Arcademy

Index => ARC talk => Topic started by: FyreWulff on February 25, 10:44 PM

Title: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: FyreWulff on February 25, 10:44 PM
Hello, everyone.

Cutting straight to the point - Arcademy, as a site, has ceased operations. We will no longer be updating the site (and haven't for a long ass time now). The forums will remain operational, and this ride has come to an end.

No idea on the amount of interest, but J and I will be holding a casual Q&A in this thread, which we will begin answering on March 5th, 2016, and going until it seems like people are sated.

We will answer almost anything, basically everything but legal sensitive stuff, but we also reserve the right to simply not answer some questions, although efforts will be made to answer where possible. Kayfabe and characters are over; you can ask questions about Tsilon as well.

Your registrations will not carry forward to any other site, nor stats.

Thank you for your support and participation in the Tsilon days and the Arc launch days. I think we've had a pretty cool community, and would like to see you all stay together in some fashion as we move on to future projects. Come chat on IRC @ #arcademy on IRC!

edit: for those of you that were only on tsilon and didn't come back here

Polatron was Mister J.
I was Mister F.
G hasn't posted in here yet.
Title: Re: Arcademy Q&A - March 5th, 2016
Post by: Animefreek on February 25, 11:10 PM
Are you on the list?

When is my TF2 league?
Title: Re: Arcademy Q&A - March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on February 26, 11:55 AM
Are you on the list?

I was, now I'm not

Quote
When is my TF2 league?

rip

we're also already answering stuff in IRC, seems people prefer to do it that way
Title: Re: Arcademy Q&A - March 5th, 2016
Post by: Worf on February 27, 03:13 AM
So what happens to the community?

What are your plans for the future?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on February 27, 12:21 PM
So what happens to the community?

Would love for everyone to stick together. For legal reasons, though, we can't carry any registrations or data forward from Arcademy. We'll make it clear as much as possible where we go. In the meantime, Arcademy Forums will remain up for the forseeable future, including the EPN forums we are hosting - but the Arcademy domain is not slated to stay up forever at this point - it's paid out of pocket, and eventually the software here will fall far enough behind it'd be a security risk to keep it running. There will be plenty of warning before anything gets turned off, though.

Quote
What are your plans for the future?

J, G, and I have a new project (unrelated to anything Tsilon and Arcademy did) in the works. Due to legal reasons, we will not be putting out anything new under the Arcademy name or technology.

edit: to clarify, there is absolutely zero bad blood, and zero conflict with anyone involved with Arcademy - it's just a boring legal thing.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Worf on February 28, 04:06 AM
So what was the grand vision for tsilon at the time? We saw the cryptic videos and images, the really, really hard entry quiz (what was up with that?), etc?

What was the inspiration behind that?

Will we be invited to the new thing?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: tele_viper on February 29, 01:17 PM
Can you tell us a little bit about the set-up and execution of Tsilon? I'd love to hear a bit about your relationship with Future Shop, like how it started and how it ended (generally, of course. I know these are the sorts of things you can't get in to too much detail with).
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: tele_viper on February 29, 01:19 PM
Maybe post something on the Arcademy PS4 and Steam group too, for those that don't get here to the site very often and might like to participate in the Q&A?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on February 29, 10:26 PM
I will try to add my answers tomorrow night
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on March 01, 05:05 PM
So what was the grand vision for tsilon at the time? We saw the cryptic videos and images, the really, really hard entry quiz (what was up with that?), etc?

At the base level, it was to make a fun interactive site for a retailer that actually had 1) persistence and 2) responded to it's community and adapted. On my side, I was tired of all those ARGs and stuff that maybe got done real fast but were never mentioned again or were put up, drained of all their rewards but never tried to fight botters/etc. I liked the idea of having an ARG/community where we'd watch it and add features as we went, and also reward actual gaming skill at all levels.


Quote
What was the inspiration behind that?

Multiple people in the project brought their own inspirations, I'll let them post about it if they feel like. From my end, I wanted to make a newer version of Fire Team Zulu, a Halo challenges site where people could compete. I would write up the challenges, put a little backstory on them and post it up. You can see the last version before Tsilon took over my life here:

http://arcademy.net/legacy/fireteamzulu/

To boil it down, someone at FS was shown FTZ and said "I want that", which was a surprise to me since I didn't know people liked FTZ that much. Bungie even linked to it. Cool times.

Quote
Will we be invited to the new thing?

yes
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on March 01, 05:17 PM
Can you tell us a little bit about the set-up and execution of Tsilon? I'd love to hear a bit about your relationship with Future Shop, like how it started and how it ended (generally, of course. I know these are the sorts of things you can't get in to too much detail with).

Tsilon's first version was based off some stuff from Fire Team Zulu, with the frontend and javascript done by J. I'm basically 99% backend. While multiple people were involved, J and I did most of the content - cryptocodes, challenges, quiz entry, and so on with G being a big help with community and other things. FS had some ideas and they liked what they saw from us. Of course, their goal was to engage customers and entice gamers to want to preorder the games at their store. From our end, the FS partnership got us eyes on the characters, concept and so on. I was happy that I could have a version of Fire Team Zulu with consistent ability to have prizes. I also wanted to see gamers rewarded for their skill in games, and try and have a more fun and happy place for people to hang out at.

All the perks and so on were due to the partnership with FS. Interestingly, we were not on AWS because the agreement meant Amazon was direct competitor, but they gave us Steam codes to give away... don't ask.

Tsilon was built week to week, and often day to day. What you saw on the site was our live working copy, with the only failsafe being backups every hour that I made of the code to upload reversions. We were often building the track four feet in front of the train as it was going at full speed down the track. When perks went live, the perks code was only finished 3 hours before. The quiz was the worst part, ancient code and it trashed the hosting we started out on, so we had to upgrade hosting. The Quiz was supposed to start getting sponsored categories like movie and game tie-ins, but we never got to the point where they started showing up.

I was surprised people consumed all the quiz content so fast. Unfortunately, the quiz tech was very fragile so it barely got updated after it's initial launch. I was planning on rebooting the entire quiz engine so it could get regular updates.. and then the site had to be shut down.

