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Mobotropolis

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Everything posted by Mobotropolis

  1. frameworks? where to get started?

    Actually had the same problem. Upgrading my server was the end of my promising Mysidia adventure. There's an effort to update Mysidia called Mysidia Deluxe, but I'm not sure how far along they are. I guess the question to ask yourself now is what you might want your site built in. There are no shortages of CMS and Frameworks that a Pet Site could potentially be built in. Even Wordpress can do it, technically. As someone who's played the Perfect Framework Game for far too long, let me say this; There is none. A push-button solution doesn't really exist. Especially for Pet Sites in particular. You'll have to choose a solution, learn how to work with it, and shape it into that thing that you want. One thing I will say is the process of doing that is probably easier now than it was 5-10 years ago. There are more places you can ask for help. There are video tutorials. Many Frameworks have a support line you can ask questions. If you are completely new to this website-making thing, I'd suggest working on the Front-End first. Front-End is easier to learn and more forgiving than Back-End. Choose a Front-End Framework to work with and design the look and feel of your site. You can either learn or get someone to hook your site up to the Back-End later. Some Popular Front-End Frameworks: Bootstrap - The most popular Front-End Framework. Developed by Twitter. Foundation - Competitor for Bootstrap used by Facebook. Pure - CSS Framework developed by Yahoo. Materialize - A Framework with many ready-to-use components. Semantic UI - Framework designed for Beginners to Front-End Development. Choose one and get buildin'. Oh, and you might need an HTML Editor if you're building Front-End. I just made the switch to Visual Studio Code and am quite happy with it.
  2. Howdy. I've been busy the last few days, but I think I can squeeze out a little time today to take a look around. Let's see what's changed by looking at the News. Okay. Let's take a look around elsewhere. Good work. It seems like things are starting to come together.
  3. frameworks? where to get started?

    The two "big" pet game specific frameworks are Pet Game Framework for $300 and Mysidia Adoptables for Free. Personally I tried both and believe they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. I think the question of "where to start" is not one we can answer. You must ask yourself; what do you want to do? A good exercise is one that I've read from a business book. I don't remember the name, however. Anyway, the exercise; Grab a Sheet of Paper and make three columns; What You Know How to Do What You Don't Know How to Do, But Are Interested In Learning What You Don't Want to Do People who run Pet Games and Online Sims wear a number of hats. What I'm mentioning in Spoilers isn't all of the hats, but the usual suspects for a game that is available for free and does not seek to earn money (yet). Since you're just getting started and likely doing this as a hobby I won't include any of the positions you usually find in a small business: A small and/or hobby game will likely have people wearing filling in multiple roles. A more robust look of things might be that you have people creating Content (Art, Writing, Designs), people doing Development (Coding, Database Management, Server Maintenance), and people doing Services (Marketing, Social Media, Moderation, Support Tickets). If you decide to turn your game into a business you may have someone doing Accounting and Legal work and whatnot. The general idea is to get a feeling of what you may be comfortable with versus things you may want to get hired help to do. As you get into the meat of creating and managing your game you may find what you are and are not comfortable with doing changing. You may become overwhelmed by all of the development work. You may not have time to draw everything anymore. Or you may feel like leaving support and moderation up to someone else while you're actually working on your game. Opinion/General Advice Time: You're not going to know for sure what you're comfortable with unless you try it. I don't recommend spending a great deal of money off the bat. It's like buying an expensive Gym Membership and never going. If you are absolutely new to managing a game you may want to just buy some hosting and try out some stuff out with Mysidia.
  4. How do you come up with names?

    I did not want to spend too much time on something that may not be important, so I came up with three rules. 1. The Pets and Items that are important or exclusive to the In-Game Universe are anagrams of common words used to describe those items. The only exception to the rule so far is the player name's species, but that may change as I continue working. I'd call them Rahmice (Ruh-my-ice) based on my naming convention. Other Takes: Charmei (Cu-ha-arm-may, or Charmy) and Iremach (Eye-er-mack) 2. Names are Randomly Generated. I don't have a great many characters fleshed out beyond the shopkeepers at this point, but due to the mechanics of the world this is taking place in I'm aiming for as many gender-neutral names as possible. 3. Fitting the central theme of the game, all locations are parodies of real world locations. The general idea being to both spark a hint of nostalgia for the player and to make them aware of what can be done there just by reading the name.
  5. Ah. My favorite part of User Experience Testing; breaking stuff. Sure. Let's give it a whirl. Spoiler'd because it's a Wall -
  6. Evocality FAQ

