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Mobotropolis

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Mobotropolis last won the day on October 18

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  1. Worldbuilding + Concept Creation

    Morning. Think I'm far enough out to actually start the building. I bought a server, domain, and have everything set up and configuration on my server. That was the easy part. Now, I have to figure out how all of this is going to work. Since I don't really have anyone to bounce this off of anymore (long story) I'll do it here. Behind a "You Must Register" Wall, of course There are still some questions I need to answer as far as lore goes, but I think some stuff can be made up as we go along. The concept seems pretty solid, at least. I know what I'm building towards.
  2. Worldbuilding + Concept Creation

    I think the question to ask yourself is What do you want to accomplish? Adam was pretty candid about what he wanted to do when creating Neopets. He wanted to make a place where people could go when they're bored and maybe make a little revenue off banner ads. He accomplished both of those things. And he did it without really giving an immense amount of thought into the story or lore or even the mechanics behind how Neopets worked. Years and owners later there still isn't a decent or even a coherent story behind how the world of Neopia works but it still manages to draw a enviable amount of traffic. It seems during the first few years of the site they focused more on gameplay than world building. That came after Adam was bought out. How's it going for me? I'm back to Square One. After spending three years planning out everything from the concept, story, art, lore, pets, and characters and about two months actually building the game ... I decided that this wasn't what I wanted. Like @Dinocanid I thought that the game struggled with being interactive and ultimately fun. I decided to scrap the idea and change my approach. Now, I have a concept. This week, I was working on Theme and Style. I've come up with what I think might be a really good and ... unusual idea when compared to what you might see in a more Traditional Pet Game. There are some elements still there. You still get your dailies. You still get your pets. You are still raising and attempting to create the best ... something ... in a specific way that makes sense with the theme. I ditched the Medevial Fantasy feel from the original concept and decided to work on something set in the not-so-distance past. Research was done to capture that style, those trends, and most importantly that aesthetic since I want it to hit people as soon as they land on the page. Now, I'm going to start building the game. I have a vague idea of how the mechanics of the game will work, but I don't think I'll get a good-enough grasp of it until I actually start building. If there's any advice I could give from my experience -- is that you should start building sooner rather than later. You're not going to know what works or what doesn't on paper. I want to get people in front of it as soon as possible.
  3. Solpets: 1000+ User Update (New Pets!)

    This is for Solpets, apparently.
  4. Explore system!

    Look at how far this game has come! So, you're using a Custom Solution over Twine now?
  5. It sounds like you're describing two different problems but I'll get to that in a minute. The important thing here is to consider " How much is too much? " Back in the Day(TM) when I ran games I was beginning to learn scripting but didn't have any a server that could run it, so I did everything by hand. Once I had systems and formulas in place it took about 1.5 hours to do the nightly updates on my busiest game on top of the additional two hours in the evenings it took to roll for dailies. Every day 20-30+ people queued up to look around for items and pets. If you knew the extent of what I did to maintain order you'd think I was insane and, quite honestly, I wouldn't blame you -- BUT gave me a great understanding for how things should work in the games. I knew how people earned their money. I knew what pets and items people thought were valuable. I knew which ones they thought were junk. I knew how much things sold and/or traded for. So I could easily adjust prices to account for inflation and dailies tables. These Days(also TM), I would not go that far. I know a bit of scripting, now. There are many solutions out there that do some of this stuff already. I'd choose one and modify it further to do a little Reporting for me. Perhaps to add it into the Dashboard. To see how much people are earning and where. How much items are selling for. What items are trading. What games and/or dailies are being played and which are being ignored. And so on. Especially, my endgame would be to figure out what's working and what's not at a glance so I can plan and prepare balance changes and future updates. Automating many-a-task can make 4-5 hours of maintenance a day into more like 4-5 minutes after the initial setup work is done. Many Game Economies fail because creators are looking for a hands-off solution that will " fix itself ", somehow. Which brings me to the other issue. You as your game's creator, master, and executioner should always be looking for ways to improve your game and its economy. Even in my little manually-run games there were what I call Power Players who committed themselves to getting rich by gaming the system and attempting to outsmart me. I understood quickly that I could not stop them by being idle. I came up with ideas for how to slow their progress. I put limitations in place. I raised prices. I put down money sinks. I did things to encourage them to slow down and take in the experience more like the other players who were fascinated that this was even a thing in the early 2000s. For the most part, it was successful -- but there were and still will be Power Players who take great joy in " winning " your sim. Eventually, I let up on attempting to curb their behavior and focused on bridging the gap between moderately skilled and Power Players so players could progress through the ranks more easily. That caused general enjoyment of the game to increase and seemed to be the sweet-spot. As your game's creator, master, and executioner I think the most important thing to do for your players is make the gaming experience enjoyable for new and average players. This is where I think Reporting would be most helpful. Once you know how much money your average player has, how much they make, and how they create and take care of their pets you can begin making moves to bridge the gap between them and your best players. Found the thing that slows Power Players down the most while keeping them engaged is giving them more competition. Just another challenge. And I think the thing that owners want to avoid is people getting discouraged by the length and speed of The Grind (earning money, items, and competitive pets) and quitting before they go from Newbie to Power or even Average Player. Beyond reporting and finding averages, I think the most important thing Game Owners can do to understand The Grind in their games is actually playing it. You'd be surprised by how many Owners do not actually see things from their players perspectives. Ah, can we take a looksie at the game? Judging by what you said it seems like we manage different types of pet sims, but I believe the basics of what I said can be applied to any sim game. Figure out your averages and aim to make the game enjoyable/winnable for the mere mortal/average player.
  6. Mysidia Deluxe