Tsilon began with a handshake and a partnership and ended with lawyers and a settlement. Tsilon performed well for FS and we got an awesome community out of it. It was neat hearing how much certain developers loved it. Ubisoft almost had references to Tsilon in multiple games, and Microsoft apparently liked it enough that we almost had a Tsilon/GList emblem in Halo 4, but it was too late at that point to get it in.

To anyone from the Halo community reading this, this is why I had like, 5000 360 Halo theme codes and gold months :V
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Godzilla on March 01, 05:45 PM
Now that we mostly know the grand plan of Tsilon, what was (or supposed to be) the grand plan for Arcademy? This site was definitely less cryptic and more new user friendly than Tsilon. Also, is there anything you wish could have been done here, but was never realized?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 01, 05:58 PM
Are you on the list?

The deli lady said she'd call my number.

Quote
When is my TF2 league?

When does TF3 launch?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 01, 06:00 PM
I'll answer questions as well, starting tonight or tomorrow.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Worf on March 02, 01:23 AM
Are you able to describe anything that led up to the shutdown of Tsilon? You said it went well for FS and all the associated partners, so something obviously happened. I'm aware you probably can't say anything, but did it have anything to do with RFD'ers and bots in the end?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: krae_man on March 02, 07:48 AM
Oh man that Ubisoft AC3 launch party was awesome.

I remember someone screwed up and Fuzzy wasn't on the list somehow and Ubi let him in anyway and gave him the press bribe swag.

Better to let some random person in and give them free stuff then risk turning away a reviewer and have them trash your game for not giving letting them in. :lol

Blast from the past:

(http://i.imgur.com/sjOHW.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/jd7yYhh.jpg)
MK Vita Tournament(July 2012)
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on March 02, 09:01 AM
Are you able to describe anything that led up to the shutdown of Tsilon? You said it went well for FS and all the associated partners, so something obviously happened. I'm aware you probably can't say anything, but did it have anything to do with RFD'ers and bots in the end?

RFD and bots had nothing to do with it. I was keeping an eye on RFD. Bots were known and fought against (someone even made a custom bot to answer most of the quiz questions correctly!) and had no impact on the partnership. There was that one botter that managed to get a bunch of codes, which is why I dumped them all onto the forum to the public - we had no way of cancelling XB/PS codes (only FS coupon codes) so I figured it was better to let gamers have a chance at those codes and kill the botter's ability to resell them.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on March 02, 09:14 AM
Oh man that Ubisoft AC3 launch party was awesome.

I remember someone screwed up and Fuzzy wasn't on the list somehow and Ubi let him in anyway and gave him the press bribe swag.

Better to let some random person in and give them free stuff then risk turning away a reviewer and have them trash your game for not giving letting them in. :lol

Events could have definitely been run better.. a lot of them had last minute staff changes or decision changes and J or G'd have to recover quickly or just roll with it.

Fun fact: For the PAX Glist meetup, one of us was going to show up as a regular Glist user and try to sneak Glist stickers/notes under the plates or something. And then we were going to have a courier deliver mail to you specifically, which would have been the picture of Scott Hall in a frame with a note from the Misters in the back and a code for the group to use.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: krae_man on March 02, 10:36 AM
Did you say something about the Scott Hall picture before? That sounds familiar.

Shame that PAX meetup never happened.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Animefreek on March 02, 09:24 PM
just gonna bump this to the top
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on March 02, 10:04 PM
Did you say something about the Scott Hall picture before? That sounds familiar.

Shame that PAX meetup never happened.

yeah, i probably did
just gonna bump this to the top

lol, because people have linked to this thread from other places, the spambots care about us again. I'll clean it up.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 02, 10:07 PM
Are you able to describe anything that led up to the shutdown of Tsilon? You said it went well for FS and all the associated partners, so something obviously happened. I'm aware you probably can't say anything, but did it have anything to do with RFD'ers and bots in the end?

Fyre was correct above, RFDers had no influence on the Old World's ultimate fate. Early on it was fun to watch RFD react to what was being offered, predict and gauge trends for what would catch interest over there (and in a few other notable communities which were actively following the project), and see how everyone went about obtaining the various perks. Some of the habits (grinding, key sharing, botting, multiple accounts, etc) were taken into account and an enjoyable challenge to address. Only on a few occasions did they cause real issues, notably with the Jimmy multiple account racket used with a quiz bot to obtain Crysis codes. Otherwise, we knew what to expect and had fun watching the madness unfold when it did.

EDIT: Actually, I can say one fact about the closure of Old World given the above info. It had nothing to do with the project itself, or its performance.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 02, 10:14 PM
Did you say something about the Scott Hall picture before? That sounds familiar.

Shame that PAX meetup never happened.

For what it's worth, I showed up at PAX prime in 2012 wearing a gas mask and suit for GL. It creeped out a bunch of people, but also exposed people to Canabalt who'd never played (live competition on my iPad for anyone who wanted to throw down) and allowed us to give out a whole mess of games in person. Fyre and I have always loved giving out prizes, even when running projects unfunded and broke, so it was a fun afternoon.

The gas mask is still hanging in my closet.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 02, 11:17 PM
I remember someone screwed up and Fuzzy wasn't on the list somehow and Ubi let him in anyway and gave him the press bribe swag.

Better to let some random person in and give them free stuff then risk turning away a reviewer and have them trash your game for not giving letting them in. :lol

Events could have definitely been run better.. a lot of them had last minute staff changes or decision changes and J or G'd have to recover quickly or just roll with it.

Fleshing out a few details to give an idea how last minute some event swerves were:

Mortal Kombat Vita tournaments: If you wondered why these events were Mortal Kombat, it's because all preparations leading up to the event were for a Resistance: Burning Skies tournament event and that game doesn't have an offline multiplayer option. We responded to this by acquiring Telus WiFi hotspots for the venues (which arrived a couple days beforehand), and I got everyone to grab all MK copies available (in store), including our personal copies as a backup if Resistance didn't work because it was way too unreliable under those circumstances. Sure enough, the hotspots didn't work at the venues, so MK it was.

I also didn't receive sunglasses for the event until the ride over. The guy who picked them up was a thumbs up dude.

