Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas and Snowballs!

On December 14th we announced our holiday schedule, which included the following items:
- Dec. 14 – All I Want for Christmas Poll
- Dec. 14-25 – Christmas Gift Giveaway
- Dec. 18-19 – Jail Break Parties 2PM, 6PM, Midnight
- Dec. 20 – Drug Transportation Unveiling
- Dec. 22-25 – Snowball Fights
- Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) – Lcuk’s Christmas Riddles
- Christmas Day (Dec. 25) – Peace On Earth, 24 hour ceasefire

The Drugs Transportation Missions launch went quite well, although some players at first didn't realize it's an extra way to rank, and only drugs will be removed from the Drugs & Booze page. Just before the launch the kill records page was renamed to Personal Stats, which includes counters and timers for DTMs, OCs, Crimes, GTA. This page may in the future be used for other statistics as well.

At this moment the Snowball Fights are active, and proved to be quite a lot of fun! Using a special page (link is on the game forum) players can throw virtual snowballs at other players, who will receive a notification, and (in most cases) a small gift (some money, a credit, a car). At the same time, the Shoutbox is updated with a similar notification, visible to all other players.

In addition to the snowball throws in the shoutbox, we figured it would be nice to disable these messages too. Today (24-12-2010) I made the change; two buttons to toggle visibility of jailbreaks or snowball messages were added. While doing this, I also updated the shoutbox in general, allowing possible new features such as network chat and/or personal messages to players. These possible updates haven't been scheduled for creation yet.

Finally, I would like to wish all TMN players (and other readers) a merry Christmas and a great 2011!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Activity, Shoutbox

And again it's been way too long since I last wrote something. This time I'll cover the recent activities on TMN, for those who missed it (and those who are just generally interested to see the numbers).

Alright, it's been over a month, but it was fun anyway. Devious thought it'd be fun to make collecting a prize somewhat more interactive, so we used a pumpkin to click on in order to claim a prize. I had a friend create an animated 'wheel of fortune' kind of thing, which worked quite well (although there was a bug somewhere...). In the end 28% of the participants got "Scared to death by Marc" and lost 2% health, but the remaining 72% received a better prize. Other prizes included were 5 expensive cars (8%), 5 semi-expensive cars (8%), 5 bombed cars (15%), $1,000,000 (10%), some Experience Points (9%), and 20 credits (11%). The remaining players received bullets, and a few were in the race for a network. In total 546 players participated in the Halloween giveaway.

Because Thanksgiving isn't really a weekend, and the day wasn't a very good one for me personally, we spread it over 2 weekends. During the first weekend we did some forum giveaways (first 10 to post, etc), and let players shoot players with the names of former moderators for a GMW reward. Also everyone who did an OC during the weekend was able to collect $1,000,000 from a special page (188 players did this).
During the second weekend we set the OC timer to 6 hours instead of 8, and did some more giveaways. Using another special page where players could claim a prize, we gave 356 players a total of 19 OCs with Devious and Marc, 290 Arnages 1685 Credits, 14000 Bullets, more than $865,000,000 (exact number is unclear because of less structured giveaways), and 500 lottery tickets.

Shortly after the game economy hit 16bil, partially thanks to our giveaways, it happened... SOA and SI emptied their AWPs and shot hundreds of high ranked players. The economy dropped to below 10bil, and we were unsure on what would happen. Some players had no hope and quit, others stayed and are now quietly ranking. To stimulate the economy, we did some giveaways during Sinterklaas (google it, it's a Dutch national holiday), and increased the money you get from OCs and GTAs. We are now trying to think of and implement ways to keep players interested, and make them realize this was only the first half of the game: the second half is almost starting....


A new feature was added to the game, even though it isn't finished yet: the shoutbox! There's a preview inside the game forum topic, but you can open the pop-up (looks better and is easier to use than the preview) by clicking a link in the right top of all forum topics. There is also a link on the jail page, because the shoutbox displays all jailbreaks as well! This has been requested ever since we disabled the "jail break messages" a few years ago, and now it's live! Devious lead the first couple of jail break contests, and it's up to the players to continue it now. I will keep improving it, and eventually it will most probably replace the Game Forum topic. Other ideas we have for it include notifications of new messages, kills, OC inviations and status and possibly private chats.