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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 12/03/2008

<@Appocomaster> hi to everyone
<@Appocomaster> sorry to interrupt the convo, but wwe are meant to be running a Q&A here (
<@Appocomaster> even a very delayed one
<@Appocomaster> I spent 40 minutes trying to get my parents to set up CH_Bot, so (arguably) we were lucky to have it at all
<+lenore> it wasnn't a delay, it was an unscheduled game feature
<@Markb> it was scheduled :p
<@Appocomaster> just not announced?
<@Markb> it was announced, just not started ontime :)
<@Markb> I forgot about it too :(
<@Markb> damn work
<@Appocomaster> lol
<@Appocomaster> ok
<@Appocomaster> anyway
<@Appocomaster> a few things first
<@Appocomaster> we're running speedgames as always on http://speedgame.planetarion.com
<@Appocomaster> we're also slowly opening up the betas - we'll announce when they're officially open
<@Appocomaster> unfortunately, most of the developers have been a bit down on time at the moment, hence the 1 extra week delay
<@Appocomaster> hopefully it'll be worth it
<@Appocomaster> :)
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 39):
<@Appocomaster> oh
<@Appocomaster> waiiit
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 1): <Smudge|offline> When will the round name be announced?
<@Appocomaster> that's a lying nickname :(
<@Appocomaster> we're still collecting sumitted round names
<@Appocomaster> after this performance, I'm going to finish collating them and we'll have the alliance HC / reps review
<@Appocomaster> and then we'll put them on the forum for a week of voting
<@Appocomaster> so that it's finalied in time for signups
<@Appocomaster> I think that covers it
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 2): <Smudge|offline> When will speedgames start?
<@Appocomaster> ^^
<@Appocomaster> they're ongoing
<@Appocomaster> lenore, do you have anything to say about plans for this? as you're at least as involved in myself at the moment in speedgames
<+lenore> yup
<+lenore> they've been ongoing for a while
<+lenore> we start tomorrow at 8pm
<@Appocomaster> (restart?)
<+lenore> signups are open now
<+lenore> yes restart
<@Appocomaster> ok, so there's currently no ticking :( I was wrong
<+lenore> nope it sstop an hour ago
<+lenore> when a certain CH was suposed to start
<@Appocomaster> ok, so sign up now! feed that additiction
<@Appocomaster> hey,I was standing in the cold waiting for a taxi :(
<+lenore> more info in #speedgame!
<@Appocomaster> ok?
<@Appocomaster> ok?/win 2
<@Appocomaster> ahh
<+lenore> fail
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 3): <[DDK]JeSs> whose bright idea was this 75 member ally limit
<@Appocomaster> well, it was a combination of bright ideas
<@Appocomaster> it was partly involved in the support planet rule being reintroduced
<@Appocomaster> we weren't quite aware of the alliances not playing the round, and those reforming
<@Appocomaster> but the limit isn't a target, but a limit
<@Appocomaster> (just like the speed limit)
<@Appocomaster> I know it's not populat
<@Appocomaster> *popular
<@Appocomaster> though it's been more grumblings than anything else
<@Appocomaster> so we might stick with it .. at least there's no excuse for keeping planets out of tag
<@Appocomaster> sorry, my room service arrived :D
<@Appocomaster> 30 mins early
<@Appocomaster> ok
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 4): <[DDK]JeSs> whose bright idea was it to reduce bp's
<@Appocomaster> mine
<@Appocomaster> more galaxies
<@Appocomaster> more targets
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 5): <[DDK]JeSs> why change ship names
<@Appocomaster> I don't think we can field this question well :(
<@Appocomaster> sec
<+Lockhead> (I think Appoco doesnt know about that yet tbh)
<@Appocomaster> ok
<@Appocomaster> over the round, the ships have built up sterotypes
<@Appocomaster> for cath, for example, the guardian has always been a kill ship
<@Appocomaster> we're making reference to this btw, which is like, alpha stats - they'll be more final later in the week
<@Appocomaster> http://beta.planetarion.com/manual.php?page=stats
<@Lunar_Lamp> (sorry people, I forgot about CH and was out having a meal with friends - sorry - but at least I was restricting my social life for between rounds ;-))
<@Appocomaster> so I think the names are really reflecting the fundamental change in some ships
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 6): > <[DDK]JeSs> when are we gonna get rid of races?
<@Appocomaster> when we make a tech tree with more branches than just races
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 7): <[DDK]JeSs> when are you gonna bring back the tech tree?
<@Appocomaster> when I can take a week off work and not have anything to do
<@Appocomaster> :p
<@Appocomaster> seriously, it's always been a possibility
<@Appocomaster> maybe next round, but not so likely
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 8): <Smudge|offline> why is there such a long gap between rounds?
