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Creators Hour 30/12/2008

<Appocomaster> sorry this is an hour late
<Appocomaster> as was said, I completely forgot this was tonight
<Appocomaster> right
<Appocomaster> Hi
<Appocomaster> :-)
<Appocomaster> Merry Christmas all
<Appocomaster> I hope you've all had a nice time with family and friends
<Appocomaster> and are going to have a bit more partying tomorrow night ;)
<Appocomaster> I know I will be!
<Appocomaster> Right
<Appocomaster> our snow-filled portal page at http://www.planetarion.com/ (thanks Cin!) has announced that we're starting ticks in about 3 weeks time
<Appocomaster> we're also planning on having a slightly longer than normal round
<Appocomaster> 10 weeks!
<Appocomaster> we're going to announce a few things closer to the tick start date
<Appocomaster> probably in a couple of weeks when signups start
<Appocomaster> it is a longer than expected break
<Appocomaster> we may well be looking at some sort of speedgame-related fun after this havoc ends
<Appocomaster> depending on the time available
<Appocomaster> right, I think I'll get on with the questions
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 1): <NitbiT-ArounD> Q1. Why not make the overview a full overview with status / eta / complete tick of all topics like research, construction, covertops, production (only ordernrs, no further details), fleet (mission status including pls)
<Appocomaster> overview is pretty cramped
<Appocomaster> there's a lot of stuff on it
<Appocomaster> even with the magic autohide thing
<Appocomaster> we show the mission status through the colour of the fleet
<Appocomaster> (or if we didn't we can look at changing that, but I'm pretty sure we used to)
<Appocomaster> also, if the page gets too long
<Appocomaster> it's irritating
<Appocomaster> I know I only ever viewed it to see where my fleets were and to copy/paste my fleets into bcalcs
<Appocomaster> beause that was the easiest format to copy/paste
<Appocomaster> I think there's enough information
<Appocomaster> it does just about all of what you've asked apart from production
<Appocomaster> as research and construction are on there you might have an argument
<Appocomaster> for the rest ... I don't think it's really relevant or helpful :(
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 2): <AndroX[Busy]> Is there ANY news about OMAC or Jolt that is in fact usefull for PA team and PA that you can share with the pa community?
<Appocomaster> yes and no
<Appocomaster> we're waiting for an update on one or two things
<Appocomaster> we hope to hear in the next week or so
<Appocomaster> either way, it will probably cause some discussion amongst you all
<Appocomaster> so we're trying to get all the appropriate information first
<Appocomaster> I'm sorry I can't be more clear than that :(
<Appocomaster> you can yell at us afterwards for it!
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 3): <Assassin> on a serious note, can sumone please explain to me why the alliance limit was made upto 100? surely this will just kill of smaller alliances?
<Appocomaster> the alliance limit is, but we don't expect people to meet it
<Appocomaster> perhaps we made it too low
<Appocomaster> it's in response to the constant demand from some quarters to get rid of the limit
<Appocomaster> whilst we didn't want to leave the option open for super alliances
<Appocomaster> we felt that 100 was enough to in effect mean alliances could recruit as much as they wanted without getting drastically out of hand
<Appocomaster> if it all goes to pieces, we can move it back down again for next round [I know that it's not popular when we make drastic changes]
<Appocomaster> but that, together with the support planet rule being dropped, means it's more about communities keeping together because they want to keep together, rather than because the rules say they have to.
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 4): <Murdock|PC> Any previews or 1eaks for the new round? p1ease =D
<Appocomaster> no 1eaks for the new round yet, no
<Appocomaster> I'm trying to squeeze some coding in, and I know Cin's been working when he can on some bits
<Appocomaster> but we're preferring to finish coding before we announce things
<Appocomaster> :)
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 5): <NitbiT-ArounD> Q2. Add a button to report abusive (galaxy welcome) mails so new people can report it and PA team can immediately watch the galaxy.If continued, warnt he whole galaxy, and if no improvement disband the galaxy (I assume only hardcore gals will act this way, so they rlly don't want to be disbanded). Hopefully it will not come that far, cause it might cost you players, but then again it welcomes new people.
