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Old 06-30-2008   #1
Cue
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Default A proposition for SRB2 server lovers... (Project Blue Hog)

So, ladies and gents, it's your friendly neighbourhood billiard ball here, with a business proposition for those who love to host their own server.

Yesterday evening, I was discussing with Oogaland and others, the theory behind hosting multiple SRB2 servers on a Virtual Private Server (an OS on Virtual Machine or similar...) which I can get for as low as $10 per month (although it would probably be $20 per month due to bandwidth...).

So, I had this genius idea, and I've already spoken to someone who thought it was a pretty good idea (you know who you are =P) to do a little deal with those users who don't mind spending a little to have their own 24/7 SRB2 server with some rather unique features (see below).

The price? I haven't decided yet, but it'll be <=$10 per month, so don't worry, nothing too expensive, I don't care if I don't make a profit with this, I'd just like to break even.

You may be asking yourself "Why would he want to do this...?" Why? Because I'm sick of all the shoddy servers these days and it'd be nice to see some decent ones for a change...

Of course, it would be a monthly payment and you would not get your payment back if your server breaks the MS rules, although I'd probably have to sort something out with Logan so that I kill the server instead of him banning the IP, or the other servers on the same VPS would be banned too...

On to the fun bit, the features...
All the servers would be using a modified SRB2 1.09.4 binary that has the following:
  • Advanced user statistic tracking (not basic, like FF's was, I'm talking detailed, such as distance moved, times jumped, rings fired, along with all the usual things) Will require users to register and login via a sayto to node 0. ('register username password' and 'login username password').
  • User Access Control, so you can have people with special rights to your server, such as muting and pausing, but not have the ability to do things such as kick, ban, etc. All done via sayto commands once they have logged in.

The above is all MySQL based, so statistics will always be live, rather than updated every so often...

You will also receive 250mb web hosting complete with PHP, so you can link a website to your server (MySQL).

The entire package revolves around a management control panel where you can manage your servers and start/stop them, as well as order more and upgrade your servers (in the future...)

The servers will all be on a 100mbit connection in the USA, but UK servers will be available if you wish for one, although it may require an extra payment as it means purchasing a new VPS (unless there is space free on another one...).

I'm currently waiting for a reply from the VPS supplier to confirm that I can do this, there shouldn't be any problems but you never know, if there is, I'll just have to find someone else...

So, as this is completely hypothetical for now, what do you guys think about this, eh? Project Blue Hog copuld end being a huge success, I'm sure there are quite a few people that would be willing to spend a few $$$ to have an awesome SRB2 server, it's just a matter of finding them.

Oh, also, how many of you would be willing to actually pay for something like this?

- Spherical Overlord Out.

P.S: Any donations in advanced to get the service up and running would be great, I'm also looking for a partner for this venture, so that I can shift all blame onto th-... I mean, so I can take some weight off my shoulders. :)
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<+Jev3> btw guys, now that Cue is gone, the Master Server is going to be awesome http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...tistsAreBetter
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<@Mystic> That's a good idea, Cue.
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Old 06-30-2008   #2
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Well, if had money (which I rarely do), I'd back this expedition as best as I could fiscally. But, as it stands, I'll just have to say I like the idea and make a sort of agreeing grunty noise instead. It'd be nice to see servers you _know_ should be fast, anyway.

...*[insert elaborate grunty noise here]*
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Old 06-30-2008   #3
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It's a good idea, but with charges involved and registering it kind of is a pain. A lot of programming is going to be involved in this as well, are you willing to do it?
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Old 06-30-2008   #4
Cue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JigglyWiggly
It's a good idea, but with charges involved and registering it kind of is a pain. A lot of programming is going to be involved in this as well, are you willing to do it?
Charges are minimal, it's just to keep the service up and running, that's all. The registering is optional, just for if you wish to have your stats tracked...

The programming is easy stuff, nothing major at all, especially PHP, which I'm awesome at. :) [/modist]

I'd also like to note that I'll be adding in a command queue, so you will be able to add commands to the queue from the management console and the server will perform them when the next queue check occurs. Oh, and also, you'll be able to set 'cron jobs' similar to Linux, so certain commands are performed every x minutes/hours, minimum of 5 minutes due to server flooding. :P
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<+Jev3> btw guys, now that Cue is gone, the Master Server is going to be awesome http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...tistsAreBetter
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Old 06-30-2008   #5
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I personally don't like it, but there could be people who want this.
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Old 06-30-2008   #6
Cue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I'll Begin
I personally don't like it, but there could be people who want this.
Reasons? :<


Oh, also, I could give some out in competitions, such as if I think the winner of the level contest really did a good job, or speak to AJ about some other stuff...
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<+Jev3> btw guys, now that Cue is gone, the Master Server is going to be awesome http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...tistsAreBetter
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Old 06-30-2008   #7
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So basically, you're going to pay to play SRB2 online now? I don't like the sound of that, even though I rarely ever play any netgames...
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Old 06-30-2008   #8
Cue
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Originally Posted by Sonic The Dalek
So basically, you're going to pay to play SRB2 online now? I don't like the sound of that... not that I rarely ever play any netgames.
No...

