40 Days and 40 Nights of Instant Messages

1 04 2008

Last night, my IMs in SL capped.

Second Life has a limit to how many instant messages it’ll store while you’re offline. This is stupid. It means that after a dozen or so IMs, no more come in, and the people who try to send them to you aren’t even told that you’re over limit and their message will never be read, lost forever to the digital aether.

This is one of the many, many problems with SL that have really been grinding me down lately. It’s filled with bugs, inconsistencies, UI problems, asset server crashes, transaction failures, random screwups of its internal communications systems, client lockups, comma separated list, comma separated list. It’s a pile of ass and poo, to use the technical terminology.

And yet, here we are trying to make some scratch off it, and more importantly (in my view) trying to make fun games and things for people to use. All these technical problems get in the way of that fun. 7Seas, from launch to now, has been a constant stream of trouble, with SL fighting us every inch of the way — from rods randomly losing their stats due to server crashes to llEmail() failures (why the hell is the only way for two objects to communicate to each other within SL through EMAIL?!) and more.

On top of all that, Havok 4 launches soon and while I’ve thankfully got Skeeball working, I know I’m gonna be fielding two dozen tech support requests from people who don’t upgrade or don’t read the docs or don’t install the upgrade properly.

If there’s an April Fool here, it’s me, for conscripting myself into supporting a game system on the world’s least stable software development platform.

Edit: I consider it a failing of Linden Labs that I have to resort to this, but… thanks to Shadur, I’ll be implementing an HTTP/XML callin/callout system to replace llEmail() soon. It’s more reliable and should hopefully cut failed deliveries to nil, heading off a major source of my IMs.

After that it’s just a matter of “waiting out” the wave of IMs from people needing rod upgrades, until everybody’s either upgraded or moved on from the game, and things should be stable. Maybe then I can get down to some NEW stuff… but never again anything that relies on a central server of any sort. Standalones only.

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3 responses

1 04 2008
grizzygriswold

Thanks again for the help last night. Btw, when is the trivia game going to come out?

1 04 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

“When It’s Done(tm)”
Can’t offer much more than that. What we need is a good creative commons or public domain source of trivia beyond opentrivia.org. We’re trying to stay above-board on copyright, so no ripping questions off other games, ferinstance.
After that, it’s a matter of making art assets, and then it’s done. The game’s code complete, fortunately.
But right now, with H4 transitions and 7Seas being unstable and FS:Rock launching soon, I don’t feel confident enough in diving back into the trivia game. I want my plate cleared more before I head into a NEW fiasco.
So, it’ll eventually release… but not until the time is right.

1 04 2008
jenshikami

YAY for Shadur helping! *_* And I agree, it’s just silly that that should be necessary.

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