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Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : The Illumination : The Third Stab (Our News for September.)
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ErikH2000
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icon The Third Stab (0)  
I've actually taken two other stabs at writing this Illumination newsletter.

Stab One: An overambitious attempt at relating the DROD community to the rise and fall of BBSs and Usenet. I realized that in order to pull that off, I'd have to write about ten pages of farfetchedness. Guaranteed boredom for everyone not interested in electronic bulletin board systems and distributed messaging hierarchies.

Stab Two: A cryptically preachy thing about how people should resist the urge to be cynical and malicious when participating in an online community (like the Caravel Forum).

Yeck. I need to slap the cheeks a bit and get my head straight here. The danger is in taking the Caravel Forum too seriously. It's not the Roman Empire, after all. It's a place where people come and talk about DROD and other geeky things. We've been blessed with a well-above-average selection of forumites due mostly to the fact that they are DROD players, and DROD requires patience and intelligence from its players. It remains one of the best game-related forums around. Offhand, I can only think of a few other game communities where I've seen the same level of maturity and constructiveness.

There's about 3,000 people that this message will go to. A lot of them have never even been on the Caravel Forum. I would like to try a little recuiting here for the folks that haven't really seen the forum or know what it is. Let me explain briefly why you might want to tune into it:

* You can get hints for DROD with the forum. That's how most people stumble upon it. Any room that is at least a slightly difficult probably already has some hints written for it. If it doesn't, you can ask questions and expect solid answers coming back.

* If you want to talk about DROD, (i.e. what you like/hate about it, what should be in new releases, how it affects your love life) there is no better place to do it.

* If you want to talk things other than DROD, people here are well-rounded enough to have a conversation about just about anything: Harry Potter, vacationing in Germany, meteor strikes, Avril Lavigne, air conditioner installation, or non-deterministic polynomials. (All real examples from the past. See the Topic Picks further below for what is being talked about now.)

* People stay on the forum for years. So you can get to know them, and they can get to know you. When you invest time with people, it's good to have them stick around.

* All forum content is scrupulously monitored by a team of moderators. We get spam and other disturbances like every other forum, but on our forum it is quickly taken care of. A large amount of effort, both social and technical, has been put into keeping the forum clean and... I want to say "safe". Nothing is really safe, if you think about it, but this isn't a bad place to let a kid hang out.

* We've got contests and games happening all the time. Several are running right now, and an official contest with real prizes and incentives to win starts every month.

* The forum was engineered to allow sharing of media such as music, artwork, writing, or voice recordings on the author's terms. We want you to create things and share them, so there is built-in support for licensing under public domain, Creative Commons, or all rights reserved. We have a group of people who are dedicated to promoting "Grand Constructions" (creative works) on the forum.

* Don't worry--the forum is free. You just browse to http://forum.caravelgames.com to start reading and writing messages with your Caravellian comrades.

The Stupid Patch Already

There's a lot that is sitting behind the completion of one task: release of the patch for DROD: The City Beneath. When the patch is done, we print CDs for The City Beneath and offer deluxe box sets. When the patch is done, we contact publishers, portals, and affiliates to get them to carry The City Beneath. When the patch is done, we start going after game magazines and websites to review The City Beneath. When the patch is done, Mike and I will breathe a sigh of relief so hard that our deflated lungs will crumple to a pair of singular points.

Anybody else put a Google Alert on "The City Beneath"? I keep getting all these prosey references and travel guide blurbs, i.e. "Gripping the balcony rail, I cast a final gaze upon the city beneath, my precious Islamabad." We will fix this. After the marketing begins, it's going to be "Google News Alert for: 'the city beneath'. This game YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE! Mike Rimer is a frigging genius!" Trust me. We, literally, have not even started. You will be completely done playing through The City Beneath, and then you're going to hear all this hullaballoo from the newcomers. Then you can be smugly irritated about it if you want.

But first we have to get the stupid patch out. As I write this, the official bar estimate is 99.5% done, and there is one bug left to fix. (No pressure, Schep!!!!!!!!!!!)

TFMurphy's Law

There's a guy on the forum, TFMurphy, that has been amazingly helpful in testing and writing code for the above-mentioned patch. He has spent many, many hours thinking about bugs and how they might be fixed. Looking through the record of his work that is kept on a private message board, I see just one example where he helped with an issue by reproducing a difficult bug found by someone else (JBluestein), clarified the steps needed to reproduce the bug, analyzed the source code causing the bug, posted his suggested changes, and gave the results of further testing after his changes were made. Did your eyes glaze over there? This is the kind of hard work that real bugfixing requires. It is considered by most programmers the least appealing task they are given. TFMurphy dug in deep and really helped us out.

We have a tradition here of awarding a prize to people that do things without asking for anything in return. It is to offset the world's natural bias of giving stuff to people that ask for it. The winner of this month's "Don't Ask" award is TFMurphy. He gets 100 rank points and can apply a nickname of his choosing to the 3.1 patch for DROD: The City Beneath. He could call it "Quiet Desperation" or "Blue Steel" or "Old Chompybits" or whatever. When we update different pages on our website related to the patch, we'll note the chosen nickname.