A person could pay to have a 24/7 server, SRB2 would still be completely free to play, it's just a way of having a 24/7 dedicated SRB2 server without having to spend a fortune on a VPS or Dedicated Server... :)

Basically, it's only for those who wish to have awesome servers, the rest can just play for free on those servers, or host their own not so awesome ones.
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<+Jev3> btw guys, now that Cue is gone, the Master Server is going to be awesome http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...tistsAreBetter
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Old 06-30-2008   #9
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Oh, I get it now. I just wanted to know.
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Old 06-30-2008   #10
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Well, i respect that a lot of time and hard work went into the planning of this.
But something like this would severely, damage, and divide the known SRB2 community.
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Old 06-30-2008   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
But something like this would severely, damage, and divide the known SRB2 community.
Elaborate, if anything, it would bring it closer together since there would actually be some decent servers so the older players are more likely to have a netgame once in a while...
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<+Jev3> btw guys, now that Cue is gone, the Master Server is going to be awesome http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...tistsAreBetter
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Old 06-30-2008   #12
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Simple: Servers that pay, and servers that don't. Two separate groups.

If a 24/7 super-server is up, why host? Everyone just join the super-server!

There wouldn't really be a reason to host anymore, especially if more than one person has a super-server. And those n00bs that will still host not knowing the super-servers have taken control of the main netgamer circuit will either: A.) Receive no joiners -or- B.) n00b joiners like usual.

But then the regular user-run reporting system would not work. The players that know better would be in the super-server and most likely will just ignore it. If the reporting still works, fine, but it really widens the gap between netgamers. Regular once-in-a-while hosters vs. 24/7, payed for, super-servers. I don't know...

This could be compared to the system on RuneScape. Either you pay to play, or you don't.
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Old 06-30-2008   #13
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Not really, as only the server admins have to pay any sort of fee, but you can join for nothing, and not pay to have "I am awesome" ego pills. Considering the regular hosts are mainly bad ones any way, the other regulars would probably eventually get their hands on one of these.

Less servers == less servers breaking the rules == happy Logan and co. == good.

Geddit?


Good news, by the way, I just received a reply from CheapVPS, the guys I'll be getting the servers from, and they said they'd be happy to make an exception to their no game servers rule as an SRB2 dedicated server is far from a resource hog.
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<+Jev3> btw guys, now that Cue is gone, the Master Server is going to be awesome http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...tistsAreBetter
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Old 06-30-2008   #14
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I never said anything about the joiners paying.

Besides. There are players that DO host good netgames, but wont be able to afford to pay for a server that would attract necessary joiners from the other super-servers. Also, the n00bs most likely WILL host their n00by netgames, and they most likely WILL have n00by joiners. Why? Because the super-servers are basically competition servers for more "experienced" players. The challenge will most likely be overwhelming for them, and they'll branch off and start doing a number of things, like mimicking super-servers, hosting more of the same rule-breaking junk they used to host, ignore the super-servers, whatever.

And do you have any idea how many people would be willing to pay for these sort of servers? I know I wont. Considering the majority of this community can't exactly pay for one of these special servers... the very large majority, you'll do business with the same people. This could be a good thing, I suppose, but only if enough people decide to pay for one. I'd imagine the only ones that feel like paying are the ones that feel the need to raise their imaginary standing in hierarchy (or ego), or the ones that feel obligated because of their ties to the community, by either being part of the staff, or has been here for a long while, etc., etc.

I don't expect a lot to come out of this, honestly, and as my lurking shows, your plans are just attempts to boost your points. Whatever. It is of no concern to me, but that could be an issue for you. If you make more and more plans, you put more and more weight upon your own shoulders. The more responsibility you give yourself, the more you have to balance. Have you made progress on SRB2Live, or YouSRB2? Did you even begin the new binary for these servers? You keep saying how easy it is, and how much of a "pro" you are at whatever programming language you specialize in (PHP, right?), but I've yet to see any product come out of this sheer bigotry!

I'd like you to amaze us, and even surprise us with the efforts you've made to better the community. I really do! But... I just don't see it. As of now, it just looks like a bunch of vapor.
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Old 06-30-2008   #15
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I'm suprised noone has said this yet ,but...

