<myk> Yes, population makes it more dynamic :)
<Appocomaster> *potentially :p
<Appocomaster> we had to fire some engineers, but not many people like engineers...
<CH_Bot> (Q 10): <Admiral_Eragon> Can we have a speedgame ?
<Appocomaster> yes :-)
<CH_Bot> (Q 11): <MiNi_D> can we have a never resetting version of planetarion based on the old round 3 style? to be run in tandem with the current game and 2 hour ticks?
<Appocomaster> we don't have round 3.
<Lunar_Lamp> http://www.planetarion.com/manual/stats/beta <== Now working. Thanks for the huge advance warning on opening stats up to the public appoco ;-)
<Appocomaster> we have that version I cobbled together which was round 19-converted-into-r4-in-2-days
<Appocomaster> I know you get bored and want thinks to do after dinner
<Appocomaster> well done, Lunar
<Appocomaster> that's the stats you'll be playing with tomorrow
<Appocomaster> we could possible have an ongoing speedgame, as mentioned before
<Appocomaster> though the setup would have to be debated
<Appocomaster> and I'm sure that there's already r3 clones out there to play
<Appocomaster> what was it... deto pa? that php clone? I'm sure there's still versions of that somewhere
<Appocomaster> so if we do do a speedgame, it'll probably be more based on recent rounds of PA
<Appocomaster> though it's possible we'd go for no-xp ones sometimes :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 12): <h4wk> Can i have a credit if i put a dress on and take pictures?
<Appocomaster> take pictures of what? why does the state of dress you're in matter? ;)
<Appocomaster> if you become pa team, then you can get a free credit, as everyone seems to like the pa team in a dress. how about that? :-)
<CH_Bot> (Q 13): <Admiral_Eragon> Can we have a speedround with private gals
<Appocomaster> yes, this weekend.
<CH_Bot> (Q 14): <MiNi_D> if i have a 36 meter and 48 meter lengthed triangle, what is the length of the third side?
<CH_Bot> (Q 15): <Super_Zeus> why are the names of former creators not allowed to be reproccessed when it is rather obvious that they will not return?
<Appocomaster> Spinner is still around
<Appocomaster> I've seen Oreo and Zeus pop up occasionally
<Appocomaster> Fudge often wasn't around pubically anyway :/
<Appocomaster> it's as much respect as anything else, I believe.
<CH_Bot> (Q 16): <Colax> i was wondering on what was happing in the way of advertising for pa, and if it was a good and doable idea for individual players to advertise pa on their web space, like my space and facebook, and maybe include sume sort of incentive?
<Appocomaster> I think Kal wanted to answer this
<Appocomaster> though I do know that there's a facebook group, because I'm on it
<myk> Me too, I think that this does have some kind of promise, but I think it needs a lot more attention to detail before we could do something a long these lines as there is a lot to check.
<Lunar_Lamp> For those wanting to search for the Facebook group, it's called: Planetarion ruins my real life and yet I have signed up for another round
<Kal> yes, we would like to this kind of thing
<Kal> I'll put together some ad banners and things and work out a sensible way to get them to people etc.
<Kal> One problme though is that all of this takes time
<Kal> And unforutnatly I'm horribly busy at work atm....
<Kal> ..So if you want to help me get something set up please do poke me :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 17): <[LDK]CarDinaL> and still 70ppl limit per ally?
<Appocomaster> yes - though the last 10 must be below half the average of the top 10 alliances (or so)
<CH_Bot> (Q 18): <Forest_afk> im the only dictator in pa, the rest can leave or die!
<Appocomaster> well, you can chose the dictator government, assuming you upgrade :-)
<Lunar_Lamp> Appocomaster tells me that that is not actually the earlist Forest_afk has declared war on the entire universe!
<Appocomaster> (we think this is the earliest in the round that Forest has declared war on anyone: it's 17 days till tickstart)
<CH_Bot> (Q 19): <DeLoS|afk> will any scans reveal what government-type a planet has chosen?
<Appocomaster> it'll make it more interesting, I think
<CH_Bot> (Q 20): <Neophus> so government replaces engineering priorities then?
<Appocomaster> no, population replaces engineering. Government is like, extra.
<CH_Bot> (Q 21): <[SG]PriN[Bored]> regarding the sg's... and as there only short i take it that we will get researchs/contrust etc done?
<Appocomaster> no - actually, with 1 minute ticks over 24 hours, it's about the same as a normal length round
<Appocomaster> however, I'll probably change it so that the person with the "flag" can get hit no matter the size, as this stops people from hiding and donating all their resources away. which is naughty.
<CH_Bot> (Q 22): <[LOST]Tultanos> why should we upgrade if we don't know it's full potential?
<Appocomaster> it'll be in the manual, as myk said
<CH_Bot> (Q 23): <koKs> is the zik steal:die ratio also taking effect this round??
<Appocomaster> it's still the same, yes
<CH_Bot> (Q 24): <koKs> beta testing?
<Appocomaster> answered :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 25): <[eX]SkyHead> When will manual be fully updated?
<Appocomaster> I don't know what myk's deadline for this is :)
<myk> My deadline is when signups opens
<Lunar_Lamp> (Forest_afk would just like to make clear that he was declaring war on the entire universe next round; not just players with a dictator government)
<Appocomaster> which is tomorrow...
<Appocomaster> sleep well
<myk> i always do
<CH_Bot> (Q 26): <Xontas> to get back to that jolt question, how is jolt letting PAteam run the game, do you have a % of the earnings to run development and advertisement or is it all done on volenteers?
<Appocomaster> it's all volunteered, as it was when you were here.
