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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:36 pm
quote : #1
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Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
This was posted and linked from the OC index page:

http://www.onlineconsoles.com/letter.html

"An open letter to the Dreamcast community abroad on a few issues..."

I don't like "drama". So I always avoided speaking up about this stuff to other sites. However now I feel its time to squash some of these things. Feel free to chime in and give your 2 cents. All comments are welcome Smile
  _________________
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everynewday84
rank 12
Posted:
Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:03 am
quote : #2
profile : pm
Posts: 196
Type: NTSC-U/C
I respect what you do.

With all due respect, I do disagree with one element of your 'open letter'.

There can, and in at least one case it has actually happened, be a community wide 'discussion' that ultimately leads to the revival of online gameplay. At least it seemed to me that was the case with Maximum Pool.

I understand your frustration with alot of nonsensical posts. I see alot of outlandish threads on other boards, but not here. But the real truth is that no attention really needs to be placed on these threads anyway (it's likely to all be in good fun anyway). When I come across a thread that is not worth reading, I don't. And it's fine.

All that said, I guess I can still sort-of understand the benefits of keeping such threads off this page.

But why am I even going on?

The way I see it, there can possibly be a community wide discussion in the future that might generate possibilities.

Consider a thread where all persons interested in getting Unreal Tournament back online--and it's my guess that there may be many interested people out there--could raise money for this cause.

Getting Unreal back online is far fetched, I know, but it is not impossible.

Such a discussion or community wide effort would probably never, by itself, be sufficient in bringing a game back online. But I do suggest it can help, or at the very least be a start.

The organization of as many interested persons can be critical to getting a game back online. If 50 interested people were all willing to donate $20 to $100 each, or more, for this cause that would be $1,000 to $5,000, or more, that would be raised. It doesn't seem completely unrealistic to me that there would be at least 50 people who would be willing to do that.

Someone out there can make this happen. Someone can recreate a server for a game that no longer has online play. Maybe that much money might motivate them and a contract could be constructed.
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:42 am
quote : #3
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
In the two situations where there were leaks involved (4x4 Evo and Maximum Pool), there wasn't so much of a community discussion. It was individuals private messaging and opening talks with those who had the software, and then those individuals releasing it based on those talks.

It has been years, and every other website out there has had various threads about trying to get a game back online. What has come out of those efforts? Nothing. No games back because of it. Now, I am not trying to slam the notion of a community rallying together to get something done. Its not impossible, but rather highly unlikely as there has been a precedent for this. If some individuals really wanted to pile onto a message board to get a game online, it would have happened by now. I think the people over at the DCUT gamefaqs board have been doing this for almost as long as OC has been running. They just keep hoping, waiting for a miracle.

As far as fund raising... interestingly enough, it more has to do with how much "crazy" you have in you. You have to be completly nuts. By nuts I mean: Ambitious, Highly motivated, Passionate about online games, and a serious diehard video game fan. You have to love slaving away solving technology problems, working with code, and trying to break down complex systems.

Most people don't do this. They have kids, and a lawnmower, and a lawn to mow and they go out drinkin with their buddies, and go on vacations. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but its not a recipe for restoring online game servers.

Things like petitions, fundraisers, all that... is a step in the wrong direction. I feel those options will leave you stuck in a neverending thread discussion on some forum. To the point where years go by and nothing happens.

OF Project is the future. While we are using it right now to release internal projects we have been working on, my eventual goal is to possibly bring a few projects out into the open to attract various coders within the Dreamcast community to contribute. It also serves as a base for a company to donate server software down the road. People are less likely to just give a bunch of gamers on a forum server software. However if it is an organization, with a specific goal in mind and a proven past track record; then someone will be far more likely to contribute leaked software.

/me goes to get some sleep
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
everynewday84
rank 12
Posted:
Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:54 am
quote : #4
profile : pm
Posts: 196
Type: NTSC-U/C
But in reality, as far fetched as paying someone who has the 'keys' to get Unreal Tournament back online is--it may be the best , or even only, option available at this point. To me, it seems like wishful thinking to assume, or suggest, that someone in a position to get Unreal back online would be more inclined to leak software in an effort help a community that an excellent track record and purpose rather than for a profit. If there is someone out there that is interested in helping this community get UT back online, for free, what exactly is it that they are waiting for?

Its my guess that for the vast majority of times that a tedious time-consuming project such as this actually gets done it is for money or some other compensation, and not because they are a fanatic. Whereas we do disagree on a possible fundraising event, it is clear that we do agree that if this were to be done by a fanatic it would more than likely have already been done by now. It now seems very safe to say that this will not be done for free by a fanatic, or anyone.

