UPDATE: Server back online
Unable to reach server, yadda yadda yadda. Got my host on the problem once again.
I ordered a new dedicated server with theplanet.com and if everything goes right, it should be online this week. I'm hoping to have the game playable on it by sunday, October 5th.
It's really frustrating that I had so little problems with the current host for such a long time and then everything has gone wrong for the last week. Their support delay is excellent but I'd rather not have to contact them in the first place.
Received this answer to the support ticket I opened with my host:
As you are now aware, the hostnode that you are on (WINVPS16) has been experiencing issues since late last week. We have installed new drives onto that machine and installed Windows and Virtuozzo.
Once we have completed that installation, we will be relocating ALL VPS containers on WINVPS16 to other machines, so we can work on the issues that are affecting this particular hostnode.
No ETA yet...
We're almost done installing Virtuozzo now. Once we do that, we can then start bringing up individual containers to migrate them to other machines. We'll notify each customer as we restore their services onto different machines.
You know it's a big problem when it's the Vice President of sales that is writing to you...
Monday, September 29, 2008
UPDATE: Server back online
Friday, September 26, 2008
Contacted host support. It's the whole machine that is down so all websites are unreachable.
Update: Received a confirmation that the problem is on my host side. "We are aware of the problem" was the answer I received.
While waiting, found this host: www.wiredtree.com. Anyone have experience with them? Cause it seems that I might need to switch host, unfortunately...
Update: Server is back online. Still no update from my host so I don't know if it will last...
Monday, September 22, 2008
I'm unable to access the server this morning as well as the control panel to order a reboot.
Also, support of Solar VPS seems currently unreachable.
This is the whole machine that have a problem. More on it later.
update: Been able to reach support. Now waiting...
update: Everything is back to normal, hopefully for a long time. Still have no idea what happened, waiting for my host to get back to me about it.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Here's some stats, just because I like stats, since the official launch on September 14.
Accounts created since official launch: 762
Players that have played since official launch: 801
Players that have played this weekend: 264
Most simultaneous players online (recorded every 30 minutes so not totally accurate): 24 on September 15
Gold of the richest character: 594
The number of recurring players is a great news and things are going pretty well so far. Doing a press release definitely helped though the biggest source of visitors since a week was from a directory of games.
Here's the top ten sources of traffic (#1 being the biggest source):
3. [direct access]
5. google / organic
6. yahoo / organic
It's somehow ironic that being a french canadian, but having released a game in english, that the second biggest source of traffic is from a french gaming news website.
Pretty much all sources (beside play-free-online-games.com) are results of the press release. Obviously, the press release also helped to get better ranking in Google and Yahoo as I'm seeing more and more traffic from those.
So that's it. A great first week. There's quite some exciting stuff coming soon in Golemizer that will surely make the experience more enjoyable and will expand some themes so hang in there!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
If you're interested to learn a bit on where my inspiration comes from for Golemizer, there's a nice interview with Gene Endrody on Freetoplay.biz that shows the path he followed.
His story prove that even if you're not part of a big studio, there's still place for independent game developer on the MMO scene. His success has been a major inspiration and a big boost of motivation while I was working on Golemizer for the last year.
I don't know if I'll ever be able to achieve half of what he did but at least it's telling me in a way that with patience and hard work, one can hope for the best.
Here's the link to the interview:
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Quebec Canada, September 14, 2008 -- Dave Toulouse, an independent game developer, today announced the release of Golemizer (http://www.golemizer.com). A free 2D steampunk MMORPG, Golemizer requires no download or plug-in to play and features crafting, pets, player housing and player cities.
"I played Golemizer when it was in Beta and think it is a really interesting game. I'm excited to see independent developers try something different and innovative," said professional MMO developer Brian 'Psychochild' Green. "Dave has shown that you don't need a large budget to make an online game."
Golemizer is a free 2D steampunk world where players are set in the role of scientists creating monsters and many other devices to obtain glory and fame. Inspired by sandbox environment games, Golemizer includes features aimed to give players more influence over the world:
- Persistent monsters created by players
- Skills system allowing full freedom over character development
- Crafting system allowing players to provide most items of the world
- Player housing
- Player cities
- Player merchants
- 2D avatar based chat between players
- Guild system
- RSS feeds of recent events while players are offline
- Quests and a badge reward system
Free and requiring no download or plug-in, Golemizer offers a different multiplayer experience by taking players away from swords and magic to bring them to a rich crafting world. Golemizer is updated on a regular basis with new content and new systems giving players more power over the environment. For more information or to play the game, please visit http://www.golemizer.com.
About Dave Toulouse
Dave Toulouse is an independent game developer with eight years of professional web development experience working to provide rich multiplayer experience on the web. Progress of current and future projects can be followed at http://www.over00.com.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
With the help of Armando Elizondo, you'll see some improvement on www.golemizer.com.
The default page shows Dr. Altus working on a zombie and the login page of the game shows the zombie now alive and Dr. Altus again.
I'm very pleased by the result. It gives the game more personality and helps visitors to know what the game is about in the first seconds of visiting the website. Most people don't really care if the game they are looking at is an indie game or a big production so it's important to try to always create a good impression, even where you're on a budget.
Some will say that it's not the graphics that makes the game fun (including me) but you'd be surprised to know the number of comments I received related to the graphic quality. It's the first thing people get from your game and it seems that unless you went with a minimalistic look (here and here), there's good chances they will just walk away.
It would be easier if I had some graphic talents but eh... The free libraries really helped a lot otherwise it would have cost quite a lot to produce all the items currently found in the game.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
When I was young, I would play for hours and hours (and some more) with Construx. I never really bothered to build the models shown on the boxes. I guess that since they were showing it on the box, it was obvious that I could build it so there wasn't any point doing so. My fun was to create, experiment, try new things.
The project I was the most proud of was a simple driving game. Using the Power Pack, I fixed a long sheet of paper wrapped around wheels so it would rotate and fixed some kind of driving wheel on top of it with a small toy car. The point was to follow the road drawn on the sheet of paper while avoiding the wholes cut in it.
Now, I guess I'm trying to provide some of the same fun with Golemizer. The latest update gives players the opportunity to dig their own dungeon while gathering resources by using mining golems.
Mining golems are used in the underground in (currently) private basements players can create using another item (called Level Stairs). By ordering their golems to /dig [direction], they will create another zone in that direction. If they're interested to also gather resources, they can instead use the /mine [direction] command which will dig a new zone at a slower rate but might also get some resources as iron, copper, uranium, ...
While it's still not much to create content, it's another step so players can one day build real dungeons filled with monsters, traps, treasures, ...
Now I know that someone will probably come and show me that pyramid telling that only about 1% of players are of the builder type. Not everyone will enjoy this new system and that's why actual mining is there. I'm also planning to add some type of random events when a new zone is created. Things like artifact discovered, some weird underground monsters that have been awakened and maybe some fossils (why not let players create dinosaurs!).
Anyway, Golemizer is about trying something different. Will this make Golemizer a popular game? Who knows, but at least I'm having fun with it.
You can read the update notes here.
note: Some MMOs might have similar systems, I'm not aware of every games out there. But I would appreciate to know about them to improve this idea.