    To help people believe in you and your change you must come with more than the promise. Some people work on games to refine their writing and artistic abilities. Some people work on games to become better programmers. It sounds like you're picking up a game to learn how to become a better Manager and learn how to run a business. That doesn't seem to be a reason given around here often. Still, I believe that being a good owner/manager/leader is one of the most important skills to have. Many-a project with many-a talented person behind has gone down in flames because of poor management. Incidentally, I started out in Business. Well, I think I'm intrigued enough to see what you've got and will look forward to your thread. One more question What inspired you to get into creating a Pet Game? I can wager a guess, but I believe it's more important to hear it. When answering that question and thinking ahead to the thread for your game that you're about to make you may want to put empathizes on the ways that you wish (or maybe already have) pursue such a vision.
  7. Evocality FAQ

    Wasn't around when -- whatever this was went down. I read the entire thing, anyway. Now, I do have some questions which may be helpful in attempting to establish trust; 1. What have you done to become a better Game/Business Owner? Seems like the gist of what happened was you managed the money you raised poorly and were legally advised to vanish when things went South. While stepping forward and taking responsibility for what transpired is a good sign that you have grown as a person since then, people need assurance that you will not just up and vanish should something go wrong on your new project. And not just your players. As the Game Owner you are not just the "ideas person" guiding people who choose to work with you (artists, programmers, moderators, ect.) towards your vision. You must be a leader, and leaders possess certain skills to lead their successful Game/Business. If you haven't already, I'd suggest that you take a class in Business, Entrepreneurship, or even Personal Finance. Such things will help you get a better grasp on how and when to invest revenue in your business, make more accurate estimates for cost, and how to price your eventual products and services. 2. How committed are you to your new project? Though it appears like you've conceded that you don't have the resources to take on a project with the scope of Evocality it also looks like you're not willing to give it up, either. Do you think you have the time and resources to manage two games in addition to whatever other personal or family obligations you may have? Another question that may be worth answering is whether you believe that people will commit to playing and supporting a game that has burned them before? Would people even want to play Evocality if you manage to get it off the ground? I feel like you might want to do some leg-work to field interest for your projects before committing too much time and effort into them. Now would be a good time to show us what you have for Figment since it seems further in development. Perhaps in a thread of its own so the drama from your previous fallout doesn't overshadow it. 3. What do you need help with now? This might be something better reserved for your formal thread for Figment than here since that seems to be where you're putting most of your effort into. I can figure a guess based on your statement. That does make me wonder, though, what you bring to the table besides your ideas. Many people who work up to managing games do so you learn or refine a skill they already possess. Have or would you be able to pick up a new skill to further your ambitions? It seems like you have a lot to learn either way, and I wish you luck in that.
  8. Direction of pet sites in the future?

    Don't be Evil Neopets. Be Pokemon. Here is what Pokemon looked like 10 years ago, in 2008. Here's a shot from last year's Pokemon Let's go Eevee. Pokemon is one of the most successful franchises ever, and it's no surprise why. A new game of some sort has come out every year since 2000. An expansion (also known as a Generation) comes about every 3-5 years. And with that comes a new opportunity to introduce new players to the series and returning players to what has changed since last time. Pokemon feels fresh every time we dip our toes in it because it is. They've made improvements to virtually every feature since the original games and rebuilt the engine from the ground-up several times over the years. Pokemon isn't the only game that does this. Super Mario, Final Fantasy, Madden, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto are some of the bestselling video game franchises out there. They've managed to find the not-so-secret sauce that makes their games feel fresh to newcomers while still embracing attributes that make them nostalgic for returning fans. Your game a Hit? Great. Now put out a sequel. And improve on almost every aspect. Browser Games are treated as a different type of beast than their Console Game counterparts. Usually, a Browser Game is built once and every feature that comes after it launches is built on top of that no matter out outdated or inefficient that becomes. Over time, rebuilding the underlying engine or revamping an outdated feature becomes out of the question for various reasons. You might not have the resources due to declining sales. Your remaining users might resist change. Your to-do list is growing. Or you're overwhelmed by your options and don't want to do what Neopets did and bet on the wrong horse and lose. So the game falls into a rut and your users get bored and leave because you're unwilling, or perhaps unable, to change. I think a Browser Petsim can become a Smash Hit, but only if it breaks the cycle above.
  9. Action 52 project

    Action 52 is a Videogame Multicart that is infamous for the (poor) quality of its games. I'm not particularly strong in Java or C++ but I do know JavaScript and Programming Theory ... ... so I Threw Something Together in Construct, an HTML5/JavaScript Game Engine I learned. It's rough around the edges, but works from a technical perspective. It took about two hours start-to-finish yesterday. Bonus Round: The Hardest Parts were ... Odd Results with attempting to flip a coin. It either always won or always lost. I got around it by rolling a six sided dice in the background and assigning Even to Heads/Win and Odd to Tails/Lose. Score Misadventures. At first, it was rewarding plays an infinite amount of points in a matter of seconds for winning. After I resolved that I had to figure out how to calculate the score. I made a variable and event that looks up the old score and passes through the new score with a simple calculation. While I have the paid version I didn't use any of the Premium Features building this. Construct 3 is free with restriction for personal use and this has under 100 Events so I can send you the CAPX/source if you're interested in learning how this works.
  10. What anime are you into currently?

