Recent posts by Tulrog on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / How about a Thought of the day thread?

What do you think would be necessary to make a successful Thought of the day thread?

By Thought of the day I mean something that made you think and others might be also interested to hear about But at the same time something which you don’t want to make a whole thread about at that moment.

I think it will be more clear what I mean when I provide an example. Some time ago I was reading a short story about how your actions affect other people and how hard it is to undo damage you cause. It’s really short so go ahead and give it a try.

Now I could have made a thread for this but I don’t think a discussion would be a worthy one. But at the same time I think this is a story which some of you might enjoy. It left me with the “Wow! I’ve never seen things from this perspective.” feeling. But making a whole thread about it seems like overkill.

So I have a couple of questions and it would be nice if you could take a moment to answer them.

  • Did you ever have the same sort of experience where you have found something interesting but for some reason you didn’t start a thread?
  • Would such a thread be something you would like to see?
  • Do you think such a thread would increase the activity in SD in a positive way?
  • In case you think this would be a good idea: What sort of input would you like to see in such a thread. What would probably be a bad idea? (think short stories, books, articles, own thoughts, some statistics, quotes, videos etc)
  • What sort of rules would be necessary/ useful to maintain such a thread. For example I don’t think a discussion should be allowed. Showing interest in a discussion should be allowed.

Thank you for your attention!

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Topic: Kongregate / Does Kong get fan mail?

Dear Die Hard,

You rock.

Especially when that guy was on the roof.


P.S. Do you know Mad Max?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames


I’m particularly interested in doing this to then compare to what the situation is actually like when this is beginning to be a reality – to see how great the influence of mirror neurons is on the eqution

This reminds me of the first time I was shooting with a battle rifle. Before that I had all sorts of thoughts in my head ranging from curiosity to the best way how to hit the target. But once we were at the shooting range and I experienced the situation all I cared about was if the rifle is going to slip and rearrange my face.

Those things are incredibly loud. Even with ear protection. And there is a lot of energy coming from the recoil which needs to be controlled.

Of course once you have experienced this yourself things look much brighter. Obviously it’s not a gentle lover’s touch. But death isn’t tipping on your shoulder either. At least now I know my body would react to a potential perceived danger unless I got used to it.

So yeah. Since nobody has any experience with dealing with virtual minds there is a good chance the predictions and the actual actions will be different.

Since we know what the effect of each chemical will be, if we’re creating a virtual version of a brain, we can then use a virtual version of those chemicals – since all that matters is what those chemicals actually do to the thought process, we can replicate their effects directly, without requiring the actual chemicals themselves.

I agree with you in so far that it might create some sort of self-awareness. I’m not sure if it would be the same sort of feeling we have. I’d love to tell you that this possible difference doesn’t matter and that we are all super enlightened tolerant beings but that would mean ignoring things like racism.

Personally I don’t have enough experience with self-aware beings that have another form of self-awareness than me to make any predictions about my behavior towards them. But that sort of trait sounds like an advantage to be treated with respect. Except if you are a virtual mind of King Joffrey.

Even if souls exist, it should be possible to create an artificial being without a soul whose actions, thoughts and behaviour are indistinguishable from an artificial being with a soul (or an organic being with/without a soul for that matter). So, does the soul really matter in this equation?

This is somewhat similar to the last point. If not being able to connect a soul to a virtual body results in not having any sort of self-awareness then yes. It does matter. If it results in having a different form of being self-aware this is once again beyond my experience horizon. So it’s hard to say anything useful about it.

I’ve done some of those experiments myself in a professional setting, so I could probably talk you to death about them

It’s nice to see people with passion for their job. I think this would be an interesting topic. Especially the limits of how much the psyche can take would be intriguing. But I agree. This goes beyond the scope of this thread.

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Topic: Kongregate / ★ Kongregate Game Jam ★ - May 27 to June 3

Kongregate is handing out the awesome in buckets now.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames


their sentience and self-awareness is arguably an illusion

from the perspective of the NPCs inside the game-verse, they ARE real people

I have trouble mentally digesting those two at the same time.