<@Appocomaster> there isn't always
<@Appocomaster> but I think most people like a couple of weeks off
<@Appocomaster> to catch up on sleep, see people and go out and have a bit of a social life
<@Appocomaster> it does take its toll on you a bit
<@Appocomaster> so a bit of a break is nice to recharge your batteries
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 9): <Smudge|offline> will we have any free rounds this year?
<@Appocomaster> yes, 5 rounds means 1 is free - jolt promise
<@Appocomaster> so we'll do a summer one
<@Appocomaster> round 27
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 10): <[DDK]JeSs> when will the ingame alliance page have an intel section?
<@Appocomaster> I've always wanted one, I admit
<@Appocomaster> but alliance defence came first
<@Appocomaster> now that's pretty much finished
<@Appocomaster> we can look at other things
<@Appocomaster> however intel can be quite complicated
<@Appocomaster> more so than defence
<@Appocomaster> so it'll take a lot more planning
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 11): > <[DDK]JeSs> is lockhead ever gonna finish those damn bots?
<@Appocomaster> lockhead?
<+Lockhead> "finish" is a difficult word, JeZz
<@Lunar_Lamp> (The bots are being worked on actively, and a lot of development has made that will not have been shown in public at the moment)
<+Lockhead> We have been adding a few features for next round.
<+Lockhead> Thanks Lunar.
<+Lockhead> Currently we havent added any interaction of bots with other planets or players.
<+Lockhead> That's a "to-do" which I havent gotten to yet and cant promise to finish a tested version for R26.
<@Appocomaster> we've been working on them play a bit better
<@Appocomaster> internally
<@Appocomaster> there's also a discussion going on about if they should be scanning and so on ...
<@Appocomaster> obviously it'd be unfair if they ignored distorters and didn't have to make scans !
<@Appocomaster> so there's still some finalisation to be done on some areeas
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 12): <Phil^> can you give a brief example of what the bots may end up being capable of
<@Appocomaster> Lockhead?
<@Appocomaster> (they'll end up plaiying better than me :p
<@Appocomaster> )
<+Lockhead> Thats not hard Appoco.
<+Lockhead> Phil: What we have in mind is
<+Lockhead> for the next step to do some ingal defending or defending between bots
<+Lockhead> and the "last" step would be the bots starting to attack other players randomly, too.
<+Lockhead> Thats still a hard work and requires some theory-thinking about AI etc
<+Lockhead> so anyone wanting to help (either to implement them or to do the "thinking" behind it) is welcomed and should feel free to PM me.
<@Appocomaster> the top planets might not react too well if they got incoming from the bot planets for being too big
<@Appocomaster> ;)
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 13): <[DDK]gm> http://pirate.planetarion.com/showp...mp;postcount=72 Round 26 Announcement - Lokken hit the nail on the head with this post, since CIN is nowhere to be seen and the pa community has expressed their views on the matter, can we get an answer on this and is anything going to be done?
<@Appocomaster> I can't see how you're excluding people because of the support planet rule but are complaining that alliances won't have enough members..
<@Appocomaster> I admit that the changes are more pro alliance
<@Appocomaster> though arguably the defence system will help the smaller alliances more than the bigger alliances
<@Lunar_Lamp> (I might be misreading that question, but if you're talking about Cin, the member of PAteam and coder-extraordinaire, he is still working his proverbials off for PA)
<@Appocomaster> Cin is also working for free instead of looking for a job; he's long term sick and he can't spend all his time arguing and doing coding
<@Lunar_Lamp> So we want him coding.
<@Appocomaster> especially with me doing 12 hour days away from home 5 days a week :(
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 14): <[DDK]gm> At the moment alliances have to sacrifice their most active players to be scanners, what is pa-team going to do about scanning since it is taking proper players away from the game.
<@Appocomaster> their most active players?
<@Appocomaster> over the last rounds, we have I think supported alliance scanners
<@Appocomaster> we added the scanner option, we added the alliance fund and tax for scanners, the ability to scan from the fund.. the ability to group scans, the ability to scan a whole galaxy
<@Appocomaster> so we are trying to support scanners more
<@Appocomaster> I know that there's a dicussion about the scan tech tree in general
<@Appocomaster> and with the pressure on scanners and the new player issues, it might be worth looking at more
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 15): <Feroog> Who is currently in PA Team and the other staff positions? There used to be a credits page on the portal but this seems to have disappeared.
<@Lunar_Lamp> Hmm, that might have been missed off when the new portal was coded.