<Appocomaster> at the very least, we can add a link to the multihunter support ticket
<Appocomaster> I'm not sure if only hardcore galaxies would work this way though
<Appocomaster> whilst it's at least partially down to the various planetarion teams to help to teach the game via the manual etc and make it user friendly
<Appocomaster> everyone stays because of the community
<Appocomaster> it's not always easy to force anyone to do something they don't want to
<Appocomaster> ah
<Appocomaster> I assume this is because whilst this is a mail, it's not a reportable mail because it's part of the galaxy system? I think we'll need to peak at it
<Appocomaster> maybe making it reportable is easier!
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 6): <AndroX[Busy]> Are there people working on the portal and/or forums besides PACREW - is there a list with people in the difference dev's? If yes, where can we find this list?
<Appocomaster> not really, I'm afraid :(
<Appocomaster> we used to have a credits page
<Appocomaster> http://www.planetarion.com/misc/pages/staff
<Appocomaster> that's what we have but it doesn't include dev people
<Appocomaster> the dev people are people that i've chosen as reps of the community to bounce ideas off of
<Appocomaster> no one apart from myself and Cin is coding for the game
<Appocomaster> as with the previous few rounds
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 7): <NitbiT-ArounD> q3. Exiling; don't exile immediately, but save them up for some ticks (variable) untill you can fill a new galaxy with new players and exiled players and shuffle the remaining (new) ones among other galaxies. New players are likely to endup in a more friendly galaxy, and some established players are also in to help a hand. maybe put a pa-team/support-team player (or other volunteers) in it to help a hand?
<Appocomaster> I think the first comment a few people would have is "KISS"
<Appocomaster> we'd have to first have a supply of these volunteers
<Appocomaster> you're basically saying that exiles exile into new galaxies and not old galaxies
<Appocomaster> which would mean those that people with bad randoms who exile them out don't get another chance at getting new active exiles
<Appocomaster> also, what happens to signups ? are they stored up? "we don't have a suitable galaxy for your account, please wait an indefinite amount of time until we do!"
<Appocomaster> also, what about those exiled into c200 by their galaxy?
<Appocomaster> they may be inactive
<Appocomaster> and so would have to be exiled again
<Appocomaster> it seems a bit complicated
<Appocomaster> though I appreciate the work you've spent trying to find a way to create new galaxies that support the new players still :)
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 8): <AndroX[Busy]> I've requested some time ago the idea to dump all known scans in a dump file like planet/galaxy/alliance dumps - to stop abusing scanplanets and other crap. Your answer was you will debate this, is this done yet and what was the outcome?
<Appocomaster> there has been some internal discussion
<Appocomaster> the answer was basically that we were against this
<Appocomaster> as it underminded most of the scanning system
<Appocomaster> especially for things like jumpgates
<Appocomaster> I know that HaNzI and co have helpfully been scanning the whole universe
<Appocomaster> we have nothing against this as such
<Appocomaster> (though it seems a bit excessive :P)
<Appocomaster> it'll be interesting to see if it continues over and over
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 9): <Assassin> is there any chance in the future can we go back to maybe having science vs war instead of 5 races? found that more entertaining latley. maybe for just a round?
<Appocomaster> this would involve the dread recode of the tech tree
<Appocomaster> as everyone has been aware of for some time, we have no round 5 code to "roll back" to
<Appocomaster> whilst I know one or two people may have some up their sleeve squirreled away
<Appocomaster> it's not going to be simple to do
<Appocomaster> and at that point we may as well redo the whole system
<Appocomaster> I think that personally, I was looking at something more interactive
<Appocomaster> where you had steal, kill, emp and cloak
<Appocomaster> and you chose up to 4 ships from one, 3 from another, 2 from another and 1 from the last
<Appocomaster> where if you chose 4 from steal you had to have only 1 emp ship, and 4 cloak is 1 kill
<Appocomaster> just as an exercise of seeing if it worked
<Appocomaster> it got a bit complicated though :)
<Appocomaster> something more simple is certainly possible, but I think would wait on a general recode
<Appocomaster> [of the tech tree]
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 10): <NitbiT-ArounD> q5. Implement polls on the overview screen (not so many that ppl get sick of it) to get feedback. The best info you get from real players, and not a bunch of ppl from the forums that think they can control it all. Include things like round-length, interface, communication (irc/ingame forum/forums)
<Appocomaster> yeah I wanted a poll thing too. we have had a few polls. it's more knowing the questions to ask
<Appocomaster> and having someone to have the time to think of the questions, set the poll up, answer the questions, and implement the changes :p
<Appocomaster> <if anyone is offering ...?>
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 11): <Assassin> We will ever see the return of proper speed rounds? (ie meaning competition ones not these stupid ones i keep witnessing on weekends which just re-set)
<Appocomaster> perhaps :)
<Appocomaster> we've had the ongoing speed stuff
<Appocomaster> we only generally have a couple of galaxies worth of 'hardcore' people though
<Appocomaster> we might have to move to 5 man private galaxies
<Appocomaster> maybe some capture the flag stuff
<Appocomaster> I know having it always there makes people not want to play it
<Appocomaster> i'll see if I can squeeze one in
<Appocomaster> see how many teams want to play :-)
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 12): <Assassin> What happend to this idea of having maybe a portal which will be your own account always once u signup to it, bit like soccer management games will this ever happen?