Halo 4 EXP event: For anyone who attended this, you probably noticed something was up. In the weeks leading up to the event, I created all the game types for each tournament round that would be played in Halo 4, settings, and I believe Fyre forged a map for the event as well. I personally timed everything for 15 minute rounds, including loading times, recording scores, announcements and other busywork between rounds. There was also a retro game live leader board planned where everyone who was eliminated from competition would earn one credit to try their hand at a high score in a retro game of our choice. The event was planned for 2 hours of game time, 1 hour of overlap, and 1 hour of mingling/setup before and after for a total of around four hours leading into open bar hours. Everything was well oiled and ready. Before attendees were let in, we setup the Xbox 360s (with a Microsoft rep's help, which was awesome!), loaded in the game types and maps to make sure everything was ready, created gamertags for each console so that no online issues or login problems would plague the event, and knew exactly where to check for stats in case they were needed. All ready to go!

Immediately before the event, AFTER attendees had entered, I was told to relax, sit back and enjoy the event because other people would be taking care of the proceedings. Those who took the administrative reigns are great people and I'd stick up for them to this day, but they had no idea what the round timing was, what exactly they were monitoring for scores, how to advance and setup for the next games, and how to move attendees around to advance the rounds, because they hadn't been planning those aspects. They didn't have long to be taught either, so it was like student drivers in a Nascar race. Sure enough, the tight timing for the event got spread out, and after two rounds of play they came to me and said they had to jump to the final round and end the tournament because there were only two hours, and it had to be done with a half hour to spare. In the end, more than half of the event's content was cut, and while it was still a fun time that people enjoyed, it was sad to see so much tumble to the wayside because of last minute swerves.

For those who were at the event, Mister A revealed himself at one point. He wasn't supposed to reveal himself, and wasn't Mister A before then. He apologized afterwards through another person since we'd all vowed to not reveal ourselves without a unanimous (or at least majority) agreement to do so. I always liked that spontaneity and raw energy, but that brand of off the cuff game changing led to the above event issues.

Assassin's Creed 3 launch in Toronto...?: One of the events in Toronto had cards given out to members in attendance in a whirlwind by a Mister who then left. They were supposed to be given out by someone specific, who then claimed they couldn't do it, so G got conscripted to do it. He wasn't attending for or attending the event, was in Toronto by coincidence on a vacation, and the cards were given to him 2 hours late into the event with no prior notice that the handoff would be late. It was awesome of him to do that at all and we've never had a problem covering people or helping teammates/friend when they need it, but that whole card ordeal being so last moment and late dragged down what could've been a more memorable, standout moment for members at the event.

To be clear, I'm not knocking anyone associated with the project, its partners or anyone else. Everyone busted ass and had legit reasons for flying so close to the sun, and for everyone involved from the beginning it was effectively a passion project on top of anything else we did on our own time (work or personal). As the above proves though, that put us (F, myself and one other person most often) in MANY tough spots. These are just the few live event cases coming to mind off the top of my head too.

None of this includes the time I made a verification mobile login site in 50 minutes a few hours before an event because the original planned verification method fell through so I made a saving throw. It wasn't even used, which I learned an hour into the event itself. :V
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 02, 11:30 PM
Oh man that Ubisoft AC3 launch party was awesome.

I really liked the two AC launch parties.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on March 02, 11:41 PM
Remember GTAV's perk code? And how we had to cancel everyone's code and re-send or re-activate (can't remember the specific) because they got double sent?

Yeah, that was me. At the time due to all the "oh god we are on fire" style of dev, I hadn't gotten around to adding a database lock to perk mailouts. Database locks are sanity checks where you make sure a task that uses that database has actually finished before you do anything to it. Perks were the last section of the engine to not have such a check, but it had worked to that point so I had focused on other things.

We hadn't had the size/demand as we did to that point. Most perk mailouts finished very quickly, under 2 minutes (and it only took that long because I set it up to batch mail sends to not piss off email servers). So I had set the perk mailer to check for new mail to send out every half hour.

You can see what happened next. 30 minutes in, and the mailer was still chewing through all the GTAV requests.. but since the DB hadn't updated yet, it started working on it AGAIN and mailing codes to people all over again. This was the one and only time I was actually forced to kill the entire site for a minute to stop the carnage.

That was a fun moment to have to come clean on that to J and G :dead: and shortly thereafter perks finally got database lock functionality.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 02, 11:49 PM
So what happens to the community?

What are your plans for the future?

Would love for everyone to stick together. For legal reasons, though, we can't carry any registrations or data forward from Arcademy. We'll make it clear as much as possible where we go. In the meantime, Arcademy Forums will remain up for the forseeable future, including the EPN forums we are hosting - but the Arcademy domain is not slated to stay up forever at this point - it's paid out of pocket, and eventually the software here will fall far enough behind it'd be a security risk to keep it running. There will be plenty of warning before anything gets turned off, though.

J, G, and I have a new project (unrelated to anything Tsilon and Arcademy did) in the works. Due to legal reasons, we will not be putting out anything new under the Arcademy name or technology.

edit: to clarify, there is absolutely zero bad blood, and zero conflict with anyone involved with Arcademy - it's just a boring legal thing.

Fyre nailed this. A few extra points from this end:

1. I really liked and appreciated the community for these projects a lot, both the good and the unfortunate (Little Jimmy's legacy). It was also heartening to foster something specifically Canadian which always seems lacking in the games community space despite al the great developers in this country, great events and honestly rad people. It's also one of the genuinely great things about everything Victor has and had done with EPN, which I'll always look upon fondly as a fan (used to watch Reviews on the Run at like... 4:30am MST, EP on Saturday mornings as a kid... good times).

2. Arcademy's domain and hosting aren't the only things that were paid out of pocket. We did a LOT from our own pockets and gave a TON of extra time from our lives just to give Old World a shot, and to try things with Arc for as long as we did.

3. Echoing that there's absolutely zero bad blood and zero conflict with anyone involved with Arcademy. Not only is it a boring legal reason though, it's F and I making the call to move forward and work on something we've wanted to do since before Old World was conceived. We'd originally wanted to incorporate some of the ideas into Arc, but decided to keep them separate as they were completely separate entities and concepts.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 02, 11:54 PM
Unrelated to anything: I still use the Playstation TV as a monitor, and Motorstorm: Apocalypse is still a fun ride. :)
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 03, 12:15 AM
Most perk mailouts finished very quickly, under 2 minutes (and it only took that long because I set it up to batch mail sends to not piss off email servers). So I had set the perk mailer to check for new mail to send out every half hour.