As a human I have experience with being self-aware. Especially in those very rare moments where you suddenly turn off the auto pilot and are completely aware that you exist. The idea that this could be some sort of illusion just doesn’t make any sense to me.

If a person in a computer can get the same feeling I wouldn’t call this an illusion just because I understand the steps involved on a much deeper level than he does.

But this is different from just reacting the same way I would. I have really trouble putting those thoughts into words that make actual sense. Especially since it would be hard to measure that sort of feeling in a way that could convince me those two “feelings” are the same thing.

Take an attack on villagers as an example. If you attack people in a town in Skyrim the civilians run away and the guards attack you. That’s a pretty realistic reaction. But that doesn’t mean they “feel” anything. This is what I would call an illusion. But if I understand you correctly your AI would actually feel something. Not only “feel” but actually feel. And this doesn’t fall into the category of simulation to me anymore. Otherwise everything is a simulation. Once again the problem are convincing measurement results.

Judging by your question if a simulation and reality can’t be the same it seems we have different pictures of that word in our minds. Because to me a simulations stops where consciousness comes into play. (If you simplify the situation a lot.)

I’m certain you don’t need a biological body at all.

That’s the point which makes or breaks the whole idea. I tend towards your positive outlook but am in no way as sure as you are. Your example with the artificial limb is hopefully a pointer in the right direction.

But we both know the critical part is the brain. If you can’t replace the brain with a non-biological component digital minds will be probably an illusion until the end of times. Maybe it is my rather shallow knowledge of how the human body works but don’t chemical components like hormones also play a big role on who we are and how we feel?

Simulating the electrical impulses that move in our body shouldn’t be a big deal with a technology advanced enough. Not really that different from how computers work. But all those chemical reactions make me wonder how much of this needs to take place in a chemical environment and how much of this can be simply simulated by just sending the right impulses at the right time.

And there might be also problems if something like a soul exists and who you are isn’t the same as the body you have.

Also out of curiosity. Since you talk to people who have artificial body parts. Did you ask them if feeling with those parts feels somehow different? Not really on topic but very interesting nonetheless. Hopefully this isn’t a question of the category “Describe a color to a blind person”.

What I would find extremely convincing is if you could extend my body into the digital environment. Not a transfer but a connection. This way I could experience myself how it is to “be” a virtual body. Because this is clearly something which I have no experience at and making decisions about those sort of things is incredibly difficult. And I think that sort of experience would also move the needle on the morality compass towards the brighter side. At least for some people.

If they’re non human, and/or non biological it’s perfectly okay to torment and abuse them however we like with no consequences, either external, or to their self’s moral code.

Sounds like the way I would expect other people to react. I think this is where ImplosionOfDoom has a point. It is easy to create a scenario where you can simulate mortality somehow. But if you move away from that rather philosophical thought experiment to a more realistic case there will be ways to restore characters. At least partially.

You also asked if this plays a role for morality. I think the answer is yes. There is a reason why we consider a murder to be something more bad than a theft. You can never completely undo the damage of a crime. But death can’t be repaired in any way. So being able to restore a person at least to some degree is better than nothing. And that would probably lower some thresholds to not so moral behavior.

To put your idea into a different context. How do you think would people behave if you gave them godlike powers like being able to jump back in time and immortality?

As for your survey. Make sure to make it anonymous once you go for it. I think this would provide less political answers. It’s a bit like asking if people would slaughter primitive natives on a newly discovered planet.

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Topic: Kongregate / What games on Kong would you like to see as an amusement park attraction?

I feel like horror doesn’t need to have monsters and the Last Door could be made into something like that

Absolutely. But that kind of horror is hard to pull off in real life. Because it messes with reality and physical laws. It’s hard to simulate a being who manipulates dreams into nightmares or causes visions. Or a space crystal that changes the behavior of normal people into murdering psychopaths. You could still make replicas of the locations which would be also extremely cool. But you would have a hard time actually scaring people without some sort of monsters. It would have more of a museum feeling. Probably with a dark vibe like a museum with torture tools.