Invisibility Contest

Calamarain, rising star and the people's darling, has organized our official contest for September. It's just barely begun, so yes, you can get in on it now! Basically, you've got to make a DROD room that follows certain interesting constraints.

Thankfully, the contest itself is not invisible. That's why, after reading this announcement, you will be able to follow the link below and see a full description of what it's all about.

Contest details

Tim's Topic Picks

Tim reads every message posted on the Caravel Forum. He knows that you will not be able to do the same since you are not Tim. That's why he came up with a list of what he feels are the more promising topics to take a look at:

New Windows 3.1 Beta version released
A new version of TCB has been in public beta. If you want to play it now,
and want to make comments, be my guest! To upgrade, please back up your old
TCB version first, then export your player file, and import this player
file into the new version. The official version right now is still 3.0.0 for the full version of TCB.
This mean that you might experience incompatibilities with holds created in
3.0.0.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=15530

Hold Converter
Stefan has released a program that can convert holds made in 3.0.2 or 3.1
into 3.0.0, so that we can all play the holds. Most of the current holds
are presented in 3.0.0, but if you need them converted you can use this
utility.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=15931

The Secret of the Slayer, Troshian Tower, An Architects Audition, A Mini
Adventure!, The Mining Business, The Forbidden Fortress, Perfect Chaos,
Magic Show 2, Album, The Long Quest, Part 1: A mysterious threat emerges!

These are the holds released since the last Illumination. If you haven't
noticed, most of them already use the new 3.0.0 engine. Most of them are
being rated very high, but there are also easy hold with good scores.
Please note that when 3.1 is released, some of these holds will have some
modifications to them; they might change some of your highscores if you
care about them.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewboard.php?BoardID=11 or

The Old Webmaster is gone, long live the New Webmaster!
Patrick Fisher (Gamer_Extreme_101) has stepped down as Chief Editor of the
website. Instead, this new guy Matthew Curtis (Ezlo) has taken over as the
new Chief Editor. Good luck on him!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=17244
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=17245&page=1#200612

Architect's Block?
For everyone who thinks (s)he is a really good architect, but can't think
of any ideas for a room, Calamarain made a "DROD Idea Generator", which is
supposed to generate some sentences to give you a challenge to create
rooms. You might want to try it.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=17100

Subforums update: A Tale of Two Kingdoms v1.2 and Wonderquest Dreams beta 4.03
The latest patch for A Tale of Two Kingdoms is version 1.2 and a link can
be found from our Forum.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=16800&page=1#201896

Wonderquest Dreams is reaching beta version 4.03 and can be found in this
thread:
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=16387

I need a doctor right now!
No additional comment needed, just read it!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=6448&page=0#202087

I am hoping hard that are mail delivery software don't dump 10 duplicates of this message on people again. I think we got that fixed, but it's still possible it happens again. If it does, then we will lose more subscribers, I will feel really bad, and I will go back to work on fixing it.

-Erik

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[Last edited by mrimer at 05-18-2008 05:38 AM]
09-23-2007 at 08:48 PM
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Kevin_P86
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icon Re: The Third Stab (+2)  
quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
New Windows 3.1 Beta version released
This made me laugh. Out loud. A lot.

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09-23-2007 at 08:56 PM
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Alneyan
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Eight copies of the illumination in my mailbox... déjà vu enters stage. At least it wasn't ten, I guess.

[Last edited by Alneyan at 09-23-2007 09:02 PM]
09-23-2007 at 09:00 PM
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Jatopian
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Ahhh, the yellow face, he hates us, he burns us...
Good for the vegetables though. Maybe they'll leaf out and start producing again.
Edit: Eh, well, then again, too much light can kill...

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Make your pressure plates 3.0 style!
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[Last edited by Jatopian at 09-23-2007 09:02 PM]
09-23-2007 at 09:01 PM
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golfrman
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Finally new illumination!
does the forth stab have anything to do with the stabbing game?


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09-23-2007 at 09:02 PM
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jamie
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quote:
Alneyan wrote:
Eight copies of the illumination in my mailbox... déjà vu enters stage. At least it wasn't ten, I guess.


It's a complicated algorithm based on the recipients popularity. The less popular you are, the more times you receive it, to make you feel better.

You got 8 copies - I got 3 copies.. Someone uber-cool will receive only 1.



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09-23-2007 at 09:03 PM
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Briareos
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quote:
jamie wrote:
You got 8 copies - I got 3 copies.. Someone uber-cool will receive only 1.

Well, I guess I'm under-über-cool at 2 Illuminations, then. But what about someone who didn't get an Illumination at all? :w00t

Oh, and Erik - that "Is there a doctor in the house?", I mean, "I need a doctor right now!" link seems to be cut short a bit... :)

np: Kode9 & The Spaceape - Sine (Memories Of The Future)

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09-23-2007 at 09:16 PM
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zex20913
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By that logic, it means that people who have not heard of DROD at all/never signed up for the forum/email are the coolest of all. The premise MUST be false.

