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koss
rank 7
Posted:
Sat May 06, 2017 8:10 pm
quote : #1
profile : pm
Posts: 67
It appears that it hasn't been used for many months, even though we actively play every weekend. I tried to add in entry to evidence the activity on TAA, in case anyone stumbles on this site (i've tried promoting it at a few locations online) but it wouldn't allow me. My fear is that someone might land on the home page, see the game tracker and notice a game hasn't been played in 8 months, and leave. I think that it should be removed if it isn't going to be updated just to minimize the risk of someone being discouraged by the misleading lack of activity it displays!
 
Snafu Organizer
rank 27
Posted:
Sun May 07, 2017 8:06 am
quote : #2
profile : pm
Posts: 570
I have been mentioning that fact to Lordnikon a bunch of times in the past years too, and DaMan has posted there too of the last couple of games played in the past months as well. Lordnikon has told me that he gets to be pretty busy at times and that he'll get around to it because when you're busy, moving or doing anything, you're busy.

My suggestion was for him to ask for help and he replied something like yes, help me out by leaving a message of the date and players that played and he'll get around to it, well that doesn't work. That is not what i ment by him asking for help. What i was saying, by him asking for help, is to let someone else do the work of updating the game tracker for him so then it doesn't mater how busy he is, someone else would be doing it instead, and i don't have a problem with that.

Aka, what i was really saying is to get someone's help in this forum by making someone a moderator in this forum so he's not the only one that has to do everything. He has never really got back to me with that proposal and so i really think he doesn't like that idea of sharing the power he created here and i believe he did do all the stuff on this forum you see here today, if not, he sure as hell did most of it.

Or, as you said koss, just get rid of the game tracker. I think any idiot that comes across this forum would click on the organizer or tribes part of this forum and realize that, hey, people are still playing tribes and are currently talking about it. I think the game tracker was much better back in the day when there were other games posted there and now it's time to just get rid of it.
 
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Sun May 07, 2017 2:36 pm
quote : #3
profile : pm
Posts: 2765
Type: NTSC-U/C
koss wrote:
It appears that it hasn't been used for many months, even though we actively play every weekend. I tried to add in entry to evidence the activity on TAA, in case anyone stumbles on this site (i've tried promoting it at a few locations online) but it wouldn't allow me. My fear is that someone might land on the home page, see the game tracker and notice a game hasn't been played in 8 months, and leave. I think that it should be removed if it isn't going to be updated just to minimize the risk of someone being discouraged by the misleading lack of activity it displays!

It has been so hard over the years running the site seeing sentiment that OC is actually causing damage to the online activity by its mere existance. I could write a whole article on the topic of activity, what generates it, and what prevents it from manifesting like users want it to. There was an interview with me in GamesTM magazine that touches on the topic.

Users are looking for a service. What do services do? They "serve" people. Users want and expect XBL or PSN. They come home from their day job and expect to have a teaming ecosystem of online players and servers waiting for them, with zero effort required to go from boot up to fragging.

Solving for player activity many years after the game was originally released, is incredibly difficult. It requires a lot of moving parts, and one of those parts is that the players themselves have to want to play in spite of low activity. I run message boards, servers, salvage files and information, post on the boards, and play matches online myself. This is the best I can do. I have the desire to fire a spinfusor, but others have to as well.

All am saying is, the tracker and the dates displayed are not holding back TAA from becoming more active. TAA sputtered out just like every single online game ever. Every online game is a race to the bottom in terms of player counts. They all hit zero, and all that are left, are the persistant ones who still want to play come hell or high water. Go look at Quake 4 or UT2004 on the PC as an example (I played some UT2004 earlier in the week, and just 1 server populated). Prospective TAA players aren't going to see an outdated tracker and leave without going to the TAA forum to read what is going on.

Forget about the game tracker... go look at the Gamecube section of OC. Not a lot of recent posts over there. The dates are getting older by the minute. Should I shut that entire area down as well?