But, as long as there's a possibility there can then still exist a 'legitimate' hope.

It is important to now note that this website is the most legitimate effort at reviving an online Dreamcast community that I have come across, and I applaud your tremendous effort.

But, it does disappoint me when one of the last available 'doors' that I can see is now 'closed'.

I know it's far fetched, I was reluctant to even bring this up as I know I'm out on a flimsy limb doing so, but the reality of the matter is that this is a legitimate possibility- no matter how unlikely it's eventual manifestation is.
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:02 pm
quote : #5
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
Rather than discuss the notion of games coming back online any further, for anyone that does have questions about getting games back online (whatever they may be) you can direct them to the following email address found here: http://www.onlineconsoles.com/ofproject/faq.html

This is the OF Project Q&A section where users can ask questions about game restoration and have them answered in detail. Cool
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
Dreamcast ™
rank 39
Posted:
Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:28 pm
quote : #6
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Posts: 922
Type: NTSC-U/C
As someone who's been working for the past six to seven years to restore online functionality to the Dreamcast, I can say for certain that money is not a motivation. In fact, time and talent are the most important donations and those come from the people who are actively involved in the project.

Just because game servers haven't shown up by now is not an indication that progress hasn't been made. I have projects that I have been working on and off again for the past five years that are just now being completed.

Finally, how fanatic you are about the Dreamcast is not a direct correlation to how many games come back online. Having an interest in the console is definitely a motivation to continue working, but the reason a game like Unreal Tournament isn't online isn't because myself or others don't like the Dreamcast enough.

I think the lack of understanding of what it takes to get a game back online is the main problem.
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:44 pm
quote : #7
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
To put a different spin on it, maybe the rule wouldn't exist in the first place if I didn't both run this website AND invest time in legitimatly restoring online games. Its a conflict of interest if you will.

Also, I just remembered when and why the rule was added in the first place. The Past Online Games forum was a catastrophe. People simply could not discuss any past online games AT ALL, because each thread turned into a "how do we get this game back online thread". I remember that forum was monopolized by a UT thread for almost a year and a half. Nobody would talk about any other past online game, or talk about the memories they once had, or discussing the offline gameplay of those games because this UT thread was bumped to the top of that forum. All people would do is go there.... refresh the page... see if there were updates... and leave.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
everynewday84
rank 12
Posted:
Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:09 pm
quote : #8
profile : pm
Posts: 196
Type: NTSC-U/C
@ Dreamcast, money may not be a motivator for you but the ultimate reality is that money is a motivator for the vast majority of people on this planet. And whereas a general lack of understanding of what it takes to get a game back online does not help anything, it certainly is not prohibiting anyone from doing so.

@ LordNikon, I can empathize with your frustration as even the replies to this post has left me feeling drained. Whatever spin, or take on this, that anyone may have- it is the case that I have mentioned relevant, at least to a fraction of a degree, ideas. I am unaware of the new project you mentioned, but looking at your track record I am confident it will be a step in the right direction.

I never did feel at all good about censorship at any level, and whereas i do understand why you would have conflicting interests on the subject, i don't completely understand the reluctance to let people talk, as silly or irrevelent it may be, about the issue. If it is a bother, and like I said I do somewhat understand why it would be, to have people 'blabbering' on the subject within the forums perhaps there is some way OC could contribute to such an effort albeit external to OC.

As you have clearly said, such a forum is popular with many of the people visiting strictly interested in only one thing: getting Unreal Tournament back online. Therefore, I suggest that this majority of people come together rather than remaing divided.

OC is the best hope anyone interested in online revival has and it's sad to see such a 'door' shut.
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:08 pm
quote : #9
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
everynewday84 wrote:
@ LordNikon, I can empathize with your frustration as even the replies to this post has left me feeling drained. Whatever spin, or take on this, that anyone may have- it is the case that I have mentioned relevant, at least to a fraction of a degree, ideas. I am unaware of the new project you mentioned, but looking at your track record I am confident it will be a step in the right direction.

Hehe if this post has left you feeling drained.... now imagine having to do this all the time... in a variety of threads on restoring many online games.... AT ALL THREE SITES OF OC Mr. Green The time starts to really add up.

See here for OF Project: http://www.onlineconsoles.com/ofproject/

everynewday84 wrote:
OC is the best hope anyone interested in online revival has and it's sad to see such a 'door' shut.

On the flipside, OC is one of the best places for keeping 'existing' games active and people interested. So when I am weighing one against the other, and I see threads on restoration efforts interferring with that goal, I had to make some decisions. Its a multi-faceted issue.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
Kbuzz
rank 23
Posted:
Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:34 pm
quote : #10
profile : pm
Posts: 473
Type: NTSC-U/C
I'll second how frustrating and discouraging it is to see multiple threads asking the same questions over and over. It got really bad for a while, and never did any good.