    Generally speaking, I just wanted to make them darker so they looked less like McDonalds. Instead of doing a reinstall I just went in and fixed the code myself and it seems to be working now. I'll look/play around a bit when I get home tonight. Edit: I decided to do a fresh install and got the following after it was done -
  7. Mysidia Deluxe

    Well, it's too hot to cook (heat index 105) and I'm just waiting to jump into portals so let's give this a spin. 1. Downloaded from Github 2. Logged into my Server 3. Upload + Extract went fine 4. Noticed ... my AddOn domain isn't working. I'll do that later. ONWARD. Ah. I remember this familiar screen. And its aesthetic. If I took longer than 5 minutes and actually edited the source (this was inspect) I can make it look even better -- especially on mobile screens. I took a look at the three warnings here and noticed those folders (/gif, /jpg, and /png) were not in the picuploads folder. I made them and made them writable for a pass. Now, for my least favorite part of the installation; creating the database and users. I'm familiar with this process, but wonder if perhaps the instructions should be made more clear for those that aren't. Installation Complete. Now I deleted my Install folder and changed back the Config file so it's unwritable. And go to my site - http://www.ohnomobo.com/mall/ ... Hmm .. This is probably the worst time of the day for me to figure out why I have an error, so I'll sleep on it!
  8. Mysidia Deluxe

    It's nice to see that some people are doing something with this script. I agree that it is a pretty good framework and it's done wonders for helping me get better at PHP. One of the reasons I stopped using it (besides deciding to change directions creatively) was because it was so old and used so many hacks to get you where you needed to go. It'd be nice if some of the most commonly used hacks worked out of the box. A shortlist of what I used (I think you wrote some of these!) So, what do you need help with? I don't think I'm good enough to write PHP/Backend Code, but I am good with front-end design and can help you test features.
  9. Where Do You Work?

    Office Jobs tend to be like that. Most office workers wear a variety of hats and do what is needed of them. I do about 15-20 tasks on a daily basis, but feel its easier to just say " I update the website " since most things fall under that banner. The CEO is usually not the one doing the hiring unless its a very small/startup company. Your resume usually lands in HR's lap first, and they decide to pass it along to whoever may soon be your Manager if it checks most of the marks. Temp job-hunting is similar. They'll call you in for an Interview and ask for your Resume to get an idea of your skillset. Then they'll pass your Resume along to their clients/your possible future Manager if they believe you check most of the boxes. I also live on the East Coast in (fortunately) one of the best places to do this type of work. I want to move out West but not for those prices and/or horror stories. I made more than I made in Retail as a Temp; about $650 a week (after taxes) as the Agency paid weekly. That was a couple of years ago when the market was looser. You might make more now.
  10. Where Do You Work?