For a long time, all codes, perks, challenge verification responses and otherwise I personally wrote and delivered by hand since while the more automated functionality was fine, the needs and face of what that looked liked changed enough that the system needed adapting before use, and with the constant barrage of to dos and "need this in two hours" requests, it was an ordeal to adapt automation as necessary. It didn't happen until we got the first breather after some six months of non-stop crunch.

Writing, communicating, personalizing and tracking everything directly was a LOT of work that took a stupid amount of effort. It was also part of what made me enjoy the community so much. F and I wanted to be involved directly with members, know who people were by name, tailor things individually, and offer something organic and personalized, so the effort was worthwhile.

For reference, the first perk to have adapted, automated code distribution was the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier discount.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 03, 12:21 AM
Will we be invited to the new thing?

Beep.

Answering larger questions about the drive behind both Old World and Arc's directions (from my perspective) later today.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Worf on March 03, 01:45 AM
Dammit, you caught me off guard with all those posts from my questions, I forgot what I was going to ask!

Was that Halo 4 event the one held outside of Steamworks downtown? I know there was something but it's been so long I've forgotten...
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Worf on March 03, 01:48 AM
Old world question - I joined shortly after the PS Vita launched - I know because one of the FS guys there told me that there was this odd FS run thing (I had mentioned Best Buy had an offer of the Uncharted game with pre-order of the PS Vita, and he said he got $50 off or something). I know when I finally got in the perks of the month were those headphones.

SO how early or late did I join in? Was just curious when I joined versus when it started.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Animefreek on March 03, 01:57 AM
Yeah, a timeline of Tsilon/Arc would be neat.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: krae_man on March 03, 11:13 AM
What were lives going to be used for?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: FyreWulff on March 03, 11:35 AM
What were lives going to be used for?

Lives were going to be the "premium" currency of Tsilon/Arc, where you could spend them to get certain things or do certain events or even certain higher-value perks. You'd never be able to buy them, though. Only obtainable from high-investment or high-skill events, ie show in person at a Glist/Arc event for example would earn you Lives, while showing up for a Halo Game Night was worth just EXP, but winning a Halo league would get you one. That's why we sparingly gave them out.

The first thing (?) you'd be able to spend lives on was being able to reset quiz questions you answered incorrectly and have a chance to answer them correctly. What happened here, in my opinion, is we thought that since we took so long to do anything with Lives that the community was hyping them up a bit, so coming out with "and today, you can reset your questions" would have been underwhelming, so we started working on a "Lives Store" where you'd have multiple things to use them on. Also, for certain tournaments and leagues, you'd have to use a Life to enter them (think of it as putting your quarter up) so that you'd have to put skin in the game to have access to whatever the league or tournament got you.

in summary, Lives were:

1) chances to increase your max EXP by resetting quiz or dailies, or auto-completing a Challenge as a Grade A
2) your 'quarter' to put up to play certain games, tournaments, leagues, etc.
3) could be used to directly "buy it now" certain perks - 10 lives to get a free PS4, 2 for Call of Duty 7: Black Ops Warefare, etc (this is to give you an idea of how hard we wanted them be to earn)*
4) certain perks would require you to spend a life to request it (if we ran out of that perk, you'd get the life back)
5) didn't meet the light of day before everything ended because we were working on making the wait worth it


* we were constantly working on the balancing of lives, so treat amounts as prototype examples
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: Polatron on March 03, 02:43 PM
Dammit, you caught me off guard with all those posts from my questions, I forgot what I was going to ask!

Was that Halo 4 event the one held outside of Steamworks downtown? I know there was something but it's been so long I've forgotten...

Nope, Vancouver only event, Toronto didn't have an equivalent at the time.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Q&A March 5th, 2016
Post by: zombyteer on March 03, 02:52 PM
...None of this includes the time I made a verification mobile login site in 50 minutes a few hours before an event because the original planned verification method fell through so I made a saving throw. It wasn't even used, which I learned an hour into the event itself...

Something something Bioshock? Animefreek has real fond memories of that.

...What happened here, in my opinion, is we thought that since we took so long to do anything with Lives that the community was hyping them up a bit, so coming out with "and today, you can reset your questions" would have been underwhelming...

So thats why you killed off Area 52! Bastards!

Nope, Vancouver only event, Toronto didn't have an equivalent at the time.

Me thinks you may be confusing Steamworks with Steamwhistle.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Worf on March 04, 01:29 AM
Nope, Vancouver only event, Toronto didn't have an equivalent at the time.

Yeah, I meant the Vancouver event. I believe it was held int he parking lot between The Station (outside Rogue) and Steamworks...
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 04, 11:14 AM
Yeah, I meant the Vancouver event. I believe it was held int he parking lot between The Station (outside Rogue) and Steamworks...

Ahhhh, THAT, nope. This was a GL only event at EXP.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: mhee123 on March 05, 12:06 PM
1. After all the legal drama and the community asking for question, why go silence? The IRC chat was the only method receiving any news.
 
2. There were murmurs of a show/podcast being made from the Misters (J and FyreWulff)? is that going to be a bigger part of the new project?

3. Will there be a new IRC?

4. Why Scott Hall? I really like Scott Hall
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: larryd85 on March 05, 01:48 PM
im not sure i had any questions. but i did want to just say that when G-List was active and alive it was so satisfying completing challenges in games i had no thought of playing. it gave me a reason to try new games. and i played a bunch of games i likely wouldnt have played. 

i have met some good friends from this site. 
im hoping the new site is something similar to completing challenges. or even just video game related.

Thank you to all the Misters for everything. 

how and where are we all able to keep in touch? will the ARC irc room still be active?
how long with arcademy.net be active?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Kovaelin on March 05, 02:06 PM
I also just wanted to express my thanks for everything over the years. I didn't expect to ever become part of a community like this. I'll definitely be keeping in touch with all of you in chat.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 05, 05:08 PM
1. After all the legal drama and the community asking for question, why go silence? The IRC chat was the only method receiving any news.
 
2. There were murmurs of a show/podcast being made from the Misters (J and FyreWulff)? is that going to be a bigger part of the new project?

3. Will there be a new IRC?

4. Why Scott Hall? I really like Scott Hall

1. Old World had been closed and was to have no more interference. IRC was an unofficial channel for Old World and allowed some personal communication without putting blood drops in the water for people to speculate on or blow out of proportion. Mostly precautionary.