On the other hand it is rather easy to scare people with “monsters”. I don’t know about you but if I would walk through a replica of Silent Hill and suddenly a huge guy cosplaying Pyramid Head would ambush me in some dark corner… I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be just like “Oh look. It’s that one guy from Silent Hill”. Fight or flight mode activated.

So if you have an idea how to scare people in a setting without direct “danger” for your life that would be great too. Otherwise a “museum” of famous game location would be also awesome.

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Topic: Game Programming / Kongregate's Dev Blog: (Looking for Suggestions)

Don’t have any suggestions yet but I think this is awesome!

Edit: How about something like “Things you should be aware of before you make your first game”

And it could cover all sorts of problems and obstacles you encounter while making a game. Starting with the choice and costs of all necessary tools and including other things like balancing, typical problems while coding, the best way to promote your games, different ways to earn money and other things you don’t have on the radar when you are new to the game programming games.

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Topic: Kongregate / What games on Kong would you like to see as an amusement park attraction?

No idea how you call those things but a 3D simulator would be cool. You know those things in a huge dome where your seat tilts in different directions creating an illusion of actual movement.

Ideally you could chose your favorite game. Games with a lot of movement would qualify. So the first thing that came into my mind were launcher games. But I guess it would also work for games like RPG Shooter: Starwish. However my personal favorite would be William and Sly.

Some sort of horror house would be cool. But I don’t remember any game like Resident Evil or Silent Hill on Kong. Our horror games work more with situations than with monsters. Maybe something from the Last Stand universe. Or Necronomicon. Can’t go wrong with Lovecroft when it comes to horror.

Oh and the waiting lines would be somehow dedicated to idle games.

There was some talk about livening up the forums and celebrating stuff with Kongs tenth anniversary, although nothings happened yet, so I thought this thread might help get some creativity and those brain juices flowing.

There are still months to go till the Anniversary. I guess once we are just one or two months away the activities will go up. I will bump the according threads from time to time. But this is something I’d rather do sparingly.

On a side note: During the April Fools’ Day we had some new faces on the forums. I hope this is a sign for future things to come.

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Topic: Game Programming / GiTD [#53] Voting


1st place: AdrenaliteStudio ~ Grandmatopia
2nd place: Halysia ~ Gone in Ten Days

Once again a hard and really close decision. I enjoyed Grandmatopia the most so that’s a first place. The fight for the second place was Gone in Ten Days vs Hamster ate my Grandma!. Both had their strengths but in the end the first one made the cut by having a bit more variety.

Granmagotchi had the best graphics but this was simply not enough for me. I didn’t feel like I was progressing in any way. With a bit more time I guess this one would have made the decision even harder.

With all that said good job from all contestants. This was a rather tough theme and all of the entries lived up to the challenge.


jarizappa ~ Hamster ate my Grandma!

  • Not sure what to think about the sounds. I like the idea that you made your own sounds a lot. But somehow they were also annoying.
  • No music
  • The graphics are completely ok for that kind of game. I like especially that the text messages are bubbles and not simple text output in a console.
  • Nice that your upgrades have actual names and are not just numbers.
  • Is there any difference between pet and play? What is happiness good for?
  • For some reason the happiness of my hamster started to drop suddenly and I have no idea what happened. Shortly after that my little fella died.
  • Not much to do besides waiting most of the time.
  • Some sort of mouse-over would help. Initially I didn’t understand the difference between feed and buying different food enhancers.

