Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Up and running

As you may know, TMN is back up and running. It doesn't look bad at all from my perspective; between 150 and 300 players online usually, forums are quite active as well, and overall TMN seems alive again.

Before we re-launched we already made a lot of changes, and it seems like we're not stopping yet! Unfortunately we didn't have much time to test the new layout, also because we're more focusing on this game round and its features. I think we'll eventually find a nice way to implement the new layout though! I can't share any screenshots yet.

As for me, I'm currently doing 5 courses at another university, and though I have to spend a lot more time on studying and traveling now, it's a nice set of interesting courses so I'm not complaining.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back from holiday

Only a few days back I returned home from 8 days of fun in Rimini (Italy). I spent my nights in multiple clubs including Baia Imperiale, Club Life, Shooters Bar, Copa Cabana, Altromondo Studios and Blow-Up. This holiday was a (well-deserved) opportunity to relax.

Back home I replied to all e-mails and PMs (not too many, lucky me!), to continue with development. Today I started off slow* by implementing Youtube videos for player profiles, which works quite nicely now.


*: Italians do everything slowly, I apparently got used to that!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

TMN Beta Testing

The TMN Beta Test is going very well. Most players I e-mailed about it were happy to help me test TMN on a 100% voluntary basis.

So far I've spent most time on a few improvements:
- Properties on Trading Center had a few bugs in it, those were fixed
- Business Names are now scanned for illegal characters (on creation)
- Replaced one crime with a pick pocket function, that will pick another player's pockets (you can type in the name yourself!)
- Added a Sell All Damaged Cars button to garage

Other improvements we have been discussing on the forums include:
- Sorting of garage
- Car Bombing
- Allowing players to update a topic they created
- Network invitation messages and slogans
- Drive-By Organized Crime
- MTAs
- Explosives Lab (entirely different than the way it used to be!)
- Bullet Factories

The above things are still being considered, but I'm hoping to improve TMN as much as possible.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


The game forum counts max 3 pages. Topics stay on for days. Online players 'list' is just a few lines of names, less than 60 usually. I get less than 10 messages a day.
All sad signs of one thing: The reset

People say we should reset sooner, but we assumed people would be pissed if we'd announce it later. It seems like this wasn't such a great step to take after all!

Should we change the announcement? I think that decision requires some insight in donation records (which I don't have myself). I should have a chat with Huy within a few days that could help us. We could possibly do the killfests earlier and bring TMN back up earlier as well.

For now, I've set up another server (besides the regular test server) to test TMN with about 10 players. The forums there will be used for discussing new and improved features for next round, and to test these features as well. I hope that'll save the trouble we had with tmnX, and I hope that will make next round a little more exciting.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Design Contest

I've received a total of 6 screenshots that matched the criteria enough to be published. All screenshots can be seen by visiting this page.

Use the comments below this post to judge each design. To make it easy, just use the number of each screenshot when discussing it. Instead of saying "X is crap" say "I like "Y and Z because.... ", remember people spent time to create these!

I'd like to thank all players who took their time to create a design, and I hope to soon choose one of these, or the to-be-received screenshots (I will add these when I get them).


Update #1 (26-05-2009): Added 7th screenshot
Update #2 (27-05-2009): Added 8th screenshot
Update #3 (03-06-2009): Added 9th screenshot
Update #4 (18-06-2009): Added 10th and final screenshot

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Current status, New forum mod

Current status
Currently I'm working on Trading Center. On the testserver it is already possible to trade your blackjack table for credits, bullets, or money by adding it to Trading Center. Other casinos and properties need to be added, which is a time-consuming job.
It also needs some more testing, but should be ready somewhere next week.

New Forum Mod
I added a poll for players to vote on a new forum mod. I have to say some others were good, but I (sometimes randomly) had to take out a few.
I think I will add two forum mods, but whether or not those two are in this list isn't decided yet.

When voting, think about what a forum mod needs to do and what you personally think is a good forum mod. Don't vote for your friends because they're your friends!

If you don't like any of these for whatever reason, just choose the last option, and I'll re-select some.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Updates, TMN, DC, Marc

A few things to say today.

Today we launched the new Trade Center, which is a place where you can trade your money, credits, bullets, for someone else's goods. It includes private offer (Only valid for one buyer), and anonymous offer (Only valid for one buyer whose name will not be shown). It seems like most players enjoy it, and it will solve most scams.
Today I also sold the Houston Blackjack table, which allowed me to take out about 9bil out of the game's economy (Someone paid 3.5bil for the property). The BF will remain mine for the time being.

I was asked if I was the new owner of TMN. At first I laughed about the question, but it isn't that weird of a question. Technically, I own half of TMN at this moment. In the real world however, the business is DC's, and I'm not a registered employee.
We have been looking for ways to make TMN more interesting, and probably found a few good ideas. We have also discussed the whole "duping" and "same IP" thing, and will also chat about that again later.

The question "Is DC Back?" is one I asked myself a few times. To be honest, I think he is. The improvements and hard work he put into it in the past week is quite good, and our (Skype) chats were quite nice as well. I hope we can continue this way.

I hope soon TMN will be a more fun place to be for everyone, including new and bored players.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Contest, Updates, Social Networks

Today, an important post on the game forum was added about a contest. In this contest, we want as many TMN players as possible to create a design for a TMN Website, that will later be used to attract more players. For more information, see the Game Forum.

Today we updated a few pages. Most important, is the blackjack page, where the odds were slightly changed in favor of the gambler. If this ends up being too much, we'll tweak them some more, to make it fair.
The general stats page was updated also. On this page, I added "Active game money", "Alive GDis" and "Alive Legends".