<@Appocomaster> Lunar is in charge of servers
<@Appocomaster> Fiery MH
<@Appocomaster> myself development, Cin assisting me
<@Appocomaster> markb IRC
<@Appocomaster> Kal forums + managery stuff (keeping a track of signup trends, and so on)
<@Appocomaster> who did I miss that's going to kill me? :(
<@Appocomaster> that's the major people
<@Lunar_Lamp> Biffy is from Jolt and liases between "us" and "theme" ;-)
<@Lunar_Lamp> *them
<@Lunar_Lamp> I'd LOVE to mention the support team, but I feel certain that I'd miss them, and do them a disservice - they all deserve more credit than they get.
<@Lunar_Lamp> (the same with the guys that voluntarily help out with development)
<@Lunar_Lamp> Also, Fiery is head of Support as well as multihunting.
<@Appocomaster> oh yes :)
<@Lunar_Lamp> (she has to counterbalance the nasty with the nice ;-))
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 16): <AC> Has jolt got around to paying its developers rather than its sycophants yet?
<@Appocomaster> we're working on this
<@Appocomaster> Ideally, Cin will be paid
<@Lunar_Lamp> However, I think it's unfair to say that jolt pays the sycophants.
<@Appocomaster> not a full wage
<@Appocomaster> oh, true :)
<@Appocomaster> Jolt doesn't make a huge amount of money from this
<@Lunar_Lamp> They have really helped us out a lot recently.
<@Appocomaster> you keep getting their server help :p
<@Lunar_Lamp> They previously had a bad reputation for the they help they gave us, but there have been organisational changes which appear like they might be favourable to Planetarion in the long term.
* lenore sniggerss
<@Appocomaster> lenore was sniggering about the servers becoming ... broken, and us needing help
<@Appocomaster> btw :p
<+lenore> yus
<@Lunar_Lamp> (also, as a random aside, if anyone knows which digital channel the spurs game is on, please PM me and tell me as I can't find it, and I'm sure it should be on. Some team called "everton" are playing instead)
<@Appocomaster> !!
<@Appocomaster> Jolt were restructured and so hopefully this wil help
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 17): <Smudge|offline> with an extra coder now on board, will the game stay perl based or will it switch to PHP?
<@Appocomaster> I think it'll be perl for a bit
<@Lunar_Lamp> There is virtualy no reason to change to PHP either really.
<@Appocomaster> well, it's a bit more friendly
<@Appocomaster> but it'll take a while to recode everything
<@Lunar_Lamp> In a cost/benefit analysis, the gains of recoding it all in PHP would be small compared to the amount of work it would require.
<@Appocomaster> the only gain is that more people know php!
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 18): .add <Feroog> If the alliance limit is only a limit similar to a speed limit, would it not make sense to only have the highest 60 planets contribute to score? At the moment the limit is something alliances need to reach to compete, if they're missing players then they're disadvantaged.
<@Appocomaster> this is something we could look at again, I believe it's already coded
<@Appocomaster> it might be a solution :)
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 19): <Dazaster> can we have bots through out universe instead of in just one gal?
<@Appocomaster> not until they're better
<@Appocomaster> also, I'd need to think of more names :(
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 20): <[DDK]gm> bigger alliance = more napped planets, more galaxys = more farms... good for pa???
<@Appocomaster> it's not our fault if you NAP each other :p
<@Appocomaster> more galaxies != more farms :(
<@Appocomaster> I know there's a definite question here
<@Appocomaster> and the balance might change back more next round
<@Appocomaster> it's probably due to
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 21): <Smudge|offline> will distored scans which have been blocked ever show to the blocking planet what ally there from? I think there was an idea for that at some point?
<@Appocomaster> it used to be doen
<@Appocomaster> *done
<@Appocomaster> it's very possible I guess
<@Appocomaster> we'll look into it
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 22): <GReaper> Are bots really worth the time spent coding on them? This time could be spent on much more important things which need improving.
<@Appocomaster> Lockhead's a new coder and it does introduce him more to the game
<@Appocomaster> whilst he learns the structure of the 100+ other pages of code
<@Appocomaster> we'll slowly phase him in more :)
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 23): <[DDK]gm> Dont we need to improve pa as a game to attract players and not fill the place up with bots? why not just bring back LDK
<+Lockhead> and its a "nice-to-have" feature as the memberbase doesnt grow bigger.
<@Appocomaster> same question :p
<@Appocomaster> I think LDK are busy with other online browser games
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 24): <Phil^> has the option been considered of removing scans and scanners - and making all that information available ingame directly for any planet? ( not that i would support such a move mind, just to see if the options been discussed and if so what reasons there were for rejecting it )
<@Appocomaster> see above
<@Appocomaster> there's a thread on the forums
<@Appocomaster> I don't think it's goign to happen quite so drastically
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 25): <robban> remove all the <censored> options instead
<@Appocomaster> options of what?