<Appocomaster> Cin's portal (the current portal) partially implements this
<Appocomaster> but he's busy with game coding
<Appocomaster> we do want to do it
<Appocomaster> we really do
<Appocomaster> maybe we will later this year :-)
<Appocomaster> we'll see
<Appocomaster> it might be a priority around april/may
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 13): <AndroX[Coffee]> Why is the rnd 10 weeks? is there a reason behind this or just for kicks?
<Appocomaster> it gets complicated
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 14): <ReligFree> What do you aim to achieve by having a 10 week round? The last two rounds have stagnated around week 5-6, so surely 4-5 weeks of watching one alliance dominate surely won't do the game any favours in the long term?
<Appocomaster> this one has more negative things for me to argue against :-)
<Appocomaster> part of the reason we're starting late is to give us more potential coding time
<Appocomaster> in which to put one or two things which should [hopefully] make the game last a bit longer
<Appocomaster> also, after a week or two of dominating, often things implode [FPM R10.5]
<Appocomaster> which turned into FM and a lot of deleted accounts
<Appocomaster> whilst we're not hoping that happens, it might be interesting to have a slight change of scenary
<Appocomaster> there's also another reason, which I alluded to earlier, which will hopefully be announced when the round starts
<Appocomaster> which this may also help
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 15): <Assassin> Aha yes that reminds me. On the rankings is there any chance we can have scanners added to it so we can view that? Instead of waiting all round?
<Appocomaster> we can look at adding scanners too
<Appocomaster> in fact, we may see more people doing scanning [and covert opping] next round :)
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 16): <NitbiT-ArounD> q7. Why make the (current beta) fleetstats harder to play with (more pod-classes, more ship-types). It only gets harder to understand for new players and they might drop the game earlier because of it. And we need new players ffs :p
<Appocomaster> I guess it's different.
<Appocomaster> I know it probably is going to give DCs a bit of a headache
<Appocomaster> and I may go over it closer to the time with JBG to see how things are going
<Appocomaster> but we've just had a fairly traditional set of stats
<Appocomaster> though I'm still upset and confused by the fact the Recluse, which I wanted to name the Black Widow, isn't named that
<Appocomaster> it's caused no end of problems for my fi/co incoming this round :(
<Appocomaster> I have a lot of Widows though :-)
<Appocomaster> I'm sure we'll come to some compromise
<Appocomaster> I remember the sheer shock when I suggested we have races that all have a steal ship
<Appocomaster> in Round 14 or whatever
<Appocomaster> it's good to shake things up occasionally
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 17): <Frye|> Would it be possible to ad some kind of "Cov op style" penalty to scans. So that it would be impossible to scan all the time. Dists and amps could stil be there but in general.
<Appocomaster> this wouldn't really work in the current setup
<Appocomaster> where we're so dependant on scanners
<Appocomaster> distorter planets would obviously be all for it, though!
<Appocomaster> i honestly can't think of a) how I'd do this in a reasonably uncomplicated way
<Appocomaster> b) why we'd want to do this
<Appocomaster> apart from to thwart people like Hanzi!
<Appocomaster> sorry, I'm giving him a lot of references
<Appocomaster> I apologise
<Appocomaster> he's not even here to defend himself
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 18): <M0|afk> Why let someone from ASC make the stats ? Shouldnt someone not involved in playing do this. In a football game the manager doesnt get to choose the referee either..
<Appocomaster> your analogy would be equilvent to alliances choosing multihunters
<Appocomaster> which they don't!