    @Martyn Everything on my list is a recommendation. If I listed all of the bad anime I watched I'd be here all night. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is pretty consistently called out as being one of the greatest animes ever. I think it's earned that distinction but admit that it is not perfect. Like most long-runners it has pacing problems and things slow down considerably, but they pick right back up and really shine heading into the Final Battle. Sailor Moon Crystal was one of many 90s revival animes that Toei put out in the last few years. I think it's one of the better ones compared to Digimon Tri and Dragonball Super. Crystal is pretty to look at, closer to the manga, and does more with the supporting characters than the 90s anime did at the expense of some of the jokes and filler from the original anime. "Monster of the Week" is not are prevalent in Crystal as it was in the original Sailor Moon which causes the story to move faster. I'm more a fan of short-form (less than 26 episode) anime than long-runners. They can all be binged in a night. FMA and SM are the only two on that list that are not short form.
  11. Howdy. A few days ago I mentioned a concept that seemed to get a warm reception here, so I decided to have at it. I've reached the point where I need to make some tough decisions on concept/design, so I decided to field a survey. Here's the Survey. There are just 8 questions and I feel it shouldn't take much longer than 5 minutes to complete. The main things I'm fishing for here are - An advertising/word of mouth concept If there's an audience for the time period that I'm basing the game in What type of in-game virtual items people might be interested in buying When I say "Your Store" how much customization you'd be willing to put in to make it yours Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks.
  12. Missing Owner

    Since this is an incident involving Real World money why not give the game's name? That might prevent other unsuspecting users/players from potentially being scammed. As far as legal action goes, you might want to check your Terms and Conditions. Many-a-game has protections in place that do not fault them in case something goes wrong during a transaction. Essentially, they wouldn't be on the hook if you paid for a product and you never received it, they decided to take it back, they terminated your account, and whatnot. Even so, you might not be completely up the creek. If you paid for something with your debit or credit card and never received it you may be able to file a dispute with your credit or debit card company to attempt to get your money back.
  13. The Survey or the Concept? I think I can see how the Concept can seem complex, but would need context on what you are concerned with.
  14. Thank you. Every response helps. I'm going to wait until the poll closes to share my findings, but it's helped me decide on a few things: The Initial Shop-List and Items Offered How things the user can buy will work Starter Species (obtaining pets is a bit different, however) How I'll shape and keep track of decisions the player makes How the Shop Mechanic will work and compare/contrast to the Raising Mechanic There is one response that surprised me; What type of pet that users like? I was planning to offer a variety of pets but see that tastes do run across the spectrum. That may call for a runoff poll further along in the progress to get some feedback on some of the designs.
  15. Thanks. I'm working on art/interface while this poll is going on so not to use the fact that I'm doing a poll as an excuse not to work. I've gotten a pretty good response so far and think one or two things might already be decided, but will leave the poll open until Friday evening to get a larger sampling of data. Thanks again.
  16. Where To Start

    I think Pet Game Framework's back-end is PHP so you should learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. A brief rundown of each: HTML is what you use to structure your content, text and images on the page. CSS is what you use to style your content with colors, sizes, borders, and whatnot. JavaScript does many things, but generally makes content on your page change dynamically. PHP is what you use to interact with your web server and the databases where you store player data. Programming is split into Front-End and Back-End Development. Front-End Developers work mainly with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and on the look and feel of a website. Back-End Developers work with languages like PHP, Python and Ruby on the functionality of a website. If you can do both, you are known as a Full-Stack Developer. Now, where should you go to learn all of this stuff? For an absolutely beginner I'd recommend an oldie but goodie: LissaExplains. Though this site is old and has code that isn't really used anymore, I believe its primer which I linked to is a great place to start. The fundamentals of what Lissa teaches (what HTML is, how CSS works, and how to write code) still apply to modern web development. Also it's free. My other recommendation is also free: W3Schools. This is a good place to learn about different modern technologies and to find and test out various code snippets right on the website. Beyond that? There are plenty of decent places you can go to ask questions should you have them. Just be prepared to either show your coding or provide an example for the people who answer your question to work from. For that I'd recommend JSfiddle.
  17. ♥ Jess' art for hire! ♥

    Looks pretty good. Some questions to help you get bites: - When you say icons you mean the first set of imagery/item-like images? - What file format would you be sending your images in? PSDs? - What method of payment do you accept? Paypal or something else? - How would you handle recolors?
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Solpets: 1000+ User Update (New Pets!)

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

    Look at how far this game has come! So, you're using a Custom Solution over Twine now?
  22. 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.
  23. 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 -
  24. 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!
  25. 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.
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