Running the site is a challenge, no doubt about it. With everything else going on, I think I am doing a pretty good job. So far this weekend, I responded to PM's at the Dreamcast site about server software releases, have been helping a user with DC PSO screenshot conversions, created this thread, am posting here in the TAA forum, and also plan to play TAA this afternoon. I have to tell myself that the efforts I make towards keeping classic console online gaming alive, are positive ones. Otherwise, OC itself would have been shutdown a long time ago.

Just imagine what the DC site was like when it had over 75 active visitors a day (yes it was that active in 2003-2008). Users would send me dick pics because I killed the offtopic forum. *shrugs* I was tired of seeing more discussion about scheduling Halo online matches than Quake 3, so I axe'd the offtopic boards. This was a tough decision made way back in the early days, but it greatly helped the site long term.

I hear what you are saying about the game tracker. I understand that as TribesAA fans we all want the game reflected in a way that speaks to its excellence.

The game tracker doesn't query the master list, log player names, and automatically track when someone played TAA. This metadata is not collected automatically. It is collected manually and updated manually. This is why there is a delay in updating the tracker. How busy I am is also a factor.

I run and interact at OC amidst the ambitious archiving tasks I do (I archive milliions of articles, videos, games, websites, etc from the web) and general life stuff, like at least 50-60 hours of manual labor demo'ing my basement this past month to get a drain tile system installed so my PS2 consoles don't get destroyed by water. Wooooo!

I am not ignoring your concerns. I will see what can do to improve how the tracker lives on the homepage. Maybe a "updated periodically, see thread for most recent" message. I am doing by very best to run this site, and at the end day I also want to be a user just like everyone else, and have fun playing games online.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Sun May 07, 2017 2:36 pm
quote : #4
profile : pm
Posts: 2765
Type: NTSC-U/C
Snafu Organizer wrote:
Aka, what i was really saying is to get someone's help in this forum by making someone a moderator in this forum so he's not the only one that has to do everything. He has never really got back to me with that proposal and so i really think he doesn't like that idea of sharing the power he created here and i believe he did do all the stuff on this forum you see here today, if not, he sure as hell did most of it.

Snafu, I have gotten back to you on that proposal and I have explained multiple times before. Its in the PM logs if you want me to look it up.

I will try again:

  • There are no moderator access permissions relating to the tracker. Because the tracker isn't integrated into the phpbb ecosystem as a board mod.
  • There is no "administration panel" for the tracker.
  • No graphical user interface, no buttons, or text fields.
  • There isn't a "user table" in the mysql database, that is tied to the tracker at all.
  • The tracker data is stored in a static array written in PHP. ALL of the data is hard coded.
  • I cannot give someone else the ability to update the tracker, because in doing so, risks a huge permissions problem, where that individual would have the ability to delete the entire website off the server.


You keep talking about this as if I am at the lunch table, have a big bag of cookies, and I am not shareing with the group. The bag of cookies is empty. My mom gave me an empty bag for lunch. I can't do anything lol. Laughing

There may be a solution, which would involve me writiing some more PHP code to see if I can digest a static text file of data, parse it, and have the static data file tied to a restricted FTP account where a series of users could be granted access. OC's website is on a shared host and I don't have 100% control over the server environment. I would have to look into whether cpanel allows for setting jailed ftp access.

Once again, I think you are assuming there is an interface that would load in the browser, and all I have to do is give another member of the forum "moderator" access to update the tracker. That is not the case at all.

This is not a power issue (seriously). I would grant you access no problem if the technology were in place to support it. The technology is not in-place to give another user access to help out in updating the tracker at this time. I wish it was, but its not right now. Maybe down the road I can build something to allow other members of the forum to help out with the tracker.

