Monthly Archives: August 2013

New Rideable Creature

I am back and working on a new rideable creature. Makes funky sounds when annoyed. Guesses welcome :-) Will let you know soon.

I don’t want to spend too long adding many new features to 1.23, because it is very important to get the new community content rating and reporting out.

New wiki link

I have replaced the old wiki link at the top with a new one: http://survivalcraftgame.wikia.com.

The old wiki has unfortunately stagnated. Big thanks to all the contributors, past and present.

The new wiki looks much better and I hope it will get much more content in the future. Especially logic elements tutorial looks interesting, I don’t have time to check it in detail, but because it is the most complicated bit of the game, it will certainly be useful. Thanks to voidghoul and others for setting this up!

Stairs

Those who follow me on Twitter know that I’ve recently been working on stairs. Creative mode people should be happy with this long overdue addition.

Here’s what it’s all about:

http://youtu.be/z2lQd0SeZo0

I am on holiday until the end of August – please don’t worry if I don’t post much in the coming days. 1.23 work is slowly starting up. Also thanks for all the suggestions on ranking algorithm, some of them were very useful!

Stairs blocks now use all 4 bits of data available to them (2 for orientation, 1 for upside down and 1 for corners), so I can’t make any more additions to them without expanding the data format. Not that I know of any, so all is good :-)

Offensive Content Reporting

I have almost finished working on the reporting of offensive content in Community Content.

Here’s how the dialog box looks like:

Report

The key part is that you must select a reason why you are reporting the content as offensive by ticking a checkbox. Only one checkbox can be ticked. If the content has more issues, the one that is the most blatant and most readily seen should be ticked.

When I am finished with this, there will be the most exciting thing left to do: calculation of content rank based on number of downloads and ratings submitted by players (i.e. you!). I am not sure how to do it yet. The content listed to all players will be sorted by rank, so the value is of paramount importance. The thing at the top of the list will get a ton of downloads.

For the mathematically minded out there, if you have a great idea on how the rank should be calculated, please let me know (comments or email). Rank is a single number and must be calculated from the following data: number of downloads (d) and number of different star ratings (s1, s2, s3, s4, s5). For example:

rank = d * (1 * s1 + 2 * s2 + 3 * s3 + 4 * s4 + 5 * s5) / (s1 + s2 + s3 + s4 + s5)

(this calculates rank as number of downloads multiplied by average star rating)

If you hate maths, or just want something to watch, there’s always the latest Let’s Play from daverave40.

Rating System

I am back and working on the rating system. It’s still incomplete, but I’m getting there.

Here’s how the rating dialog looks like now:

Rating

You need to tap on the stars to select the rating, which activates the “Rate” button. Once you click it, the rating is sent to the server.

You will access this dialog from the Game Paused screen, and it will let you rate the current world and active texture pack (provided they were downloaded from Community Content, of course). This means you cannot rate anything that you have not actually downloaded and played.

You can only rate stuff once.

There’s one thing I am worried about, and it is the server load. With the old system we are peaking at about 20 requests per second during rush hours. With the ratings on, it may get worse. How much worse, I don’t yet know. To counteract that, I have designed the new server to use minimum resources at the cost of sometimes dropping ratings and downloads data.

We’ll see once I release it.

The sweet part is that the new server is compatible with old clients (i.e. Survivalcraft 1.22 and older). So, even with older game versions you will reap the benefits of the rating system, even though you won’t be able to rate. The list of content you’ll see will be sorted according to the new rank.

Ratings Work In Progress

As announced in one of the earlier posts, I am adding a much better feedback system to Community Content.

Here’s a work in progress screenshot (the final layout will change and the data is fictious):

Rankings

The plan is to allow you to rate content submitted by others. A secret ranking algorithm will take into account the ratings, downloads count, time of publishing and potentially other factors, and decide a rank number. All content will be sorted by rank number. I hope this will ensure that the worthy and cool creations stay near the top. 5 minute fluff will quickly sink to the bottom.

You will also be able to sort items by publish date. This way new additions will get their chance. Pretty much like in an app store :-)

I will not have access to the internet for the next week or so, please don’t be alarmed if I don’t post anything.

And keep starring the Android API issue – it’s not even in the first 100 issues on Google’s radar. We need to push it up. Here’s the link: Android Sound Looping Issue

 

Android 4.3

Big thanks for all the reports on the network error. I have now determined the cause – it’s Android 4.3. Google have recently released a new version of their OS and, surprise surprise, things are broken. One of the bugs is causing the message box you’ve seen in the last post to appear when the game tries to access the network. Another one broke looping of sounds – if you have Android 4.3 you can verify it by setting something on fire and listening to the burning sound. It will stop after a few seconds.

There is a workaround for the first bug, i.e. the network one, and I put it in.

The sound bug unfortunately does not have any workarounds – I have to wait for a fix from Google. If you want to tell these guys how much we need it, please go there and star the issue . 85 stars is way not enough :-)

I am preparing a special bugfix release (1.22.7) for Google Play only. It will fix the networking bug on 4.3. There will be no new features.

Community Content Error

Some people are reporting that they are getting the following error when accessing community content:

Error

I can’t reproduce it on any of the devices I have with me at the moment. If you are getting the same error, can you please comment with your device name and OS version you’re using? Thank you!

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