<Appocomaster> the profit from the game is such that if we divided it up among even the pa team, well, I don't think it'd be too much a week to boast about :\
<CH_Bot> (Q 27): <koKs> perhaps a ship that can steal resources?? stop people stockpiling
<Appocomaster> yes, this has been present in the past and I sneakily started putting some of it in the combat engine just before last round. Hopefully I'll finish by next round ;)
<CH_Bot> (Q 28): <Death666> why do spiders target De now?
<Appocomaster> because they're bored of Co and want bigger prey
<CH_Bot> (Q 29): <DeLoS|afk> what is a planet's population based on, and will it be the same for every planet? (or will it vary, and what does that depend on?)
<Appocomaster> this round it's fairly arbitary - it's as much to see what our current setup is for population. It's not related as such to the population settings. It will randomly change every tick, and in future rounds will be far more heavily involved in the game (perhaps needing people to man ships, build constructions, research, and so on....)
<CH_Bot> (Q 30): <Smasher> How come instead of making the game more newbie friendly so we can have again 10000 players, each round something comes to make it even more complicated?Are you trying to just keep those 1-1,5 ppl that still pay to play for some time now?
<Appocomaster> there's several issues here. Some parts of the game are always more complicated
<Appocomaster> if everything was so simple that you could understand it in an hour, then everyone would get more bored more quickly
<Appocomaster> having areas of complexity means that whilst you can have a guess as a new player about the most beneficial setup, you can spend more and more time learning the best way of doing things
<Appocomaster> if you take some pretty big games - most in fact - then it's not always entirely obvious what the best character / race / setup / alignment / skills / etc are
<Appocomaster> or what combination is most effective
<Appocomaster> some people spend days and weeks finding out
<Appocomaster> why should Planetarion be different?
<Appocomaster> whilst I agree that some areas need to be make more user friendly, and probably always will
<Appocomaster> as you can never make a game *too* user friendly
<Appocomaster> some of it is just attracting people to the game and keeping them long enough to get interested
<Appocomaster> a couple of rounds ago, I know someone who joined, landed in a top gal, spent a while in #support talking and asking questions, and also to his galaxy mates
<Appocomaster> by the end of the round he was bored and decided to leave
<CH_Bot> (Q 31): <TudorRosie> Will we ever see Appocomaster/Kal/Mark/Myk/biffy in a dress i.e. reminiscent of Spinner?
<myk> If you manage to find my personal website somewhere out there on the internet, you'll see me in one. However, I doubt you'll find it :D
<Appocomaster> myself, no
<Appocomaster> biffy is scottish, so if a kilt counts...
<Mark> difficult question :p
<Appocomaster> I don't know what the others have to say
<myk> It was a student night and I had to dress up, forced by mates :P i pulled the short straw.. honest :P
<Lunar_Lamp> Anyone with myk's personal website URL - pm withit now and I'll announce it ;-)
<Appocomaster> a couple more quickly
<CH_Bot> (Q 32): <munkee> why are all the ships suddenly so cheap from the new stats or am i missing something
<Appocomaster> they are
<Appocomaster> Monroe, who desgined the stats, thought that more ships might be more fun
<CH_Bot> (Q 33): <tom|wow> can we have the person who guesses the right amount of times the pa server goes down in r21 recieves a free credit for round 22
<Appocomaster> yes, but I'll be speaking to anyone who guesses any number higher than 0
<Lunar_Lamp> It won't go down.
<Appocomaster> we promise not to break it this time.. honest ;)
<Lunar_Lamp> I've spoken to the server, and it's under strict orders to not go down.
<Appocomaster> Cin did most of the coding
<CH_Bot> (Q 34): <Rasputin> Can we change zik steal ratio to 1.1 to 1 or something above 1:1? Kinda cheap that someone can decide to build SKs for me to steal and ruin my round
<Appocomaster> yes, but you get lots of SKs :D
<Appocomaster> perhaps, but I'd prefer to leave it as it is
<CH_Bot> (Q 35): <ATRO> do you realise the thief is a stealing ship with init 6?
<Appocomaster> yes :)
<Appocomaster> that's obviously up for discussion
<CH_Bot> (Q 36): <Chef[afk]> so... the "feed lunar_lamp fund"... when will this be commencing? can we expect pictures of starving lunar_lamp's on our screens with celebrity endorsements... example: forest walking through lunar's flat saying "just £2 a day can feed lunar and stop him eating tinned tomatoes"
<Lunar_Lamp> I sold some xbox360 games today (piece of junk) so have some cash again.
<Lunar_Lamp> I ate food today :-)
<Appocomaster> and finally
<CH_Bot> (Q 37): <[DDK]gm> since there is no prize for an alliance coming first, a prize could be to give 10 possable names for the next round to be put up for vote, just an idea :P
<Appocomaster> there are prizes for alliances coming first
<Appocomaster> CT got 5 credits off me (well, 6 actually from the all comp) just the other day
<Appocomaster> also, I'm not sure that *all* of the names deserve credits, just the winning one :)
<Appocomaster> sorry we overran slightly
<Appocomaster> and that the stats weren't quite there when I wanted them
<Appocomaster> I'll try and get a log of this up nice and quickly
<Appocomaster> and post a summary of it online afterwards
<Lunar_Lamp> (also, I'd like to point out that Appocomaster, the Maths Graduate, got the maths question wrong - his answer assumed a right angled triangle)
<Appocomaster> before bed time
<Appocomaster> the angle was IMPLICIT in the question :p
<Appocomaster> thanks for listening to us for over an hour. mainly me, too!