AdrenaliteStudio ~ Grandmatopia

  • No music/ sound
  • I like the simple graphics. But the arrangement of the furniture is a bit too random. Also no bed to sleep?
  • Nobody reads instructions. You should make them available after the tutorial.
  • Grandma can walk on water. ;)
  • How do I get more pennies?
  • The book menu is a bit confusing. I was clicking around and suddenly The Holy Book appeared. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there before and I didn’t buy it. And why do I have to spend money on books if they get upgraded on their own once I’m done with them?
  • No ending? What’s the use of happiness and hunger then? My hunger bar was suddenly filled again a bit without me buying food. Couldn’t replicate this behavior though.
  • Why did my book progress bar increase while I was knitting?

nutter666 ~ Granmagotchi

  • No music/ sound
  • Great graphics!
  • What is money good for?
  • I guess the game is not finished? There is no way to lose (or win).
  • At some point you can’t use cleaning actions any more.

Halysia ~ Gone in Ten Days

  • No music/ sound
  • Graphics are very nice
  • Text on buttons is aligned to the bottom instead of the center.
  • “Granny passed away… but” I appreciate those kind of details and humor.
  • No way to restart the game after you die.
  • Maybe it’s just me but the stones game is not really enjoyable on a laptop without an external mouse.
  • I manged to beat the stones game once but killed 0 minions in the afterlife?
  • Needs (more) instructions on the stats and actions.
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames


You don’t go around and kill people.
You don’t go around and kill people with deceases that affect how or if they feel.
You would go around and kill AIs because they don’t feel.

Those three don’t fit together. I’m not saying the fact if an AI can feel or not is irrelevant for your decision to kill. I’m just saying it can only play a smaller part. There is a reason why you don’t kill humans and this reason isn’t because they can feel.

Not sure why you would pick a game of chess as an example. You deny that any sort of AI can feel. So picking an AI in an RPG would be a more intuitive example. The notion of feeling and especially feeling pain makes more sense on them. And depending on what exactly is meant by “actual minds” pain might be as real to them as it is to you. Your chess example could probably fit into the category of deceases on the human side.

But once again. I’d be surprised if this is really what your decisions would be based on. The second the NPCs start to hunt you down or to deny service to you, your behavior will probably change. Doesn’t matter if they actually feel rage or just compute the genuine reaction to it via some approximation algorithm.

Whatever Vika’s idea of “actual mind” is. It tries to behave as human as possible. And humans don’t stand around and let themselves being killed.

It’s already real, Bomb.

I don’t get this sentence. Is Bomb some sort of slang I don’t know or do you confuse Austria and Australia again?

Whatever it is I don’t think I’ve been clear enough on this point. What I ask is at what point does an AI stop being an AI and starts to be something like a human? Imagine me separating “you” from your biological body and putting “you” into a computer. Maybe in a computer with some biological components if you insist on the whole feeling thing. Even today we can already replace most of our body parts with artificial counterparts. I think it’s just a matter of time until we can replace the brain too. A lot of time though. But once we can mess around with the brain we are no longer bound to our current physical form.

So my question is less about me perceiving something as real and more about it being actually real (or alive if you want to use a different word).

From my understanding there is not much difference between the following two:

  • Stepping on a lego, sensing the lego with your foot, letting the signal move through your body and experiencing the pain in your brain.
  • Hooking your brain up to a computer, looking up the corresponding signals for stepping on a lego and sending those signals to your brain.

The experience should be the same. The actual physical circumstances shouldn’t matter.

And the second one is already very close to what an advanced AI would do in this scenario.

Yes. Many of the things I mention are beyond what we can do today. But I think taking the whole story some levels up might produce some interesting answers. Not really much to discuss if you restrict yourself to a piece of code that doesn’t have anything really human to it.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames


Imagine a game that runs on a server which nobody (not even the admins) has access to. So no server restarts, savepoints and the like. Also ignore the likelihood and usefulness of such a game for a moment.

Now imagine an AI guy who lives somewhere far away from settlements. This guy has a Deadric weapon. Or a Power Armor if you prefer Fallout.

Would you kill this guy to get his item?

And I think the interesting part of your answer would be the factors in you decision. Would you mainly think about him being a unique individual that would cease to exist? Or would you mainly think about the odds of you getting away with your action?

