Recent posts by XGenStudios on Kongregate

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Topic: Kongregate / Why do you do it to us greg?

Yishan – Your OS, Browser and Browser Version, location, ISP, and detailed Flash Player Version (IE – 10.0.22.87) are of help to us.

 
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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.

Server Capacity

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.

High Ping

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.

Some Tips

- 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.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / CALL TO BOYCOTT IN-GAME ADVERTISING

and i do mind advertising; it screws up my game! bq.

Can you expand on this a bit?

 
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Topic: General Gaming / CALL TO BOYCOTT IN-GAME ADVERTISING

This thread has proven to be an absolute wealth of information; this is a thorough exploration of the topic with input from players and developers in a wide variety of camps. Thank-you to everyone that’s contributed.

XGen released our first Flash game just over 5 years ago; since then we’ve experimented with many methods to cover our expenses, with some some success and a many dead ends. Emerging players like Kongregate, MochiAds and FlashGameLicense seem indicative that the industry is still evolving, and we’re excited to see these new business models appearing as alternatives for Flash developers.

arcaneCoder explained briefly how the integrated advertising in Pillage the Village is an experiment to gauge the potential for release of XGen-developed titles outside our own portal; if successful, we’ll be able to distribute existing and future releases net-wide for free. We’re grateful for the feedback we’ve received here and will certainly weigh this information into our future decisions. Specific information on which methods of advertising are considered acceptable and/or intrusive, and suggestions on improving the implementation to enhance player experience would be helpful.

- Skye
 
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Topic: Game Programming / Question about the Game Upload agreement.

Hi Emily,

We’re actually similarly concerned about Section 2, specifically as it relates to sublicensing and derivative works. Any chance you can update the language in your agreement soon? We’d like to get Pillage the Village up on Kongregate in December.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Pillage the Village

It looks like a strategy

Definitely not; the trailer will provide clarification…

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Pillage the Village

http://www.wizards.com/global/images/magic/general/pillage.jpg