    I work in an office. My official title is Web Content Analyst - Digital Marketing Manager. What I do at my day-job is actually pretty close to what I want to do for a pet/sim site; update the website. I post new content, update existing content, help plan content, and code/comp out some new concepts to Test and see if they'll make our site more effective/lead to more revenue generated. I don't do much art on the job (we're partnered with a studio that does most of our production art), but I find that advantageous because it allows us to sketch out a concept and do other work while the art team refines it. There's also nothing stopping me from sketching things out at the desk and finishing once I get home. Sometimes I do Customer Service; answering emails that come in through our Contact Us form, but only because I want to and have been trained to by a previous position. I used to work in Retail; from Cashier to Sales Floor to Receptionist. I understand the difficulty of "breaking in". Once I made it my Full-Time job it still took about six months to even get close. Most of that was because I was learning how to look while I was looking. That in itself is a valuable skill. Here's some Tips for Job-Hunting: 1. Be Proactive. Go to the Job. If you wait for the Job to come to you you'll be waiting for a long time. Find the Jobs you want and/or the Companies you want to work for, send in your Applications/Resume, and follow up (once a week, not every day) until you get a "No". And when you get that "No" thank them for their time and ask if they can give you advice to improve your chances. In the heat of it I applied for 5-10 jobs a day every weekday and followed up every Monday. 2. Find Your Job Title. Open up your favorite Job Search Site and find 3-5 jobs that sound like the thing you want to do. For this stage of the process do not take your personal experience or education level into account. That comes later. From there, copy the entire job description and paste it into a Word Cloud. Copy down the 5-7 biggest words that do not include the Company Name for each position. Then compare the positions to see if there's a correlation. Get those skills. Use those Keywords. Now, go to a Salary site and -- you're not looking at how much you'll be paid. You're actually looking for "similar jobs" to show you what else this position might be called professionally. This information will help you tailor your skills and resume template. 3. Find Your Companies. What's one of the best places to look for local work? Google. Not the Search, mind you, but Google Maps. Take a look at the area you want to work in and zoom in until you can see the building and quite possibly the company names. Click on those, and you may be able to find their company website and possible Careers site. Even if you use the Job Sites like Indeed, Monster, or LinkedIn you should use Maps to determine where the job is. 4. Tailor that Resume. Let's say you found some strong matches and want to apply. Great! Just don't Resume-Bomb them or send them over the same generic resume you post everywhere. Take a look at the position again and revamp your resume to match what you're applying for. Use the words they use. Talk about how your previous experience/current skills match what they want. Since you're an artist, send them a couple of samples of work that are similar to what they're trying to hire for. Surely you have a portfolio, yes? 5. Try Temping to Build Skills and Experience. Maybe you can't get a Full Job off the bat, but many companies need an extra set of hands to get their work done. Try signing up with a Temp Agency which will attempt to connect you to people who are looking for folks with your skill-set. I believe The Creative Group is the big Temp Agency for artists. I built experience through Temping before landing my current job. They're not kidding when they say it's a Temp/Gig Economy. It seems a growing number of companies want to Try before they Buy. Most Desk Jobs will try to accommodate your physical limitations. Here, they will install some desk risers so you can stand at your desk if you request it. You can also get up, walk around, and do some work in areas away from your desk if you want.
  11. What anime are you into currently?

    Admittedly, I'm also in a bit of a rut after watching a few stinkers. Here's some of my favorite anime and how I'd summarize it for newcomers in a sentence: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Two brothers use Science-Magic to save their country from Demons. Spice and Wolf A man goes into business with a Goddess in a world that no longer believes in her. Wolf's Rain Everybody Dies: The Animation. Death Parade Angels use bar games to judge the souls of humans who have recently departed the mortal world. Sailor Moon Crystal The retelling of the story of a girl who discovers she's the reincarnation of a Space Goddess. Magical Girl Raising Project A group of already suffering individuals are tricked into playing The Magical Hunger Games. School-Live! Turns out, the best way to deal with the apocalypse is pretend that it didn't happen. Bokurano What would you do if you are forced to sacrifice yourself to save your world?
  12. Forum Software - Codoforum

