Dreamfall, Eressea, Profiler & my Lost Code

The Dreamfall website has been updated with some new screenshots.

Eressea didn’t run this morning. It looks like the new code I made for this year’s christmas gift causes some endless loop in the routine loading the data file. Remember: Code made at 2:30 in the night does not stand a good chance of running the first time you use it. Which is bad news for the rewrite of the movement code I did during the night from saturday to sunday.

Work has been slow this last day before the holidays, so I’ve been looking at the profiler for lack of other really pressing tasks – well, I have tasks, but I depend on people who have already gone on vacation, so I can’t work on those. Anyway, the profiler tells me what I already know, we need to reduce the number of synchronous resource loads on the client even more if we want to get a more steady framerate (duh), and it’s a shame I lost the code I once wrote for that. And a shame that I won’t have time to do it when we’re all coming back after the holidays 🙂 Because there’s going to be something more important to do then, I’m sure.

15,000+ downloads

Free” is the magic word.

In just one day, we’ve had 15,000 downloads of the Anarchy Online software through bittorrent. And our ftp link has been maxed out for the last 24 hours, I have no idea how many downloads that adds up to.

AO is the most popular link at suprnova with over 7000 peers at the time of this writing, beating even all the pirated stuff that’s usually found there. Bittorrent is cool – as a protocol, that is. That it’s usually associated with piracy doesn’t mean it can’t be used for good, just like email is not a bad thing simply because 90% of my mails are spam.

I’m digressing, though. Interesting times, indeed. The newbie areas are full of people, we run lots of instances of them, and Alex said he hasn’t seen this kind of crazyness since the launch day. Except this time the servers aren’t going down all the time 🙂

Meanwhile I’ve been working on version 15.8 (fixed some exotic item code) and 15.9, where I was getting really tired of the launcher code and thinking of merging it with the main game into a single executable. If I find the time, that is.

Comments disabled

I had to disable comments after getting spammed with 1000 casino-advertising comments. I’m going to re-enable comments as soon as I find a way to fight the spam – until then, why don’t you comment in your own blog and use trackback?

Anarchy Online – for free

We’ve all compared MMORPG subscriptions to phone subscriptions at one point, and now it’s becoming even more so. We have decided to give Anarchy Online away for free, no charge, no monthly cost, no nothing.

Check out the details here. Free Crack.

Why are we doing that? For free, you get the game that launched 2 years ago, with all the bugfixes, improvements and freebies we added over the years, but without the expansions. We’re hoping that some of the people who play for free will say “uh, this is fun, now I want that expansion thing”, and become paying customers. But if they don’t, well, they still get an MMORPG.

This is for you if
– you can’t afford two MMORPGs at a time
– you have no credit card (we don’t require one for free accounts)
– you want to check out AO at your own time, without being forced to pay after two weeks.

I’m expecting people to say “yeah, desperate attempt at getting customers after WoW and EQ2 launched”. The truth is, we’ve been thinking about this for a very long time, because like the cellphone market, we think there’s room for more than one business model. Requiring a credit card has been a major obstacle in many markets, for example. We probably lost some customers to them, but not dramatically. And we don’t know if they’ll stay lost – after SWG, which is a much more direct competitor in the SciFi genre, we saw a drop, but a pretty fast recovery when people found that they the depth of the game, their friends or whatever drew them to AO particularly.

I think that like UO, Anarchy is here to stay. We’ll continue to be creative, both in-game and sales-wise.

And now go play!

The opinions in this posting are my own, not those of Funcom. And if I get the facts wrong, you can’t sue either me or them.

AIM? Oh right, I think I have an account there, too…

Looks like AOL accidentally banned 10.000 users last week.

I find it doesn’t really matter which IM protocol you use, as long as the software you use supports them all (plugins). I use Miranda.

AIM is the one I have the least friends on, most people are on ICQ, a few on MSN and some on jabber or yahoo. The whole thing is completely transparent. And if AOL shuts down AIM tomorrow because they don’t make enough money on it, all that means is my friends on AIM need to find another client, not me =)