2. F and I have been involved in numerous podcasts before and wanted to establish a new one that was heavily community based and connected with the GL iteration. That still made sense to eventually incorporate into Arc. With the new project, it doesn't make sense from the outset but has room to evolve naturally later, once established. Don't count it out.

3. Not for a while. Like the podcast, that'd evolve naturally from an established project. Doesn't make sense to jump the gun until it's sensible or necessary.

4. “Hard work pays off, dreams come true. Bad times don’t last, but bad guys do.”
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 05, 05:09 PM
I also just wanted to express my thanks for everything over the years. I didn't expect to ever become part of a community like this. I'll definitely be keeping in touch with all of you in chat.

Thanks, Kov! Glad all of you were able to have a great time. Hopefully that'll continue in the future! :)
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 05, 05:16 PM
Thank you to all the Misters for everything.

Thank YOU for being along for the ride!

Quote
how and where are we all able to keep in touch? will the ARC irc room still be active?
how long with arcademy.net be active?

Arcademy.net will be online for quite a while yet, at least until there's a concrete landing pad for transition and people are given the heads up. Until then, this place should be up but not given content updates past forum posts (not much change as of late!).

Arc's IRC room is an easy place to keep in touch, as will this place until any concrete shifts are settled. Eventually I'll likely have a Twitter for updates as well that'll direct to any new community hubs, but the IRC and site for the time being are solid options.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 05, 07:20 PM
So what was the grand vision for tsilon at the time? We saw the cryptic videos and images, the really, really hard entry quiz (what was up with that?), etc?

What was the inspiration behind that?

As Fyre said earlier, the grand vision varied by contributor. Everyone came into the project with a different goal and different sources of inspiration for all ends. For instance, the original testing area with quizzes was stylistically inspired by Assassin's Creed's Animus, while much of the key sites and ARG elements took inspiration from Subject 16 and other AC lore cracking. The keys were straight up Doom era classic FPS colour cards. The individual key sites were partially inspired by Majestic, I love bees and other ARG experiences, especially when Skype calls and phone numbers were involved. The CVA interruptions borrowed from Shodan and Mega Man X (personal inspiration, refer to the game's end of credits). The FPS rail micro-game on Orajin was a mix of CoD and Mirror's Edge, and the Grenaid text based adventure was based on classic choose your own adventure stories. Lots of GL's elements were based on little things that we'd appreciated in games. There was inspiration everywhere, especially in the beginning.

My personal goals for the project stemmed from some ambitions I had for games communities and personal beliefs/preferences when it comes to games and their players, alongside all the ARG and character elements that were plain fun.

First off (relative to generation 6 and 7), I've held the belief that $60/full price is completely reasonable for fully featured games including single player campaigns, robust multiplayer experiences, extras and large scale production, the Halo Reaches, GTAVs and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhoods of the world. At the same time, focused experiences, multiplayer only, single player only, shorter campaigns or alternative disc based games become less valued in that price range, avoided in favour of complete Call of Duty product packages. $40 always felt like the right price for alternative "AA"/"B" games (relative to $60) where people are able to chance experiences they'd never attempt otherwise and view a wider horizon without as much fear of being burned by a focused product. That includes Grasshopper titles like Lollipop Chainsaw, quality reboots dripping in suspicion like Turok, Infinite Undiscovery style off-brand jRPGs, and niche treasures like Dragon's Crown. Giving people a safer bet on those titles meant they explore far more games, finding gems they'd never know otherwise. I've always appreciated focused, unique and bold developments that don't spread themselves thin, and this was a way to open them up to more players, showing their viability.

Second, I've watched and been part of games communities which start as open discussion havens, then infest with drama, slander, mongering and elitism. Meta-community issues make titles and seniorities more important than people, with marketing and image becoming more important than the games. You've probably seen a few as well.

I wanted a community where people and their games mattered more than the toxicity they manage to draw, and where what grew of the two was discovery, sharing, and actual game play enjoyment. Challenges promoted lesser known titles and new ways to play the top draws. Tests and dailies offered points of discussion and topical exploration without the marketing standoffs. Leaderboards nudged players towards deeper play mechanics and discussing "how the hell did he do that?". Member's merits were reflected in their play, their knowledge and the words they spoke in the community, not their titles or post counts. Prizes and live events expanded on that and gave value to playing games past just enjoying their content. I wanted a positive community of substance, not a flippant nest of spite and snark.

Third, many online game communities die out quickly despite the level of quality those games bring to the table. The idea of a focused online group sparking a game's player base when it deserves a chance, not just to be dumped by the wayside in favour of the heavy hitters, was hugely appealing. Orbital Gear comes to mind.

In short, GL was to be a place that was games and people first, exploring fuller range of content, sharing player experiences, and growing the pastime into something more satisfying and robust by shaping the surrounding elements into games and explorations of their own (history, meetups, game nights, community, etc).

It's long winded, but honestly I just want people to be happy and have fun with their passions, gaming or otherwise.

There's more but that gives you a look into my crazy head and some reasons why I liked the project's direction and potential. Most all of this post is my personal view, not the overarching mission statement, as it were.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 05, 07:49 PM
Can you tell us a little bit about the set-up and execution of Tsilon? I'd love to hear a bit about your relationship with Future Shop, like how it started and how it ended (generally, of course. I know these are the sorts of things you can't get in to too much detail with).

How it ended won't be discussed, sorry, but it wasn't due to performance of the project or ill will so that's a positive!

Fyre mentioned this earlier. Old World began as an idea that G and C had for a loyalty program, something far more enjoyable and rewarding than a bland points card, a place for the best gamers to congregate, vaunted for their devotion to the pastime. 

Before any of that, F and I had been building and running Fire Team Zulu, a Halo focused challenge, competition and community site. It had done well for itself too, receiving weekly callouts on Bungie's comm chatter and blog, and being regularly noted on Bungie's official Halo discussion boards. Considering it began with ODST due to Firefight, it was always amusing to see the daily and weekly challenges appear in Reach afterwards, though that'd be giving ourselves undue credit in a world with achievements and XBLA leaderboards beforehand. :V

We'd had ambitions of expanding the concept to include Mega Man and retro games, or Rock Band and music games. Given the scene with Rock Band games nearly annualized, Mega Man 9's release and the Virtual Console/PSN/XBLA, it felt like a fun future direction. We've also always had love for speed running (TAS and non-emu alike) and even performed our own at different points (loved Metroid 2002 and Speed Demos Archive, helping friends submit to them), so there were considerations of expanding into a speed running challenge site with leaderboards and unique tasks for players. Oddly, they were similar to what's now done on Twitch with speed run races.