<Appocomaster> each of his iterations of stats is put on the beta server
<Appocomaster> you currently have .... 3 weeks ? 3 1/2 weeks? to analyse his stats
<Appocomaster> that's assuming myself and others don't stick our oars in
<Appocomaster> also, just creating the stats doesn't always help
<Appocomaster> I've happily created stats that people have used in ways i'd never have thought of
<Appocomaster> it's not just the stats that makes the game
<Appocomaster> it's how the community interprets them
<Appocomaster> in R12, for example, some people thought Terran was amazing
<Appocomaster> the stats were actually balanced
<Appocomaster> it's as much reading the community and prevailing wind as the stats themselves
<Appocomaster> if xan do well against terran, and 30% of the uni are terran, you go Xan :-)
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 19): Gabriel> Would just like to say I like the idea of changing things abit each round, experimenting with round length, bizarre stats, alliance sizes to find a decent balance that's make the game more interesting. Are you planning on doing this more? 5 week rounds? Trippy stats? 50 member alliance limits?
<Appocomaster> not really, no
<Appocomaster> not hugely
<Appocomaster> 5 week rounds would be a no
<Appocomaster> trippy stats, only in speedgames
<Appocomaster> I can see comic stats though ...
<Appocomaster> our race / government / stats setup is pretty flexible
<Appocomaster> if someone wanted to submit some/all of their own setup
<Appocomaster> we had a vote on the best one or two
<Appocomaster> then ran a speedgame for a weekend or two on them
<Appocomaster> might befun!
<Appocomaster> bringing us on to our currently last question ...
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 20): <Murdock|PC> You guys though of doing more price based games and/or 1an parties?
<Appocomaster> in short, no
<Appocomaster> we don't own the payment system
<Appocomaster> so would have to utilise the current in-game payment system
<Appocomaster> also, I'm not sure what you meant
<Appocomaster> Murdock|PC: if you'd like to elaborate?
* Appocomaster pokes Murdock|PC
<Appocomaster> you just asked the question!
<Appocomaster> we find it hard to do LAN parties
<Appocomaster> as we generally need a representative there
<Appocomaster> we did one once
<Murdock|PC> back. Sorry
<Appocomaster> for a norwegian event
<Appocomaster> but that wasn't very popular
<Appocomaster> so we ended up opening it up
<Appocomaster> I'm not sure how much demand there'd be for someone hiring out a speedgame
<Appocomaster> server
<Murdock|PC> O1d time PA p1ayer here I remember around round 8 I think you did a 1AN party was wondering if you guys where thinking of doing one. A1so about price p1ay speeds games where you cou1d win game credits etc (you may do but ive on1y just got back into pa)
<Appocomaster> just out of interest - is your "L" key broken? :p
<Murdock|PC> yea =p
<Appocomaster> :(
<Appocomaster> we used to be part of the I events
<Appocomaster> but that kinda fell through since Jolt (who are rivals of multiplay) took over
<Appocomaster> that and I believe that due to the behaviour of *some* of the more drunk members of the community / PA Team at the time, we were banned from all future i events
<Murdock|PC> Have you though of smugg1ing in a server sti11?
<Appocomaster> we have no one to smuggle in the server or set it up
<Appocomaster> and no one to publicise that it's there to play on
<Appocomaster> and no one to run it
<Appocomaster> so we're doing well :p
<Murdock|PC> You cou1d do it as a po11 in game to see if peop1e are interest in the next 1an event and im sure there member of the community that wou1d do it.
<Appocomaster> we just have to hand over the server :p
<Murdock|PC> no Virtua1 copies or watered down versions?
<Appocomaster> we have the code on an SVN repository
<Appocomaster> and a database schema
<Appocomaster> so we could export it to other servers with the correct perl / mysql / php versions
<Appocomaster> but that assumes the server is secure etc
<Appocomaster> it gets a bit complicated
<Appocomaster> we did discuss it with Jolt previously and they wanted someone paid by them and a server that they knew was secure and so on
<Appocomaster> anyway
<Appocomaster> it's something that we acknolwedge is possible
<Appocomaster> but rapidly gets complicated
<Appocomaster> it's easier to, if possible, leave the server and the code where they are
<Appocomaster> and allow people to use it
<Appocomaster> anyway
<Appocomaster> I'll try and get this put up later
<Appocomaster> thanks for listening guys
<Appocomaster> sorry it was so late