16 October 2010

Another Day AFK

Today was another day spent away from the computer.  I expect to get some CL work done on Sunday.

I have another large RL project that will probably begin this upcoming week, and my available CL time will reduce accordingly.  This will be a large project, too.  Oy.

15 October 2010

Spending Time

I spent the evening away from the computer, so I did not do any development for Clan Lord this evening.  Instead I spent the evening playing table top games with friends.  It was a great way to spend the evening.

14 October 2010

Fairgrounds Visit

I stopped by the fairgrounds for a couple of hours.  As with most of my visits, I made no formal announcements, nor did I have a formal agenda.

I enjoy not having an agenda, as it allows for a variety of topics.  Through the course of my visit, we discussed the following:
  • Fellblades and the Champion subclass still need some tweaking
  • Experience for high level characters
  • Mystics need a boost (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun)
  • Monster AIs and fun hunting areas
  • Untrainus and respec quests
  • The upcoming Capture the Flag event (plus some TF2 quotes which do not translate well to text)
  • The changes made to Mazika's Mushroom Hut, and its subsequent impact
  • I still get tricked by Hoggle

Thanks to everyone who kept me company during my visit.

13 October 2010

Welcome to V672

This update surprised me in that the UpdateGM had an early opportunity to apply the update.  I had secretly half-expected to update a script and submit it before the storm whilst no one was looking, but the storm had come and passed by the time I logged on this evening.

I had also wanted to stop by for a fairgrounds chat – something that I haven't done in a while – and receive some feedback.  I hear that there was some changes to the Centaur Isle Mushroom Hut and, based on a sampling of the bug reports, concerns were expressed regarding this change.

Perhaps I'll stop by the fairgrounds this evening, time permitting.

12 October 2010

A Footnote

ServerGM contacted me and mentioned that he was unable to replicate the test server crash bug.  The problem which I had been experiencing is on my end.

Ruh roh.

11 October 2010

Tricks and Treats

Sunday, October 31st at 11:00am PT.  That will be the date in which we'll hold the Clan Lord Capture the Flag event.

We'll play for an hour or so.  I am really looking forward to it.  Costumes shall be optional.

10 October 2010

10000 Frames

I am thrilled to see this report from my test server log:
23:35:53 Game: still alive after 10000 frames.
Cheers to the ServerGM and his hunches!  After some correspondence, the ServerGM replied "I think I know what the problem is; try [doing stuff] and tell me the results."  Sure enough, the test server no longer crashed and I was able to log on to the game.

All is well indeed!

09 October 2010

Road Blocks and Detours

I am still working with the ServerGM in an effort to resolve my test server problems.  I am excited at the prospect of finding and identifying a genuine server bug!  Only a small number of GMs have accomplished the feat of crashing the live server, and these elite have their names added to the "Don't Do This" list.  While crashing a test server will not get my name added to this list, identifying the cause of the problem and resolving the issue will make Clan Lord a little bit better – at least from a technical standpoint.

There's an old saying: one door closes, and another door opens.  I find myself facing a road block on my projects – I am unable to make any progress on them until until the crashing bug gets resolved – so instead I find myself taking a developmental detour and I am learning a little more about the server.  As the other old saying goes: if there are no problems to solve, then there are no lessons to learn.  And boy howdy, am I learning!

08 October 2010

No Soup For Me

On the evening of submission night, I was still unable resolve why my copy of the test server was crashing.  The ServerGM read through the crash report which I had sent him and found the cause of the problem, but was unable to pinpoint how or where it was happening.  One of the masking gerbils in my areas or scripts is holding a rebellion, and it is consistently overthrowing the system.

I spent this evening deleting script files and rerunning the server in an effort to isolate the cause of the crash.  I made the (rather obvious) decision not to submit any my V672 content while this problem persisted.  I think that this is the second time in my three years as a GM that I will not be submitting material for an update.

No soup for me.

07 October 2010

Technical Difficulties

I completed updating a couple of scripts, including changes to housing which affects home alone monsters.  I had wished to test my code and confirm that my changes were stable.  I certainly wouldn't want any of my scripts to be the cause of any problems!

I launched my copy of the Clan Lord Debug Server.

That's bad, right?  I guess that I have more debugging to do!

06 October 2010

Home Alone

I spent some time today fixing (gulp) a housing bug.  Housing scripts continue to intimidate me because of their complexity and the volume of their numbers (there are a dozen core scripts which manage the various operations of housing).

The bug in which I addressed was an odd problem: monsters were being lured into players' homes and were then wreaking havoc within neighboring homes.  Some may not consider it a problem when the monster is a rat or a vermine, but it's a very different problem when the monster in question is an olive arachnoid.  That is a problem.

I had been thinking about how ways to resolve this bug.  The obvious approach would be to set up some sort of filtering system which would prevent monsters from entering the housing buildings.  The ServerGM came up with a simpler, more elegant solution: allow monsters into the housing areas, but if they're left home alone, then eject them.

I have updated my copy of the related script to boot "home alone" monsters, but I need to test it before committing the changes.  Rangers will have the remainder of V669 to cause mischief!

05 October 2010

Blood In The Water

There has been some very positive responses from the GMs on holding a Clan Lord Team Fortress match!  All I had to do was use the term "easy prey" and the GMs have been drawn to this event like sharks are drawn to blood in the water.  We are in the process of selecting a date for this event.  Expect Koppi to make an announcement very soon.

I urge the citizens of Puddleby to practice their CTF skills.  Mwahaha!

04 October 2010

Frag A GM!

While I continue with my recent, shameful TF2 binge, I have a new appreciation for the work that Slarty did on Clan Lord Team Fortress.

I have floated the idea to the other GMs on holding an in-game CL Team Fortress match, perhaps players vs. GMs.  We'll see if schedules will permit us to arrange an afternoon of old fashioned Capture the Flag or King of the Hill.

Stay tuned.

03 October 2010

How I Spent My Day

I love Sundays. And I love that I now understand how to spray paint images onto a TF2 map.

Yap yap!

02 October 2010

Choose Your Own Genie

If you were a child of the 1980s, then you may remember the Choose Your Own Adventure book series.  In each book, you (yes you!) were the hero of the story, and the narrative would develop based on your decisions.  Did you want to fight the dragon?  If so, turn to page 98.  If you instead wanted to retreat to safety, then turn to page 63.  Your choices would change the telling of the adventure.  Christian Swinehart has an excellent technical analysis of this series on his web page.

I am still thinking a lot of about Story Genies, and I began to wonder if they could do more than just behave as a walking sign post.  What if – like the choices made within the CYOA books – the speech of the genie could change, based on interaction with other genies?  For example, suppose I have two genies which I name Alpha and Beta.  I tell Beta what to say, but then I also give it instructions on what to say to those players who have visited with Alpha.  When I release Beta from the genie bottle, she says:
"There's money to be made at sea.  A resourceful merchant could carry stone and wood to the builders on Gold Dust Island."
But for those who have met Alpha, she instead says:
"Oh, so I suppose you've been listening to that fool Alpha and he's been filling your head with nonsense.  He's nothing but a pirate, and a poor one at that.  You'd do very well to stay away from him."
What I love about this idea is that a story has the ability to morph, albeit in a limited way.  I view this ability as an option to Story Genies, and it may be available to those players who desire a little more variety in their stories.

This idea is bubbling its way up On The List.

01 October 2010

Another Shameful Milestone Passed

I really should delete Steam from my computer.  Perhaps then I would have any hope of being a productive member of society.