During the lull before setting plans for expansion, we connected with G and C (G being a partner and friend prior) and they wanted what FTZ was already offering, so we got together and began discussing a vision for GL. The G-List name was either coined by C or G, while I created the Tsilon name and character.

Things were mostly in a holding pattern until the week before the CVAs in 2011, where everything suddenly snapped together and truly began with thereisnolist being built immediately before the CVAs (and I mean IMMEDIATELY), attending the CVAs, having the video feed interruption and starting the ARG campaign. This was May 2011.

The month following led to thegamertest as a secondary gateway and daily code challenges on thereisnolist rewarded with PSN/XBLA/iTunes/eShop funds as the original perks. Key sites were introduced (and conceived/built by me) weekly over the course of the following two months through summer, and finally tsilon itself being opened up in early fall/September 2011.

That's the gist of how it started.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 05, 07:51 PM
Something something Bioshock? Animefreek has real fond memories of that.

That's the one.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 05, 08:28 PM
Old world question - I joined shortly after the PS Vita launched - I know because one of the FS guys there told me that there was this odd FS run thing (I had mentioned Best Buy had an offer of the Uncharted game with pre-order of the PS Vita, and he said he got $50 off or something). I know when I finally got in the perks of the month were those headphones.

SO how early or late did I join in? Was just curious when I joined versus when it started.




Yeah, a timeline of Tsilon/Arc would be neat.

This is going completely from memory, so there's bound to be plenty of missing details:

Pre-May 2011: Pre-discussion, not public.
May 2011: CVAs 2011 interruption happens, thereisnolist launches, runs about 40+ days of code giveaways.
July 2011 through August 2011: Launch of bleuwizard, redosupport, yelodyne, grenaid, orajin, violetone and thegamertest (which may have been in June).
September 2011: Tsilon's testing area launches and begins rolling out quiz questions. The members area exists, but requires level 10 to access.
October (or early November?) 2011: Assassin's Creed Revelations launch party occurs, the first member meet happens, metal membership cards are given out.
November 2011: Playstation TV bundle perk is revealed, is kind of crazy and awesome (I still use mine).
December 2011: Free game perk. This timeframe is a jumble so the month might be wrong. It was after the AC:R event, before the Ghost Recon perk I think. Either way, this general timeframe is close enough.
January 2012: PS Vita perk happens (this might be wrong or mis-remembered).
February 2012: 3DS perk happens.
March 2012: Ghost Recon Future Soldier perk happens. Pretty sure the PX5/X11(X12?) headset perk was around here somewhere too.
April 2012: Starhawk perk happens. I want to say the first Area 52 member appeared around here? Might have been in May/June though. Didn't Click Magazine's GL page happen here too?
May 2012: Lollipop Chainsaw perk happens. I want to say it's around April or May when the GTAV perk happens too. This is also when the second CVA appearance happens with another video disruption happens, and is around the time a visual update of the members area happens (tile cards instead of vertical poster cards). The CVAs might have been bumped to March because of Fan Expo Vancouver's timing, can't remember. Spring, sometime. Sometime around here was the Diablo 3 launch as well, which had a GL "find the seal" thing. This was also when the infamous "SHUT DOWN THE LIST" event happened which confused everyone because the messaging didn't go as planned (the live CVA broadcast that would've explained and tied it together didn't happen... woops!).
June 2012: Was this when the Wii U perk happened? It was close to the visual update.
July 2012: Resistance: Burning Skies and Mortal Kombat tournaments happen in Vancouver and Toronto. Fun times. J hosts the Vancouver event, R hosts the Toronto event.
August 2012: J attends PAX, is in a gas mask out front, sees a few regular members, meets some new people! Connor from Assassin's Creed 3 attends Fan Expo Canada in Toronto with a GL pendant around his neck. He's sneaky, but also gives out free game codes for Assassin's Creed 3 to people who find him. Cool guy!
-September 2012: Crysis codes?
-October 2012: Assassin's Creed 3 launch event in Toronto. Good times, I think metal cards were given out at some point. They allowed use of the in game debug menu which was rad for attendees.
-November 2012: UNKNOWN.
December 2012 (I think): Halo 4 Vancouver event. That was a fun time.
January 2013: Another visual update. This might've happened in March though. DETAILS. This is also the beginning of a consistent game perk stream that lasted until the site hit the skids. Also began a weekly "win the new release!" challenge where I made poster graphics for each new game challenge. Those were fun.
February 2013: Bioshock Infinite event in Vancouver. Not the finest moment.
March/April 2013: The final new perks I believe were in this range.
May 2013: UNKNOWN.
June 2013: Official shutdown, also attendance of E3 which was supposed to be a cool thing for GL members too, but hey, them's the breaks.

That's a general timeline off the top of my head. Lots of things are off the mark, and others have been forgotten, but for the most part everything should be in the correct season or span of a couple months. That ought to give and idea for when people joined, what they experienced, what they missed, and how that 2 year span got on.

If you remember anything differently (we're too lazy to open old emails to confirm exact dates on everything), let us know and the list can be updated.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 05, 09:00 PM
Now that we mostly know the grand plan of Tsilon, what was (or supposed to be) the grand plan for Arcademy? This site was definitely less cryptic and more new user friendly than Tsilon. Also, is there anything you wish could have been done here, but was never realized?

