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BTB, Viewer, Chat, Jocks, and stuff!

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    Posted: 28 Sep 2019 at 9:50pm
BTB, Viewer, Chat, Jocks, and stuff!

Yo guys - big update tonight about a LOT.. seriously... get dinner first.. or at least grab a couple of your favorite beverages before you buckle up...   

First off... the fluffy stuff... we had our 21st Anniversary last month!   That, to me, is unreal.. and just super, super cool. I had no idea that this game would be around long enough to be of legal drinking age in the United States! There are still so many players around from those early days, including a couple that signed up for the original (Usenet) test phase.   What a ride! Our humble little " Virtual Horse Racing Game" is staring down a quarter of a century in a few years.. at that point I will have been working on this game (from it's original PC/spreadsheet phase that only Jeremy and I played all the way through the current version) for half of my life... whoa.. I'm old!    I gotta get my boy Ben trained up before I hit Social Security!

Well, I'll stop patting the game on the back now before I break my arm, and talk on the gameplay stuff you guys need to know...

New jockeys - I realize I still have a few I didn't get to.. I have the list... it's just getting shuffled behind some other higher priority stuff. Jockeys generally need to be added in batches because adding them happens so rarely that I don't have an "easy way" to do it.   I'll try to add an "easy way" in the in the future, but that's a smallish priority for now.

As for what's keeping me from just adding those new jocks -

BTB/Chatroom - this ties back to something that happened a couple of months ago.   My old server goes kablooey on 9/30.    I moved the game onto a new box, but the new box can't handle the current chatroom or the BTB.     

BTB - I am currently trying to move the BTB and chat onto small dedicated boxes, but there have been weird issues (sorry guys). Ultimately, I am trying to move the BTB to a Linux box (where PHP is much more native and much faster), but it's been a process.   Roxyken and spinround have been very helpful with this, and the reason for the slowdown converting and recent "weirdness" is fully on my shoulders.   I've been trying to hack my way through a cheesy "patch update", but we may need to bite the bullet and take a step backwards on BTB functionality/prettiness for a few weeks while we upgrade the right way. I'll be reaching out to those guys this weekend again about that, but please be patient with us (especially them - they are doing great work over there).

Chatroom- The current chatroom also goes poof on 9/30.   I am trying to move to an entirely new, much more current, cellphone compatible communications platform using Zulip (very similar to Slack).   It's pretty slick and, while different, much more community friendly.   I wouldn't be surprised to see the message board get less use while the new chat becomes a go-to for communications and even becomes a place to host residency interactions.   One drawback - it's not quite integrated yet either. An option I have is to use a "temporary" Zulip instance that would allow people to validate using a gmail account. Problem with that, of course, is that it has the potential for some misuse in the short term. Please be advised I can track these back to the offending player using a variety of methods, but it won't be fun for me (and the offending player will likely be banned from the chat and message board going forward).   Please - just be good folk...

Viewer - It has been pointed out to me that the 3D viewer is sadly.. officially.. a goner.    If it still works for you please share how you do it in the forums!   The viewer runs on an old version of Unity 3D that is no longer supported, and the costs I have been quoted to rewrite it have been insane. Long and short - I have a rabbit or two I can TRY to pull out of my hat to make the thing downloadable (and non-browser related), but getting something usable in this regard is getting punted short term in favor of community related priorities.

Rewrite - remember that rewrite I was undertaking?   I actually made a lot of headway on it (it even runs races and the initial audits looked really good).. sadly, once the current server things popped up I had to shelve it.   I had hoped to have the new version up by year end but that is a pipe dream. Once I herd the cats mentions above I'll get back to it... I promise...

Yea - that's a lot!   But one last mea culpa : I realize I've not been able to get to things as quickly as I have in the past, but I promise I'm trying.   A lot has come down the pike quickly and drinking from the firehose has proven tricky for me this time... Thank you guys and gals for being so patient and understanding!!


Edited by administrator - 28 Sep 2019 at 9:52pm
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