Anyone who is knowledgeable on something as difficult and tedious as getting a defunct game back online and is inspired to do so is probably already doing it. If they aren't, they at least know who to contact to get the ball rolling.

One thing that really rubs me the wrong way about that letter, is that you called them "crisps" when they should be "chips". UK is THATAWAY!

Not having an Off-Topic discussion forum seems to be the root of accusations of censorship. As a moderator of another forum, when someone brings up xboxlive or their favourite toothpaste, I will move their discussion to off-topic. Since there's no off-topic forum, its difficult to keep specific forums on topic without being accused of censorship.

Having an off-topic forum creates new problems of its own of course, people lose focus on the goals of OC and the rest of the forums will get lower traffic. It comes down to whether you want to push for quality discussions at the expense of accusations of censorship, or facilitate off topic discussion at the expense of community focus.

interesting how no one has yet voiced concern about pso access in this thread yet. I suppose it's coming though. I will say that the regulations are strict, especially with no off topic forum. Someone who is unfamiliar to what we do here might not have a whole lot to say about Starlancer or Quake 3. But the fact that we've been able to have totally legit and safe sessions of PSO means that it's working. And yes, it's still in such early stages.

I'm more or less happy with the way things have gone here. Any animosity seems to be from a few bad apples, and the poor attitudes of people in another pso forum.

anyway, that's my 2 cents.
  _________________
Pso: Kingbuzzo lvl 80
QUake 3: [OC] Kingbuzzo
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:30 am
quote : #11
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Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
kingbuzzo wrote:
One thing that really rubs me the wrong way about that letter, is that you called them "crisps" when they should be "chips". UK is THATAWAY!

I was trying to lighten the mood Wink I know I know football vs futbol.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
Mazonemayu
rank 27
Posted:
Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:42 am
quote : #12
profile : pm
Posts: 573
there's only soccer, Ben; Mr. Green Mr. Green
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Kbuzz
rank 23
Posted:
Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:50 am
quote : #13
profile : pm
Posts: 473
Type: NTSC-U/C
Some of the animosity towards our pursuit of legit DC play is seen in a few threads over at the schthack forums.

http://schtserv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11824&p=195645

http://schtserv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=14123

http://schtserv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=49891&p=681073


They seem pretty upset about there being pso ships besides their own. Yet, there wouldn't be unless there was a part of the pso community that wanted them. Also, their language and attitude makes it very hard to take whatever they say seriously.

I don't think they'll read your letter unless you question their sexual preference a few times.

Last edited by Kbuzz on Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:36 am; edited 2 times in total
  _________________
Pso: Kingbuzzo lvl 80
QUake 3: [OC] Kingbuzzo
gary_b
rank 37
Posted:
Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:50 am
quote : #14
profile : pm
Posts: 813
Type: NTSC-U/C
kingbuzzo wrote:
I'll second how frustrating and discouraging it is to see multiple threads asking the same questions over and over. It got really bad for a while, and never did any good.

Anyone who is knowledgeable on something as difficult and tedious as getting a defunct game back online and is inspired to do so is probably already doing it. If they aren't, they at least know who to contact to get the ball rolling.

One thing that really rubs me the wrong way about that letter, is that you called them "crisps" when they should be "chips". UK is THATAWAY!

Not having an Off-Topic discussion forum seems to be the root of accusations of censorship. As a moderator of another forum, when someone brings up xboxlive or their favourite toothpaste, I will move their discussion to off-topic. Since there's no off-topic forum, its difficult to keep specific forums on topic without being accused of censorship.

Having an off-topic forum creates new problems of its own of course, people lose focus on the goals of OC and the rest of the forums will get lower traffic. It comes down to whether you want to push for quality discussions at the expense of accusations of censorship, or facilitate off topic discussion at the expense of community focus.

interesting how no one has yet voiced concern about pso access in this thread yet. I suppose it's coming though. I will say that the regulations are strict, especially with no off topic forum. Someone who is unfamiliar to what we do here might not have a whole lot to say about Starlancer or Quake 3. But the fact that we've been able to have totally legit and safe sessions of PSO means that it's working. And yes, it's still in such early stages.