Arcademy had a completely different intent than Old World GL. EPN is/was not a retail partner (or a partner in the same sense at all), so there's a severe lack of incentive in offering pre-order discounts or other traditional perks, even though those were a lot of fun. Instead, the purpose for Arcademy was as a play and depth community for games that would work in tandem with EPN's content and host its forum and community. EPN had TV programs and video content dealing in reviews (on the run), daily news updates in the rundown and interview/preview segments with developers, representatives and at events, content that informed viewers and showed the host's delivery/quips, but that didn't linger long enough to explore the depth of those games, those subjects, and the opinions of viewers past the twitter question of the day and Vic's Basement live chat. Arcademy was looking to focus on content depth, deeper writing on individual games, trends, hot button topics and releases, while zeroing in on community contributions for various topics, offering a complimentary content style to what EPN had on deck. There was also inklings towards swag for members, appearances of members on EPN tv in studio (those who provided a truly deep and fascinating look into a gaming topic, playing a game, or otherwise), coordinating member content streams into an Arcademy Network (hence, the URL), having the Arcademy segment every day on EP Daily to build up to live events and give members a public forum (television, video) to gain bragging rights for their accomplishments, call out their posts, and offer some fun prizes (no, not perks), hold weekly tournaments and act as a way to say "thanks for being a great community, let's do something cool".

The vast majority of concept direction on Arcademy was of our own volition and required a stupid amount of effort building and rebuilding (legal reasons different direction) before we could execute on anything as desired. This includes a full games database, community aggregate reviews system, matchmaking system, graphical spread articles and more, most of which either got sidetracked or never got a proper launch.

Long story short, Arcademy was to be more focused on content depth, community voice, live events and aggregated sourcing of content via reviews and the like. Retail gone, media/community direction in.

Numerous reasons led to it not becoming what it could've been. Blame honestly belongs to no one in this case, it just unfolded unfortunately. Where GL hit a sudden wall out of nowhere, Arcademy's fate was a gradual fade born of a legal issue and being stretched far, far, far too thin.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 05, 09:07 PM
Pretty sure I've caught up on all questions asked. If there are any more, feel free to ask. There may be more details to provide if there's questions about specific points, events or otherwise.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: imbtmn on March 06, 04:22 PM
Tsilon was so much fun. I had pretty much stopped playing games, trying to be an adult and all - Tsilon reinvigorated my passion for games .... and destroyed the whole adult thing. I remember skipping work to finish challenges. I played all sorts of games I would not have played otherwise. The secrecy of it all is what really got me. I love that kinda shit!

Then the competition started. I had to be #1 on the list!!!! I flew through the rankings as fast as I could. Rubedizzle was the guy I was chasing. Too bad I joined so late (sometime shortly after the PS TV). When the MK meetup was announced and that the top 10 on the list would get something special, I lost my shit. I completed challenges like an animal and just made top 10 with like 1 day to spare!!! Getting my little card with the special URL was so rewarding, in the most nerdiest of ways. Rubedizzle and I got absolutely obliterated at the bar after the event ended and have been very close friends ever since.

Questions:
1: What was supposed to be the prize/reward/whatever for the top 10 G Listers?
2: What's the contact info of that sexy chick at the MK event?
3: Who was playing tsilonAI? So cool. Loved the cryptic wording and responses to everything.
4: If I had continued persisting about Duke Nukem 3D challenges, though apparently there had been one before I joined, would you have given in? haha
5: Can I trade in my Vita for a piece of lint?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Polatron on March 06, 08:08 PM
Tsilon was so much fun. I had pretty much stopped playing games, trying to be an adult and all - Tsilon reinvigorated my passion for games .... and destroyed the whole adult thing. I remember skipping work to finish challenges. I played all sorts of games I would not have played otherwise. The secrecy of it all is what really got me. I love that kinda shit!

Then the competition started. I had to be #1 on the list!!!! I flew through the rankings as fast as I could. Rubedizzle was the guy I was chasing. Too bad I joined so late (sometime shortly after the PS TV). When the MK meetup was announced and that the top 10 on the list would get something special, I lost my shit. I completed challenges like an animal and just made top 10 with like 1 day to spare!!! Getting my little card with the special URL was so rewarding, in the most nerdiest of ways. Rubedizzle and I got absolutely obliterated at the bar after the event ended and have been very close friends ever since.

Questions:
1: What was supposed to be the prize/reward/whatever for the top 10 G Listers?
2: What's the contact info of that sexy chick at the MK event?
3: Who was playing tsilonAI? So cool. Loved the cryptic wording and responses to everything.
4: If I had continued persisting about Duke Nukem 3D challenges, though apparently there had been one before I joined, would you have given in? haha
5: Can I trade in my Vita for a piece of lint?

1. If I remember correctly, that was directly associated with Area 52 and the original iteration of the vault. I'll share what Area 52 was supposed to be in another post because that was a weird thing.

2. Bzzt.

3. This depends which depiction of tsilonAI we're talking about. The tsilonAI administrator across .ca, thereisnolist, the key sites, emails, chat, online game accounts (Steam, PSN, XBL for instance) and I believe anything written was me. By and large, I created and played the character. Audio however was a friend of C's, and often written on the fly by him with on and off feedback from me. G may have written something at one point as well, he's always good when he does but I can't recall if he ever touched the character directly in that capacity. The video depiction of Tsilon was a vague conceptual representation of a visual design and description I'd made though quite different. F had access to the accounts while in Canada but only used it if I asked for his help with something.

Fun fact, Tsilon is in Shadowrun Returns, care of G. Screenshot taken by cool boy mew. I still like the Cyclops X-Men visor.

(http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/902129724302105141/19DBA3F7A0964347461A872FABE58CBC88989694/)

4. Probably! Later on in GL's life, we started running repeat games since the writing was on the wall, but there would've definitely been member vote/request games (we did that regardless), and throwback challenges too (also did that once). For the most part though, my mentality was that each game should receive one appearance in each section, whether challenges, leaderboards or otherwise. That didn't stick in certain cases (how much GT5 and Halo 4 did we play?), but was intended to force exploration and spreading out of releases rather than sticking to the same common favourites again and again.

5. I still like the Vita! Releases are largely niche, but it shines with the right content which DOES exist on it. :V
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Worf on March 07, 02:00 AM
I suppose one interesting question was what were the answers to the gatekeeper to tsilon? I mean, some of those sites were easy to go through, while others I managed to find by going through all the javascript and such, but that didn't seem like the right way...
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: FyreWulff on March 07, 05:05 AM
1. After all the legal drama and the community asking for question, why go silence? The IRC chat was the only method receiving any news.