Somehow I have the feeling the way of thinking about this situation would be different from the real life equivalent despite both situations dealing with mortality.

Personally I am still puzzled about what sort of AI Vika is thinking about. And this is pretty much the most important question to decide how I would behave. The AI is something that is supposed to mimic human behavior. So as mentioned earlier I propose Data and Voyager’s Doctor from the Star Trek universe as reference points for further thoughts.

Both are non humans displaying human behavior and human characteristics. The doctor is probably the better example since he doesn’t have a physical body. I have no idea how close Vika’s AI is supposed to be to the doctor. But at least it’s a starting point. So let’s change the question above into:

Would you kill the doctor (from Voyager) to get a Deadric weapon?

Tough question. Probably not. The main question is when does a simulation stop being a simulation and starts being something real? And I don’t have an answer for that. But at some point the “not doing harm to other beings” starts kicking in. At least for me. I wouldn’t kill insects for fun either.

And what makes me even more think is that I am not sure if you need a biological body to have a feeling of consciousness. Unless there is something like a soul we can all be roughly summed up as electric currents and a bit of chemistry in between. Nothing that is completely impossible to recreate with a computer system. Especially if you think about technology from the future in ten thousand years.

But to me there is no reason to treat a digital person without a “biological body” any different from a “real” person. However, history has shown that people with absolute power rarely behave in a benevolent way. So I wouldn’t get my hopes up that Vika’s idea would lead to a place of tolerance and ethic behavior.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames

@pete: How about people with congenital insensitivity to pain. Those people do not feel any pain. Add other conditions like paraplegia, depression or maybe even coma to the mix and you will get a human that comes at least really close to the whole not feeling thing.

But for me that wouldn’t make much difference on any possible hostile behavior towards such a person. And it certainly wouldn’t give me the right to go around and kill that sort of people for fun.

So it seems being able to actually feel is a minor argument.

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Topic: Kongregate / What is your favorite tower defense game on Kongregate?

Probably the original Protector. I think this is the game that brought me to Kongregate.

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Topic: General Gaming / What do you want in Learn to Fly 3

Rodeo mode sneak peek on Lightbringer’s facebook page.

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Topic: Kongregate / Upcoming Badges! [Suggest new badges here]

Originally posted by TurkeyPie:

So what’s the status on LtF3?

There is a video on Lighbringer’s facebook page with a sneak peak on the new extra content. You can find more information on the whole topic in this thread.

Once the extra content is ready I guess we will see the necessary changes in how the API works --> badges. But that’s just me guessing.

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Topic: Kongregate / Spring '16 suggestion thread

Thank you for this extensive feedback trickyrodent.

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Topic: Kongregate / Whats your Favorite flash game series?

Other series people might like:

  • Learn to Fly
  • Protector
  • The Last Door
  • Don’t Escape
  • Bloons
  • Infectonator
  • Pandemic
  • Legend Of The Void
  • The Last Stand
  • Epic War
  • Sacred Seasons
  • CycloManiacs
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Topic: Kongregate / What are your favorite web games that are NOT on Kongregate?

Even though I know you are not a big fan of idle/ incremental games there are still a lot of fans of this genre on Kong so I’ll go ahead and suggest Keep Craft.

The closest thing to this game on Kongregate would be the Kittens Game.

What you don’t see at the start is that later on your research path splits into 3 fields (Economy, Science, Military) and you decide how to invest your knowledge points. Combine it with the 8 skills from legacy (the game’s prestige system) and you have a great amount of strategy and thinking involved.

The diamonds which you can get as rare drops from fights or from clearing the casino game could be also interesting for Kong’s video ads program.

Fair bit of warning though. This is one of those games which are played in days not in hours. And the first run might be a hard one. On the plus side there is no excessive clicking involved.

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Topic: Kongregate / Kongregate Game Launch Anniversaries!

