Topic: Kongregate /
Why do you do it to us greg?
We’d like to thank everyone who has chimed in on this thread. This information has been helpful, and will continue to be helpful, in addressing the current reported issues with Stick Arena on Kongregate. We’re trying to address all of the posts in this thread at once, so this will be a long post -
Redirect to XGenStudios.com
We think that this problem is being caused by legacy code initially implement to prevent players from hitting the .SWF file directly on XGenStudios.com. For example, players attempt to access www.xgenstudios.com/stickarenaballistick.swf (not a real URL) directly, instead of through the game’s proper page. In doing so, these players gained the advantage of being able to see outside of the game’s typical boundaries, as the engine does perform some overdraw. We think that this was causing the game to redirect to our website when players have browser zoom enabled. This redirect was not an intentional ploy to drive traffic to our portal. We’ve rolled out an update to Kongregate that will show an information dialog to players with browser zoom enabled with instructions on how to correct the issue.
Our servers are well under capacity, and remained so even during peak times directly following front-page launch on Kongregate.com. We monitor our server loads very carefully, and play Stick Arena during peak times most days to ensure that performance is not somehow impacted by the volume of players.
Misconceptions about Subscription Players
- Subscribing players aren’t able to get into the next round any faster than normal players.
- Subscribing players do not get access to better weapons, just more (better-looking) weapons. We’ve balanced all weapons to be approximately equal in a rock-paper-scissors style system. Additionally, there is no way for players who can use the new weapons to play against players who cannot, as they will either be playing on a standard (non-subscription) map, or playing against players who are VIP’d and therefore have the same access to weapons as subscribing players.
We’re looking at adding additional servers in geographically diverse locations to try and address these issues. However, some players who are located right next-door to our servers are going to have high ping times if they are on dial-up or if their ISP is providing a suboptimal level of broadband service. Latency is the important factor here; having a high download and upload speed does not necessarily guarantee that you will have low latency. Additionally, raising the ping time cap (currently 275ms) will result in penalizing players with good connections (To seasoned Stick Arena players, there’s a noticeable difference between even a 100ms and 200ms ping-time opponent). As a result, we may also have to explore the feasibility of introducing a ‘compatibility’ server to allow players with high ping times to play.
To check the latency between your machine and our servers in Windows XP, hit Start > Run, type ‘command’, and hit OK. Then type ‘ping game01.xgenstudios.com’ for 2D Central (Texas, American Players) or ‘ping game08.xgenstudios.com’ (Amsterdam, European Players). This should provide you with a good indication of what sort of latency you can expect from your location and ISP. We get around 88ms to our US servers from our office in Canada, and around 170ms to our European server.
There is also the possibility that traffic shaping or blocked ports may be causing issues for some players. We are reviewing our choice of ports to try and reduce the probability of either factor.
Tutorial Loop Issue
We believe that this issue was caused by a bad .SWF compile, although its difficult to pinpoint the problem as we’re unable to reproduce it on any of our systems here. Our typical build process for Stick Arena is a bit more complex than just publishing a .SWF from Flash, and there may have been a failure somewhere in our chain with 1.543. We’re hoping that the latest build (1.544) has resolved this issue for players.
Game Freezing on Title Screen Issue
We’re looking further into this issue.
- Play in Internet Explorer 8, if you can. We have no particular bias towards browsers, but the game seems to perform best and most reliably in the latest version of IE.
- Ensure you have the latest Flash Player; newer Flash Player versions generally perform better. We also develop and test Stick Arena using the latest Flash Player, so this reduces your chances of issues resulting from player inconsistencies.
- Close all other open programs and browser windows (especially file-sharing and torrent applications)
- Do a hard reboot. Turn your computer off and then back on, and try again.
- If you live in Europe or Asia, try the European Server (Amsterdam). Anecdotal reports seem to indicate the the USA server works best for Australian players.