<@Appocomaster> :(
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 26): <JeZz|Work> Are jolt ever gonna spend some money on this game ever again? or just milk every last penny they can before the last 1000 or so players have finnaly had enuff? Will we ever see an advertisement stratergy?
<@Lunar_Lamp> We addressed that briefly earlier, but the future is not bleak for Planetarion from that perspecticve.
<@Lunar_Lamp> (euch, apologies for my typing tonight people)
<@Appocomaster> Jolt are more like a board - if we bring ideas to them, they'll approve / disapprove of them
<@Appocomaster> and we have asked several times for help to sort out advertising and organising it
<@Appocomaster> in CHs etc
<@Appocomaster> with little response :(
<@Appocomaster> so..
<@Appocomaster> we don't have the time, but if no one is willing to organise and come up with the ideas apart from us, then it won't get done
<@Appocomaster> we really mean working without much guidance - most of us don't know much about advertising!
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 27): <Smudge|offline> since when have eitradies been egyptian??!?
<@Appocomaster> ?
<@Appocomaster> the trading theme was getting old
<@Appocomaster> but
<@Appocomaster> they might not stay that way
<@Appocomaster> .nwp
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 28): <ada|work> I'd like to second gm's comment about scanners. good scanners do have to be the most active in the game, much so more than a regular member. and in sacrificing your tech tree/structures to do well as a scanner it's difficult to play properly sometimes
<@Appocomaster> that's true
<@Appocomaster> though I have doubled scan XP this round
<@Appocomaster> :)
<@Appocomaster> as I said, we have looked to improve it
<@Appocomaster> the scanner's lot
<@Appocomaster> hopefully we can more so
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 29): <Sprally> considered advertisment instead of charging players to pay? could attract new players
<@Appocomaster> see above
<@Appocomaster> also
<@Appocomaster> advertising is quite a lot :p
<@Appocomaster> we need to focus on making it more new player friendly
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 30): <Phil^> Can you put clear, easily accessible and understandable instructions on how to connect to IRC on the portal mainpage?, There was someone in #planetarion the other day who had to figure it out for themselves - I know its in the manual but its quite, quite buried and not easy to find if you dont know what you are looking for precisely, and dont want to read the whole thing
<@Lunar_Lamp> Well, we do have IRC access from within the game, but this is something that could definitely be worked on.
<@Appocomaster> indeed
<@Lunar_Lamp> We would welcome submissions of guides explaining this.
<@Appocomaster> I believe A2 has an old one somewhere we can look for
<@Appocomaster> :)
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 31):
<@Lunar_Lamp> It's the kind of thing that can get easily overlooked from our perspective, but we'd love for people to submit guides that they think are of a high enough quality to be used.
<@Appocomaster> .currentquestion
<@Appocomaster> .question
<@Appocomaster> .repeat
<+CH_Bot> (Q ):
<@Appocomaster> ahh
<@Appocomaster> kkinda broke the bot
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 31): <Smudge|offline> will we ever see another out of pa compo again? there was a CS tournie a while back and nothing since
<@Appocomaster> it's something we'd have to actively arrange
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 32): <ada|work> them, they'll approve / disapprove of them <-- so in other words, they actually have no interest in keeping PA going?
<@Appocomaster> they don't take a pro-active interest, but they're not going to turn down our requests out of hand
<@Appocomaster> this is how it was, at least
<@Appocomaster> I haven't spoken to them recently, being busy
<@Appocomaster> Kal might be able to comment on this better
<@Appocomaster> .nqp
<+CH_Bot> (Q 33): <Smudge|offline> (from Bombay) : How about creating free pa graphics, posters flyers etc which could be added to websites or printed and put to schools bulletin boards etc for players to advertise pa?
<@Lunar_Lamp> Remember, PA turns a profit for them, so they do want it to keep going.
<@Appocomaster> sorry :p
<@Appocomaster> last question
<@Appocomaster> graphics people are hard to come by
<@Appocomaster> very hard to come by
<@Appocomaster> AndroX has helped us in the past
<@Appocomaster> and we're greatful for time he's spent helping us
<@Appocomaster> but we're still really needing someone to help out
<@Appocomaster> sorry, that's the last question
<@Appocomaster> as we've overrun
<@Appocomaster> I know we skipped a couple of questions and I'm sorry
<@Appocomaster> we did try and add them all
<@Appocomaster> thanks for listening
<@Appocomaster> apologies for the delay
<@Appocomaster> and thanks to everyone who helped to answer the questions