Social Networks
As you may have noticed, TMN has joined a few social networks. We have a group on facebook, and a page on myspace.
Please join these groups, and help us attract more players to make TMN more fun again. (The facebook group is owned by DC himself, the myspace is run by a player with our permission)


Monday, March 30, 2009

DC Back?

Today, just before I had to leave, my brother alerted me saying "DC is online"... After asking if he was joking, I spammed DC's inbox with about 6-10 messages asking him to get on msn, and what he's up to.

When I got back, about 90 minutes later, DC was in fact on msn!

After having a nice chat, we got to the conclusion that TMN really needs to grow in order to make it more fun again. We are now thinking of ways (use the Comment function on this post if you like) to make TMN a more fun place again.

Things discussed include the TOS, Duping, Scripting, Social Community, mobile ways to access TMN, and so on.

I hope soon we'll be able to continue this discussion, and actually implement some of the ideas. I do know DC is currently working on some usefull things.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I can only hope I'm not right here, but we (read: I) could be in a little trouble...

Last night I was called downstairs, but I left the server connection open (as I do all the time). When I got back, it wouldn't respond, so I just closed it, and tried to re-open it. Guess what: It wouldn't!

As we only have 2 licenses for remote connections, and I have one open that is frozen, there isn't much I can do. DC must have the other connection open, but he asked me to kill his connection in the past as well (as it had frozen for him). With only one password, there isn't much I can do.

Solutions? I thought of a few, none of them is any good:
- Wait for it to time out (but I have no idea how many hours, days, weeks this will take)
- Calling DC (but that wasn't too successful in the past)
- Hacking DC (but I bet he uses stronger passwords since I warned him)

For now, I can only make changes to the database (we do have more connections for that).


Problem solved. Most websites are spreading deprecated command line switches. MS decided to rename "console" to "admin", which worked. The server now thinks I'm physically in front of it, how nice.

Monday, March 23, 2009


An active weekend for me once again, below you'll find the latest changes on TMN, and some extra information.

Login page
The login page is now a little easier to use -if you get used to it, that is-. You no longer have to press the tab button 4 times to get to the recaptcha field, just once (from the password field).
The error message was also removed from the login page.

Credits trade
The trade credits page now has the option to select an MTA (Money Transfer Agency). This means that instead of the default 5% tax, buyers have to pay up to 15% tax (depending on the MTA's setting*). For MTA owners this is a good thing, and for the economy in general, I think it is too.
*: This was changed from a max of 50% to 15% to prevent "almost free credits".

On your personal profile, you can now (again) add the [OCStatus] tag, to display your current OC status. It works just like a few years back with TMN.
Update: Bullet Factory owners can put [BFStatus] on their profiles to publish the amount of FMJ and JHP bullets in stock.

I added one network, and gave it to the m33 account I still had. The network will be for sale later on, keep reading the forums for more information about that.

DC was online last week, but as my internet connection wouldn't work the day he was on, I didn't know about it. Again he sent me a "We'll talk soon" message, but I'm still waiting for him to get on MSN. If he reads this: You have my number, give me a call. (if you don't have it, it's 00316.... Hm, best not to mention that here)
College is still quite easy for me, so that's a good thing. Next plans for TMN include adding a city, one or two more networks, and handling some more requests I got a while back.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yesterdays' discussion

When handling my inbox yesterday, as I try to do weekly, I got to a scam, where the victim had lost about 500,000,000. So I created the money on my account, and was about to send it to the victim, to see MTA owners had set their interest rates to 10%! A quick calculation lead to 50,000,000 of created ("dirty") money going to an MTA owner.

The solution? Adding an MTA, and using thatone instead. So I did, and put the rates at 8%... A few hours later people on msn messaged me asking about all that. I put the rates back to 10%, kept the MTA for future (scam) usage, and logged out instantly, to then get curious about the forum topic.

After explaining, we got to quite a nice chat with a load of players, hitting up to about 200 posts. Of course it was all about the MTA situation at first, but we then got back to me. Why am I here? Why isn't TMN updated as everyone (probably including me) would want it?

My answer: I respect DC, and I care about the game, so I can't just upload a game myself and run it instead of TMN. I won't take down the credits page, and I won't sell credits for money on my own PayPal account.
So what am I doing here? Keeping my inbox clear, updating really important things (bugs, exploits), and waiting for DC.
Why am I not (for example) implementing MTAs on trade pages, and why am I not adding Casino, Business and BF sales on a trade page? Because I'm doing work I actually get paid for. PHP work mostly, and it's quite interesting too.

So, about me. I finished the internship/traineeship at Logica, and got a (rounded upwards) 8.0/10, not bad. The SMS game works, and it's a shame I can't get it to work with any regular cell phone.
I'm now doing the Create a Rich Internet Application Semester, which seems very easy. I'm in the 3rd week, and I haven't done any exciting things, besides some nice Javascript exercises.

That'd be all for today,


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scams, email to DC, Marc

We've all seen the bullet scams, and we've also seen me, not doing anything about it. Why? Because I can't!

We never undo actions with scammed goods, so I can't in this case either. It's a shame, and I disagree to it, but it's like this (for now). One lesson: Don't get scammed!

What I'm talking about? Bullet scams, where the victim gets shot with his own bullets.

Today I emailed DC. Here's the email:
So, where are you at?

What’s with the “I’ll have time for the next six months” statement from last October?
And what’s with the “I should have the escrow system ready by today” statement of about a month and a half back?
And what’s with the “I’ll be online tomorrow” statement of… many times?
Internship is almost over, one week to finish up on some parts, then my final presentation and assessment, and I'll be done! I'll then have some more time to fix up TMN, I hope. ]