I am not angry, just trying my very best to explain the situation. Mr. Green

P.S. - Yes, I have done all of the stuff on the website that you see here today. All of OC, and the servers, and writing code, and how OC is designed is all done by me. I pay the money for it to be hosted, I pay for the domain costs, and pay for renting the servers that run the master lists and the game servers. Thousands of dollars a year. I have put in 14 years of my life keeping it going. I can do whatever I want with OnlineConsoles. However, note that I spent nearly 3 hours writing these replies, because I care so very deeply about what you the fellow members of the community want here at the site and for classic online gaming in general.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
koss
rank 7
Posted:
Mon May 08, 2017 6:58 pm
quote : #5
profile : pm
Posts: 67
Hey Nikon, I definitely want to express gratitude and show my appreciation for this site and the time/effort/money you have put forth to maintain it. I'm glad to have stumbled upon it. Also, thanks for updating the game tracker. I wasn't trying to imply anything negative about the way you run this site, I think I was just trying to ask, "what is the purpose of the game tracker? Why do we have it?" and that question could be followed up with, "why did we stop using it? should we continue to use it?" I think I assumed that the purpose of the game tracker being displayed on the home page was to show anyone who lands here that the game is still actively being played. And I may have been wrong in that assumption. I was just trying to clarify its purpose to better understand the impact of not updating it. And solely because I enjoy this game enough to care about possible impact. Honestly the whole reason I brought it up was because Cirrus mentioned reading through old logs and players he had seen active. It got me thinking about players who hadn't been recorded in the game tracker and if that matters at all. i think you made a pretty good point when you mentioned that anyone who care about this game enough to find this site will probably look deeper than the game tracker on the front page.
 
Snafu Organizer
rank 27
Posted:
Mon May 08, 2017 10:31 pm
quote : #6
profile : pm
Posts: 570
I was asked and then made a moderator at ps2onlinegaming.com.

Lordnikon, are you saying you don't have the power to make me a administrator here or a moderator as you are?

I figured any forum can have more than just one administrator or moderator depending and what the main administrator feels about it.

I never heard of a forum that the main administrator can't give up some power to the right person to be a moderator.

I'll have to ask around about that because i find it hard to believe there can only be one administrator, with no moderator in any forum that has been made, for a back up to the administrator.

I figure most forums, everywhere, has more than just one person in charge to help out when needed. If i'm mistaken then oops... shazbot and keep doing what you do Lordnikon.
 
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Mon May 08, 2017 10:47 pm
quote : #7
profile : pm
Posts: 2765
Type: NTSC-U/C
The game tracker is designed to show at a bare minimum that yes, people are playing PS2 online. Its the reason I put the tracker up to begin with. The player population is spread so thin that its impossible to stumble across a random game online. For most of the games OC covers, the master lists are empty. People ARE playing, but there are not enough players to keep it populated enough per week for random encounters to occur. So that is why I came up with the tracker concept.

One characteristic of the tracker is one that all "dated" content has (news, forum posts, videos, podcasts, etc). It is dated, there is a date. If the date gets old, then people think "this is dead". I try not to let the fear of this be a driving force, otherwise, I will go crazy Wink I have to be resiliant against the passing of time. I can't let it be my enemy. It is a reason why OC is still here after all these years.

BUT, here at the PS2 site, we aren't just talking about a lack of current content, but current content that is not getting added in a timely fashion. Because the tracker is updated manually, there is going to be a timelag between when games are posted to the tracker thread, and when they make it onto the tracker itself.

I do have a creative solution: I might add a bit of code to check the latest date in the tracker list, and see if its 45 days old. If yes, then show a message that says, "The tracker is updated periodically, see here for the latest entries." Its not perfect, but it improves the situation.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
Snafu Organizer
rank 27
Posted:
Tue May 09, 2017 5:46 pm
quote : #8
profile : pm
Posts: 570
I still hate to say it, but if you can just drop it or let someone else update it for you, would be the best. That way when new comers come here they'll have no choice but to check out the most current thread and see what is the most current talked about thing here is and say damn you guys are still playing tribes Shocked
 
Snafu Organizer
rank 27
Posted:
Mon May 29, 2017 12:20 pm
quote : #9
profile : pm
Posts: 570
Five players on Sunday played and we played for two hours and we played everything except death match.
 
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