Copyright - Sure we are using Sonic characthers and the like ,but, Sega doesn't seem to really mind our fangame that we have here unless we do something like this :

CHARGE MONEY.

Pay to play is a no-no as much as I'd really like to host one of these "super servers". I know that it's just for the company you got the machine from and not for you're own personal spending ,but, come on. Do you really wanna risk us having to shutdown this community once and for all ?

I love playing SRB2 ,but, if you do something like this there is more of a chance of us being shutdown for copyright infringement.

That is... unless you make a deal with SEGA. Like that'll ever happen though.

For the ignorant: I said that I knew we were already violating the law by using Sonic characthers and other stuff from SEGA. It's just that I fear SRB2's problems with SEGA might become WORSE if we start charging for "special servers" which I doubt people will use because they won't be able to pay for them. Only the olbies and n00bhogs will use these servers to my guesses.
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Old 06-30-2008   #16
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You can tell me you don't want to pay to host, and you can say the idea will cause more MS havoc, but don't tell me it'll divide the community. The community's already divided. Think about it. We have the roleplayers on the master server, the oldbies on IRC, the "refugees" on the Cafe, and recolors in the releases section. Frankly, I wouldn't bother myself with this concern that Cue's idea will screw up the community. It's already screwed up, and don't let the fact that the SRB2MB bridges the community together fool you.



As a matter of fact, I think it's pretty well-proven that the community should be divided, just not the way it is right now. Honestly, we have people who role play and people who "real" play -- people who recolor wads and people who put effort into their wads. Such a mix does not belong together. Having a group of 24/7 servers and a group of complete roleplay servers gives the player the option to join one group or the other. One group plays, one group role plays. Everyone's happy.

However, I personally, don't approve of statistics or a leaderboard. This is SRB2, a game meant to be fun. We don't need to turn this into some kind of professional sport. The advanced moderation abilities for server, on the other hand, is a good idea.

Also, some of you may recall me mentioning on IRC that I may be able to create a 23.9/7 master server for the Sigsev Cafe soon. This master server also has the goal of splitting roleplayers from the real netgames. My idea was to purposely allow roleplaying and chatting on that master server so people wouldn't do so on Logan's master server. If your idea comes through, would you be able to set up VPS's for the Sigsev Cafe MS? And if so, do you think it would be a good idea?
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Old 06-30-2008   #17
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Yeah, you'd be able to change the MS through the management panel.

I'm not the only one with statistic ideas, remember, there's the channel stats for #srb2fun, although that never really was a competitive sport, and then there's FF's server in the rare occasion that it's up. Think of it like the #srb2fun stats, I want them to be fun stats, not ego boosters (although you can't stop that with anything).

Red Fire, learn to read, it's not 'pay to play', it's the same setup that most game server hosts use, 90% of the CSS, TF2 and GMod servers on the Steam Server List are paid for, do they get sued? No. All people are doing by paying is doing a service to the community by adding a decent server to the list of servers we have going at the moment. Honestly, the way you wrote that post makes it sound like I'd be charging people for using these servers, when all I'm doing is 'selling' people server space in a unique way. I highly doubt Sega could do anything since the dedicated server mode of SRB2 really has nothing they can sue me for, it's a command line version of SRB2, they can't sue me for using generic words, yes, sonic is the word for a specific type of sound, not just their hedgehog.

At least, I think that's right...

Oh, by the way, for those with lots of talent but no money, here's an added incentive to be creative if this goes ahead. I may add something to the prize pool for certain level design contests, if I think the winning level is good enough. ^_~
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Old 06-30-2008   #18
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Oh come now, if we're to have 24/7 servers, surely we can implement more than stats and registrations.

I propose a modified binary and IWAD for the clients as well, in order to turn SRB2 into more of an MMO. Players would be able to freely wander different maps, using that old different players on different maps hack, but modified to be less buggy. Several bosses would be placed around the levels, though powered up significantly, to encourage players to team up to face them. There would also be PVP arenas, designed to work roughly like the match games, only able to span multiple arenas in a single bout. And perhaps random hats and capes as rewards for completing difficult challenges, just as a means of cheap bragging rights.

It's alot more work of course, but this sounds like a lot of work for next to nothing. My idea sounds more fun. :P
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Old 06-30-2008   #19
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I like the Idea of having a Virtual Private Server. Also, are you going to add the rules for the Virtual Private Server? And, are you going to add a report system for reporting servers that break the rules?
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Old 06-30-2008   #20
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Great... a few months after i find a decent free FPS, They start having: "24/7 super-servers", a fancy name for a pay-to-host-a-game-that-will-kill-the-point-of-the-master-server Ego-Booster.
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