I'm more or less happy with the way things have gone here. Any animosity seems to be from a few bad apples, and the poor attitudes of people in another pso forum.

anyway, that's my 2 cents.

kingbuzzo pretty much took the words out of my mouth. having an off topic section might make folks feel less censored but it will bring about other problems. it would be nice to lower the restrictions on PSO so that more people are here to generate larger meets.

there are a lot of people that say bad things about OC because of the strict rules. even i have had a hard time with some of the rules in the past. i think what generates some anger is when you reply to a topic in a way that you feel is relevant, only to have it removed for not being 100% on topic. though this doesn't always happen, it can and has. this might be seen or taken as censorship? for me, i just stopped replying to some threads when i thought this might happen. i can't speak for others but this is about the worst things that i can think of that has happen to me here. the difference between me and the people who bitch about OC is that i can understand where Nikon is coming from. i understand why he does what he does. i just haven't always agree with a given rule. i think that disagreeing is fine though. this forum is one of best ones you will find for information and to get into a good online match. even those people who do not like Ben or this site have to agree with that.
  _________________
VGA is the way to play
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:38 pm
quote : #15
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
kingbuzzo wrote:
Some of the animosity towards our pursuit of legit DC play is seen in a few threads over at the schthack forums.

http://schtserv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11824&p=195645
http://schtserv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=14123
http://schtserv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=49891&p=681073

They seem pretty upset about there being pso ships besides their own. Yet, there wouldn't be unless there was a part of the pso community that wanted them. Also, their language and attitude makes it very hard to take whatever they say seriously.

I don't think they'll read your letter unless you question their sexual preference a few times.

I really can't believe some of the comments in these threads. I mean Wow. Aleron Ives and Lee. I am not sure I have ever even spoken to either of them before ever.

One of the things that really baffles me, is how they are angry with legit players not wanting to play with cheaters. As if we are out of line. I like how they use terms like "less legit". As if there are varrying degree's of legit. You either are or you aren't.

They talk as if I had a specific mission to split up and segregate the PSO community, or that anyone running their own server seperate from a centralized server base is guilty of the same "crime". Hey, I wish we could all play in 1 server environment. However I want to play PSO legit with other legit players. This is not possible at the moment. Maybe someday, but none of the current server builds have taken steps to sufficiently stamp out cheating. The biggest caveate is duping. Technically someone can go onto another server, cheat and duplicate items, and then sign onto a legit server and spread them. I don't know of a solution for item duping in a public server environment. What do we do? Go back to implementing timestamps like sega did? No way. That was the bane of all legit players. I don't even know if it will ever by possible to prevent duping.

Also, lets say OC did open up its servers right now. There is another problem, and one that I am sure schthack members would scold us for even further: OnlineConsoles is a "hardware" centric community. I mean... look at the name of the site. Online... CONSOLES. This is a community built and centered around playing online games from a home video game console and not the PC. As such, OC's PSO servers are going to strive to only allow Dreamcast or GameCube's to connect to each server environment respectively. If I was running a general PSO site, sure I would allow cross platform play, but the nature of OC is that each site is focused on a specific hardware platform.

gary_b wrote:
i think what generates some anger is when you reply to a topic in a way that you feel is relevant, only to have it removed for not being 100% on topic. though this doesn't always happen, it can and has. this might be seen or taken as censorship? for me, i just stopped replying to some threads when i thought this might happen. i can't speak for others but this is about the worst things that i can think of that has happen to me here.

I have some interesting insight into how this process has recently changed. If there is a thread clearly about Sonic Adventure on page 2 of the Dreamacst Lounge, but someone didn't see it or search for it, and someone created a brand new topic about the game with new replies added, then I would have to moderate it.

So I would have to send out forum notices to each user who participated in the thread, explaining to them why the thread was removed, and that they should go to the other main Sonic Adventure thread to discuss the game. Yea I know this can get annoying, but I have to inform users about changes on the site, and I also can't just leave locked threads cluttering up the forum so it would have to get deleted. It wasn't ideal, but it was the best way I could handle it at the time.

In the past few months a new feature has been added to the site that cuts down on a lot of this considerably. I can now merge topics. So most of the offtopic related forum notices sent to users won't be happening anymore. If someone makes a new topic on Sonic Adventure, I can simply merge it. If someone also goes drastically off topic in another forum, I can split that information and then merge it into an existing relevant thread as well.

By merging a new topic on Sonic Aventure into the primary Sonic Adventure thread, it would thus bump/float that SA thread to the top of the list.

Result: No forum notices sent, information stays on topic, forums stay organized, and nothing has to get deleted. Everyone is happy. Very Happy

By seeing their posts merged, the user gets tipped off that a larger Sonic Adventure thread already existed, and they will eventually start to seek out such threads the next time they post. Maybe not the second time, or the third time, but eventually a user will go "Hmm I wonder if there already is a post about Ikaruga on the site?" --or-- "I wonder where 'the' Ikaruga thread is."

I guess you could call it pro-active forum moderation hehe Wink
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
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