That was indeed a special game. You don’t get to see flash game like that one these days anymore.

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Topic: Kongregate / Whats your Favorite flash game series?

Not sure if it is my favorite but the first one that comes into my mind is Mardek.

It’s a flash RPG which is rare enough on its own. But on top of that it has also humor, atmosphere and an interesting story. And to bring the deal home it has also a huge amount of things to explore. Think of all that crafting and skills.

Also inb4 Papa’s Paparia. Everybody’s all time favorite.

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Topic: Kongregate / GDC 2016

It’s always great to get a glimpse behind the curtain without NDAs interfering. And especially your talk was interesting Tricky. After all crises are not restricted to devs on Kong.

So thank you for taking your time to share your perspective with us. :)

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Topic: Kongregate / [Script] Thread Watcher

So this morning I went to the forums like every morning and as many times these days it was spammed. However, this time I had a blue guide which helped me navigate through that mess.

Thank you for that resterman!

As for suggestions imagine you would go to the community page and instead of just showing the threads which you have an eye on you would also have those blue icons to indicate which of those threads have been active. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

I think think this would be a great addition because:

  • You wouldn’t have to check all the different subforums for blue icons
  • You wouldn’t have to check several pages of a specific active subforum (for example OT)
  • You wouldn’t have to check all of your watched threads from the community page with the hope that some of them have active
  • No more spam as the first thing you see when you fire up Kong

I understand completely this is nothing that is going to happen over night. But I also think this is something worth doing. If you are going to implement this via the chat system would it be possible to display the information (also?) in a separate tab? Otherwise you might have to scroll a lot in an active chat room.

Until then there is another quick fix to reduce the amount of searching needed. Is it possible to make the blue icons also appear on the main forums page? This would help all the people who are active in more than one subforum.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames

Originally posted by vikaTae:

How many times do I have to reword the OP before you guys’ll actually address the question asked?

Maybe you could add some “Axioms” to the OP so we know the things you don’t want to discuss? For example something like “Your actions have permanent consequences”.

You are asking two questions which have a great amount of ways to look at.

The question if we would like to play such a game or not depends a lot on how entertaining/ challenging such a game would be. Lots of details. Would I like to play a game which involves characters on the level of Data from Star Trek? Hell yes. Would I like to play a game with something that can major in trolling like that twitter(?) bot that got shot down a few days ago? Probably not.

And the whole moral aspect is even more complicated. This depends on if I would consider the NPC something that “lives” or just a simulator. So once again if you take Data or the Doctor from Voyager. How would the AI you propose differ from those two? Because if you take an exact copy just with a virtual instead of a physical body this would be something I would have to think about. A lot. But just because it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck doesn’t mean it is an actual duck. On top of that I know it’s not a duck.

Especially if you remove permanent consequences from your actions I don’t think many people would treat those NPC any differently. After all we had to invent something like laws. Because at least some part of the people don’t behave in a moral (ethical?) way. And if we don’t behave like that towards real humans what are the odds of doing so towards something less human?

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Topic: Kongregate / Future Script Ideas!

I’ve already requested this from the admins, actually, and they’ve yet to respond. I’d be down for having actual forum features on Kong, totally.

Based on the experience so far I would say the odds of it happening by users are higher than by Kong. However, last year we had a suggestion thread with the focus on the forum. So who knows what the future will bring.

I don’t think it’d be possible to check for edited posts without caching the entire post/thread, though, so that’s not doable

What do you mean by “check for edited posts”? All of the posts in all of the watched threads? I only ask for the last post in every thread. Because this is where the action happens if it happens. This won’t get you a 100% coverage. But that’s no reason to completely ignore this feature. 95% is better than 0%. Not the core functionality though.

The big question is: Is it worth making such a script in general. It would be wasted time if we get this watcher within the next three weeks by Kong itself.

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Topic: Kongregate / [Announcement] Check out some new features!

All those new faces on the forum. Welcome!

This event is a success on so many levels. :)