I'll make a point to comment on this - we knew people were frustrated by the silence. It was sort of a sticky situation where we wanted to update people constantly, but also didn't want to get stuck in a cycle of "soon" or "in the next 3 months".. so by inertia and other factors, we just let the site get in stasis while we built features. I even intentionally used the lower eyeballs to do public testing live without causing any trouble for ourselves (at one point we had the entire site skinned up as a prototype for another store - I don't remember seeing a peep about it on the deals threads/forums).

The assumption was that if Arc could be saved, we would just email blast everyone and give everyone new and everyone from the old world at least a couple of weeks to "get ready" to resume the game. We didn't mind that people were waiting and stopped playing, because we knew you all wanted real content, which we couldn't deliver yet.

Also, in terms of game balance we didn't want everyone to spend a bunch of time leveling up for nothing.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Worf on March 08, 01:00 AM
How did you guys come up with the challenges? I know a lot of the mobile ones were quite fun to do, but it was something I would never have found for myself... so how'd you come up with them?

And there's still one challenge that's costed me a lot of money over the years..
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Kovaelin on March 08, 04:40 PM
If I remember correctly, that was directly associated with Area 52 and the original iteration of the vault. I'll share what Area 52 was supposed to be in another post because that was a weird thing.
[...]
Fun fact, Tsilon is in Shadowrun Returns, care of G. Screenshot taken by cool boy mew. I still like the Cyclops X-Men visor.
I'd almost forgotten about the mysterious vault/Area 52. I remember there was a picture of potential prizes back on the old world forums!

That Shadowrun Returns Easter egg is pretty awesome! It's like leaving a little piece of history out there.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: FyreWulff on March 12, 06:50 AM
How did you guys come up with the challenges? I know a lot of the mobile ones were quite fun to do, but it was something I would never have found for myself... so how'd you come up with them?

Quite a few were based off our personal experiences with games we enjoyed. So take games we were decently good at, and amp up from there.

More of them were just from me being familiar with building them after doing it for about 3 years straight. You just get a familiarity and a knack for making something playable but not being absurd.

There WERE a couple that were basically insanity just to see if someone could do it (and they did).
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: imbtmn on March 13, 08:01 PM
There WERE a couple that were basically insanity just to see if someone could do it (and they did).

I'd love for you to expand on this!
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: FyreWulff on April 26, 09:38 AM
I'd love for you to expand on this!

got real busy there, but i promise i'll come back to this one
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: imbtmn on June 23, 09:03 PM
got real busy there, but i promise i'll come back to this one

I'm still going to hold you to this 8)
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: FyreWulff on July 01, 10:47 AM
:V  will be on it after I get through an upcoming clusterflock of work stuff.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: FyreWulff on September 02, 09:22 PM
I'd love for you to expand on this!

Okay, so now that I actually have more than 4 hours off work!

J and I definitely have a different swath of games we're familiar and good at with some intersecting here and there, but not much. We'd cross-consult each other on some challenges for this reason.

So, I'd test a challenge he was working on. I'd go far far as I could push it - even past it, but since we wanted to see some sweat, I'd do silly stuff like arbitrarily just lop an half hour off the max time, or require a little more perfection, but it still had to be possible. I'd cross reference speedrunners talking about the game, videos, and others if I didn't know the game personally. For certain games, I'm a dork and have either dissected them or pulled them apart, so I knew how much I could be an asshole and push the challenge up.

One crazy one in the tsilon days (so i don't have deets off hand) was that I went and consulted the WR leaderboard for a game, and made the challenge one second faster. The idea was that if someone actually beat that challenge, I could go "here's a prize.. oh and by the way you're now the world record holder" as a surprise (it wasn't a popular game). nobody completed it but it was worth a try.

Another one was one where I was watching the various communities. I wanted everyone to work together (glist forums, RFD, etc etc) to kind of chill everyone out on "that site is the badguys", so I camped the threads at RFD/tsilon/twitter/gaf/anyone else that had a thread and glist in google results, picked 'champions' from each secretly that were good at a particular game, and then made challenges one week that would be completed fast by one person at each site, to encourage strategies to be shared across. It didn't work that great but seeing certain people go "wtf we were just talking about that" wasa hilarious.

Also, AS FAR AS I KNOW, only J and I checked challenges for most of the run. J did it manually via gmail early on, but the automated system I built was used later. Yes, we looked at the images you uploaded. I got to the point where i could recognize certain submissions just by recognizing someone's TV, or living room, or hand + note they made and reused. I did not store those submissions though so they're all gone from our end once the challenge was approved. A couple of times I made challenges based off what I saw in living rooms from submissions as a "huh, we haven't done that game somehow? lemme research it a bit and put that up.."

Since I was the Rock Band nut I also made all the RB challenges hard as hell. I also had a few awkward moments when streaming as Mister F where my actual screenname showed up on Blitz's in-game leaderboard and I paniced for a moment thinking I signed in with the wrong account :V


It was also cool to listen to all of you for game night / challenges where we were all playing Halo 4 or something like that. I wrote down the key remarks and talked with J about them, which influenced some things happening and other misc changes to challenges. Also, one time I accidentally started broadcasting my voice on Halo 4 night. Everyone in the lobby thought it was another player :V :V :V
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Takao on October 11, 02:27 AM
I take it some automatic back end update broke the elaborate forum skin?
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Worf on October 12, 01:44 AM
Probably something to do with the anti-spam measures implemented...
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: FyreWulff on October 12, 09:37 AM
The spam management stuff was only ever made for the default SMF skin. We never ported it to our custom skin, and due to some changes made, I have to switch everyone over to the default theme while doing it, but it takes a while to do the switch, so it's at default for long because of my second job consuming a lot of energy and time. 

Also, the spammers are getting really bad, so you're starting to see it more and more. Trying to figure out a good way to stop them.
Title: Re: Arcademy is ceasing operations - Open Q&A
Post by: Worf on October 13, 01:28 AM
Add a fake captcha is a popular one...  where the bots see a field for a captcha and a image to process. But the actual question is more like "What does PS4 stand for" or "What is the proper name for the console lovingly called the xbone?". Simple questions people get, but automated spam bots think it's a spot for a captcha and try to "solve" it
Title: Arcademy is ceasing operations Open Q
Post by: AaronJew on September 09, 04:22 PM
May be going up to visit some family around Rockford some time in the near future. I see there are a whole bunch of lines coming into and out of the city. Would anyone be willing to provide a list of operations in the area? Thanks