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2009
Sep
26

BingoGems Web Site Is Live!

Categories: Site Updates

First, I made the blog readable online, just using a default page template. Now, the web site itself is now publicly viewable!

Well, the games are not really playable as of now, so this isn’t the official site launch yet. The game links have been disabled, and no registrations are currently accepted. However, everyone can now view all available site pages (except the ones requiring sign in). All the page contents can now be read. The Best Players page is currently empty, but this will be populated by test records later on.

I still need to do some final work in the games. In the meantime, browse around the site, and you will get to see a first preview of how things will eventually look like when the games are officially launched!

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2009
Sep
24

Miscellaneous Game Server Updates

Categories: Bingo Game Server, Site Updates

Some recent bingo game server updates:

  • Transaction month is now set at the start of the game, instead of at the end of the game. This required that the stats table be initialized at the same event, which also fixed a potential issue of the table being initialized a bit late than required.
  • Bug fix: monthly game XP not being added properly (this doesn’t affect the total overall XP).
  • Now keeping track of 2 additional game stats (a) Longest losing streak, and (b) Longest cumulative games played. This is kept track on a per game, per month basis, and may be displayed later for competition in the Top Players page.

I’ve also fixed a date bug in the Best Players page which results to an endless loop (when starting month specified in the month dropdown list is January).

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2009
Sep
20

Bingo Sounds And Callers

Categories: Bingo Game Server, Flash Bingo Games

On and off, I’ve been working on this for more than a week now, and it’s only now that I have completed it. Sounds in the games are now completely working. It can be turned off (muted), and there is also an option to change callers/voices, even in Spin Bingo.

For 90-ball bingo, I am using the more traditional lingo of bingo calling, e.g. “Kelly’s Eye” for ball number 1. This makes ball calling longer, but actually still fits within the usual time frame I have in between calls. The real downside is it makes the voice files larger (and hence takes more time to download), but I think this is a good compromise, since it makes the game more authentic. Also, 80-ball bingo makes use of the same voice callers, so this kinda offsets the extra download a bit (by virtue of Flash caching).

There has been some necessary server-side events modifications as well, so that some sound events in the Flash games are fired off at the right times. End-game events on Spin Bingo are also a little bit different, so this has to be taken into consideration as well. I’ve tested all 4 bingo games briefly, and I haven’t noticed any new bugs resulting from the latest changes.

While finalizing the sound/voice implementations, I kept on changing the internal structure of things. Eventually I settled on keeping 3 sound files per game. All sound effects go in 1 file, this is shared by all bingo games. All common voices are in another sound file, which is also shared by all bingo games. Then another sound file contains all other game-specific voices, e.g. respective callers for 75 and 80/90 ball bingo, and other voices used in Spin Bingo.

The last 2 files (which contain voices) can also be changed dynamically, i.e. choice of callers. Right now, I have semi-robotic male and female variations. Hopefully, I’ll have player volunteers later so this can be improved. It’s hard to comprehend some phrases currently, especially for the 90-ball bingo number calls.

Sounds will only load after all game components have already been loaded. This allows the player to play games immediately, while sounds load in the background. As soon as any of the sound files are completely loaded, the games make use of it already. Overall, I think what I have now is a better structure than what I did on HB, where I don’t even have an option to change voices on Spin Bingo.

Well, this is one other major to-do that I have taken off the list, so it’s getting closer and closer to completion time.

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