    Not yet (aiming for later this week), but Vanilla has a whole showcase full of forums that were built in it.
  13. Pet site vs Pet world

    Yeah. I took a look around your site when I did my audit in May and remember user-submitted content being the concept. In fact, it was one of the few websites I distinctively remember during the audit because it had an unusual concept. Think that's a vital first step. Since I already decided I'm not going to do anything with this idea let me share a bit with you. During one of my Idea Dump/Jams I started comping something called MyVirtualWurld. It combines the the Virtual World concept with a Pet and God Game. 85% of the content (roughly) is User Generated. It would be up to the staff to: Provide Starter-Content so users understand how the mechanics work Provide an over-arching world that explains how something like this exist Provide the Hosting and Functionality so people can manage their own games, called Wurlds. Users are thrust into a Universe and assume the rule of a young God or Goddess who as a show of their power by their God-Parents must shape a healthy world full of little creatures and protect them from harm. They create a little Ant-Farm-like Universe and within one of the titular Wurlds where most of the action in the game will be happening. Within your Wurld everything; from the name of your Wurld to the creatures that live within it, would have been created by you -- or bought from the Marketplace which I'll get to in a minute. You name your Wurld and create/upload an Image Map that has your various areas. Or you can just have a list/series of links for a simple version. After that you create your creatures. You can either upload your images or buy artwork from the Marketplace. Then, you name them and can set the game to generate pretty much any stat, called attributes, at random upon the creature's creation. You decide how many stages the creature has. You decide whether it can be created by a link, discovered in an area, or unlocked through a quest. I actually think the majority of the programming work would be in here; allowing creators to only be limited by their imagination. Then there are the other things you can create: Items, Shops, Dailies, and Quests. You touch not a line of code with any of them but rather go through menus that link up with each other and allow you to get something working in a couple of clicks. I think the aim behind this idea was less about making a super special and unique game and more about the social aspect of creating. I wanted to create a social network-like community of creators who either played each others games or took part in the other major part of this game; the Marketplace where you could sell your work or buy the work of others. That (and selling add ons to the Wurlds) was going to be how the game generated money. You sell extra Wurld and Pet Slots and whatnot. You get a cut of whatever's sold in the Marketplace. Sellers can choose to either sell one-off rights (meaning if someone buys it no one else can) or they can sell unlimited rights (multiple people can buy an artwork). I didn't abandon the idea because it wouldn't work. On contraire; I feared that it would work too well. The question I couldn't easily solve for was how I was going to moderate people loading their own pets and items onto the servers and into the marketplace. Free-Upload will be Chaos when you get up there in User-Count, but getting everyone's stuff up and approved at a reasonable pace would require around-the-clock staffing.
  14. Forum Software - Codoforum

    Simple Machines Forum supports SSO but you'll have to do some work to get it to look nice. Invision Power Board is probably the best of the older forum software packages (but that may be bias talking since I hosted my earliest games through here). I'm not sure about paying more for a forum than I do my entire hosting/game development package annually, however. I decided to use Vanilla for my pet project because it has a ton of modern features right out of the box without looking for add-ons or plug-ins, it's designed to be integrated into a website, and you can't beat Free on price.
  15. Pet site vs Pet world

    In my eyes, nothing. A Pet Site is a website who's main objective is capturing/creating/breeding monsters. You usually have to do some matter of busy-work to earn money and items to take care of your acquired pets. It could be farming dailies. It could be playing mini-games. It could be quests or special events. All designed to get you coming back to the site and putting it into your routine. I noticed about ... 10 years ago that a certain Pet Site began to refer to itself as more of a Virtual World than a Pet Site. That may be because it was technically part of a larger's company suite of gaming sites, and on a corporate level they referred to all of the games as Virtual Worlds. Yet that type of terminology spread, and games seemed to shift towards attempting to provide an immersive experience for its players. Again, in my eyes, it's the same thing. The vast majority of games out there today technically qualify as being a Virtual World. They explain the circumstances of their world to the players to help them understand why they need to do the things they need to do to progress in the game. Even games that don't technically have a map for you to explore tend to have story and lore. It helps you understand the creator's artistic vision. It also gives hopefully entertaining reason for you to do busy-work for hours.
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