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09-23-2007 at 09:18 PM
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jamie
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Ahhhhh, no.. the coolness algorithm tends to 1.

zero would be infinite, and infinite coolness is impossible.

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[Last edited by jamie at 09-23-2007 09:23 PM]
09-23-2007 at 09:22 PM
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aztcg7
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...I so didn't get one in my mailbox.

And yes, I'm actually signed up to recieve them.

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09-23-2007 at 09:51 PM
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Ezlo
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Grand total of none. Not that I really care that much, I read it on the forums anyhow, and the bargain deals for emailed Illuminations seems to have stopped. :)
09-23-2007 at 09:58 PM
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jamie
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The mailqueue has currently been suspended pending further investigations!

Still, I blame Alneyan - he broke it.


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09-23-2007 at 10:00 PM
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schep
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Huh. Last time I got just the one, and figured I was lucky. This time I got none. Good thing I've been visiting the forum often lately.
quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
As I write this, the official bar estimate is 99.5% done, and there is one bug left to fix. (No pressure, Schep!!!!!!!!!!!)

For the record, the thing I was working on when Mike said there was one bug left is done and has been in the 3.1 beta builds for a few days now. So I assume the last 0.5% is for this final Grand Testing phase.

[Last edited by schep at 09-23-2007 10:18 PM]
09-23-2007 at 10:17 PM
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Beef Row
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None here either. So is that a bug too, or did it just get stopped because it was still sending out too many?

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09-23-2007 at 10:18 PM
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NoahT
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Am I the only one who received exactly one copy to e-mail?

-Noah

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09-23-2007 at 10:20 PM
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Dex Stewart
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Congratulations to TFMurphy! :thumbsup May all your smiting sessions be succesful and all you holds high-rated(that is, when you take a break from being the, oh, so helpful guy you are(assuming you are a man, of course, thing of which I'm not so sure, since your name is usually used for females where I come from)).
09-23-2007 at 10:26 PM
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jamie
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quote:
Beef Row wrote:
None here either. So is that a bug too, or did it just get stopped because it was still sending out too many?


Yes, the mailqueue has been frozen.. You should still get the email at some stage, but not for a while!

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09-23-2007 at 10:28 PM
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Tahnan
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quote:
Dex Stewart wrote:
...since your name is usually used for females where I come from


"TF" is a girl's name?

But seriously, Mr. Murphy is a fine choice for the "Don't Ask" award; his dedication to the forum and the game cannot be doubted. Congratulations, sir.
09-23-2007 at 10:40 PM
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golfrman
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quote:
NoahT wrote:
Am I the only one who received exactly one copy to e-mail?

-Noah

Nope, I did too.
We cool. :cool

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09-23-2007 at 10:41 PM
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Maurog
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I didn't even get one. Good thing I'm always on the forums.

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09-23-2007 at 10:53 PM
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calamarain
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
Calamarain, rising star and the people's darling, has organized our official contest for September.
Rising star? Does this mean I'm going to crash and burn in flames? :P Mmmm... fire.

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09-23-2007 at 10:56 PM
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Jatopian
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calamarain wrote:
I'm going to crash and burn in flames :P Mmmm... fire.
Only if you don't achieve escape velocity. :P

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Make your pressure plates 3.0 style!
DROD architecture idea generator
09-23-2007 at 11:22 PM
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Bombadil
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quote:
Maurog wrote:
I didn't even get one. Good thing I'm always on the forums.


Neither did I... :(
09-23-2007 at 11:23 PM
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Tim
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quote:
Briareos wrote:
Oh, and Erik - that "Is there a doctor in the house?", I mean, "I need a doctor right now!" link seems to be cut short a bit... :)
Thanks! Here's the correct link in the meantime:

http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=6448&page=0#202087


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09-23-2007 at 11:24 PM
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Monkey
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I got nothing(no Illumination). It's lonely being in the dark spot of the forum...

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09-23-2007 at 11:26 PM
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jamie
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jamie wrote:

Yes, the mailqueue has been frozen.. You should still get the email at some stage, but not for a while!


HELLLLLLLLLLO ??????

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09-23-2007 at 11:50 PM
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AlefBet
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quote:
Kevin_P86 wrote:
quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
New Windows 3.1 Beta version released
This made me laugh. Out loud. A lot.
Very true. I would have laughed too, if it hadn't taken me a full ten seconds to figure out why we were targeting Windows 3.1 (answer: we're not).

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09-24-2007 at 12:18 AM
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roach strangler
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I didn't even get this email. I got it on my dads email. :?
09-24-2007 at 01:07 AM
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zonhin
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calamarain! Congratulations on making it into the illumination! Can I be in the next one?

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09-24-2007 at 01:08 AM
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Jatopian
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quote:
zonhin wrote:
Can I be in the next one?
No, because you asked for it.

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Make your pressure plates 3.0 style!
DROD architecture idea generator
09-24-2007 at 01:22 AM
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